Launch 1000, program Westchester County Economic Development Office, today announced that members are eligible to apply for loans through Kiva, microcredit organization, crowdsourcing interest-free loans for small businesses.
County Executive Director George Latimer said, “We invest in the success of entrepreneurs and small businesses across Westchester County. The launch of 1,000 members with access to Kiva loans is an important step towards making these new ventures more sustainable. ”
Deborah Novick, Westchester County Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, said: “First-class education residents receive through Launch1000 and the interest-free loans that they can access through Kiva are a winning combination. Our launchers have conducted market research, mitigated the risks of our concepts, made strategic refinements and will be a great addition to our local business community. ”
Marion Henson, Founder Bloom HealthyA grocery store popup offering affordable boxes of organic fruits, vegetables, mushrooms and herbs in and around food deserts was the first Launcher to receive a loan through Kiva. The funds for her loan were fully raised in just three days.
Henson said: “It is invaluable to have access to an interest-free loan that will help me get my women-owned business off the ground. I am very grateful to the district for offering this innovative program and for helping start businesses like mine. ”
Marion will continue to “show up” at 595 Main Street in New Rochelle on Wednesdays and Fridays to pick up boxes (must be pre-ordered through her website) from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm.
Launch1000 will host its last cohort on July 26, 2021. To ensure that lack of technology does not prevent anyone from applying for the program, the Westchester County Economic Development Board will provide laptops to participating residents who need them.
Potential members can learn more about Launch1000 and apply at WestchesterCatalyst.com/Launch1000.
In addition to Launch1000, the Westchester County Economic Development Authority offers a range of programs and resources to support businesses and entrepreneurs, including: Westchester County Life Sciences Accelerator, Element 46 Incubator, RXR Volunteer Program, Westchester County IDA Grant and Loan Program, and Westchester County Grant Program Business FIRST.