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Norwalk Kiva Hub Success Stories

Kiva is a global nonprofit organization that provides interest-free crowdfunded microloans to local entrepreneurs. The Norwalk Kiva Hub is designed to connect local entrepreneurs who don’t typically receive funding from traditional lenders with access to capital through Kiva’s unique network of microlenders. Kiva works with more than 70 countries on five continents. Since 2005, the nonprofit has provided more than 1.9 million loans equaling $1.6 billion in funding. More than 80 percent of loans have been to women.

Kiva offers:

  • 0% interest loans from $1,000 up to $15,000
  • Loan matching grants for WMBE businesses up to $7,500
  • Globally crowdfunded microloans for small businesses in Norwalk

For more Kiva information and application assistance, please contact:

Pedro P. Mata
Capital Access Manager
Norwalk Business Development Center
3 Belden Ave
Norwalk, CT 06850
c: 475-291-2745
o: 203-854-7955

Apply for a Kiva 0% interest loan for U.S. small businesses.

Ana Colangelo

Ana Colangelo, founder of Ana Colangelo Salon, was funded by Kiva with $4,500. She says, “I’ve been working with hair since I was 18. It was always a passion. I came to the U.S. and kept working hard until I managed to open my hair salon. I am thrilled and very grateful for this opportunity that can change the lives of many people and my family.”

Michelle Sharma

Michelle Sharma, owner of South on Bostwick Cantina & Grille, was funded by Kiva with $5,000. She says, “As a black-and-women-owned business, I understand the importance of diversifying our business community and telling our story through the meals we make, all while executing every order with a standard of excellence.”

Jessica Edward

Jessica Edward, founder of Caring for Seniors Adult DayCare Center, was funded by Kiva with $10,000. She says, “I have always been passionate about working for our seniors and now I have the opportunity to do just that.”

Lindsay Grega

Lindsay Grega, founder of Lindsay’s Handmade Ice Cream, was funded by Kiva with $10,000. She says, “What started as a pandemic hobby turned into a passion and evolved into a business. After two years of tough work and many setbacks, I am SO CLOSE to fulfilling the first step of this crazy dream-turned-reality!”

Juliane Etienne

Juliane Etienne, founder of BAOU Apparel, was funded by Kiva with $1,500. She says, “The whole process was extremely quick and simple. One day, I will be able to help make a fellow entrepreneur’s dream come true. Thank you, Kiva!”

Danielle Kimble

Danielle Kimble, owner of Beauty Bar By Dannie, was funded by Kiva with $3,500. She says, “Once women started telling me about how much my products changed their lives, it motivated me to push for more. This loan will allow me to start the next phase of my business, which is to use vending machines to sell my products at various pop-up locations.”

Ta’Tiyana Houster

Ta’Tiyana Houster, owner of DTM Day Spa LLC, was funded by Kiva with $7,000. She says, “My mother’s passing inspired me to launch the Dedicated to Mom day spa. The services I provide are inspired by things my mother and I loved to do together, with a little unique spin of my own.”   

Elizabeth Iovinelli

Elizabeth Iovinelli, owner of Milk Street Lactation Support, LLC, was funded by Kiva with $6,000. She says, “I always envisioned a store-front space that brings the care and support of moms and babies out of a medical office building and into the heart of the community.”

Lavelle & Jennifer Summerville

Lavelle & Jennifer Summerville, owners of Quickdraw Phlebotomy School, LLC, were funded by Kiva with $8,500. Lavelle says, “I created an allied health career school for students that don’t want to start at a 2-4-year college, when they can get trained and start working in 8-10 weeks. This business drives me because I know the impact this can make in their lives.”

Brad Kerner

Brad Kerner, founder of Eco Evolution, was funded by Kiva with $8,000. He says, “Some people call me The Eco Dude. I was inspired by everyday people making small steps to be less wasteful. Eco Evolution is an eco-friendly retail marketplace and coffee shop where everything is good for the planet and for people. When you shop here, every purchase protects the planet.”

Janasia Walker

Janasia Walker, founder of JCC Design Bar, was funded by Kiva with $7,500. She says, “My creations are made to inspire, encourage, and remind everyone that they are loved.  I wanted to use my creative expression to make a difference. I also wanted to show my daughters that being a successful woman in America is possible, and if you want something strong enough, you can have it!”

Dajuan Wiggins

Dajuan Wiggins, founder and president of the Wiggins Family LLC trucking company, was funded by Kiva with $3,000. He says, “I was inspired to start this business for my son and my daughter. I am committed to leaving a legacy for my children. With funding from Kiva, I believe we will be able to scale faster.”

Alexander Cadena

Alexander Cadena, principal of SoNo Auto Sound, LLC, was funded by Kiva with $5,500. He says, “I came to the U.S. from Columbia in search of the American Dream and better opportunities. I started by learning the English language, so that I could start my own business. This loan will allow me to buy enhanced lighting, hire new employees, and purchase updated tools and materials I need to support installations.”

Wendy McCalla

Wendy McCalla, CEO of Body Essentials by WM, is being funded by Kiva with $6,500. She says, “Knowing that the products I formulate are useful for people with skin issues like my son and I, inspires me to research, learn and create more. I genuinely put my heart and soul into my business and I want to see it succeed. With your help, I believe it will.” 

Douglas Goldwater

Douglas Goldwater, Managing Member of The You Frontier LLC, is being funded by Kiva with $9,500. He says, “The You Frontier is a startup that transforms unused and underused space into co-working, community, and creative spaces. This loan will help us put on exciting events to help attract new members and grow our creative network.”

The Thrift Sisters

Four sisters, Angela Rossi-Luciano, Nicole Rossi-Rivera, Danielle Machado and Elizabeth Rossi, are the founders of Thrift, funded by Kiva with $7,500. They love fashion, great finds, working together, and helping to keep clothes and housewares out of landfills and oceans. Elizabeth says, ”I am a disabled veteran. My goal is to build this business so that I have a steady income and more importantly so that I can educate people about sustainability, as well as to give back to the community.”

John Lewis, Jr.

John Lewis, Jr., founder of the JLConfidence catering and food delivery service, was funded by Kiva with $3,500. He says, “From the age of five, I was certain of one thing – I love to cook! I uncovered this fascination with flavor at my mother’s side while she cooked at home and ran a family-owned restaurant on the small island of Tortola. This loan will allow me to buy new equipment and serve a wider community.”

Kendrick Constant

Kendrick Constant, founder of Constant Consulting, is being funded by Kiva with $9,500. He says, “I take a deep sense of pride in working with talented individuals and being part of their development and growth. I am passionate about helping people and business owners build their businesses and achieve their dreams, which is why I started Constant Consulting.”

Leonidas Aloupis

Leonidas Aloupis, founder of LoveIzLuv is being funded by Kiva with $5,000. He says, “My business is a clothing collection that is specifically designed to remind all of us around the world the power of love, in any form. A loan of $5,000 helped to launch my casual apparel movement.”

Adrian Hurtado Quezada

Adrian Hurtado Quezada, founder of Taco Guy, LLC, is being funded by Kiva with $9,000. He says, ” I invested everything I had to open a Taco Guy food truck and brought my family’s recipes to places they could have only dreamed of. Now, I want to grow my business into a full-scale restaurant where I can give back to the community and show guests the beauty of Mexican food and culture.”     

Regina Upshaw

Regina Upshaw, Owner and Founder of Drippy Cakes, is being funded by Kiva with $6,500. She says, “This loan will kick start Drippy Cakes’ brick and mortar to officially open its doors! It will help me purchase the inventory needed for the daily operations, such as packaging, ingredients, and merchandise.”    

Mellodye Regin

Mellodye “Sweets” Regin, Founder and Creative Director of SoNo Entertainment & Recording Studios, is being funded by Kiva with $15,000. She says, “SoNo Entertainment is well known in the community as an innovator of unique and fun ways of bringing the community together while strengthening family relationships, whether it’s through music or events.”

Clyde Ripka

Clyde Ripka, Owner-Operator and Chef of Ripka’s Beach Café & Catering, is being funded by Kiva with $15,000. He says, “I have been in this business for 53 years. This loan will help offset expenses following a particularly difficult poor-weather-driven year.