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1 Dupont Circle Northwest
Washington, DC, 20036
United States

202.721.2336

The Alliance for Artisan Enterprise, founded in November 2012 and hosted by the Aspen Institute, is a collaborative effort of over 70 artisan businesses, artisan support organizations, corporations, government agencies, and other partners who are working together to promote the full potential of the global artisan sector.  

The Alliance for Artisan Enterprise was created to elevate the importance of the artisan sector, support and grow artisan businesses, and share best practices in a collaborative learning community. 

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Artisan Loans (public)

Artisan loan program

Apply today!

In partnership with Kiva, the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise offers access to artisan business loans up to $20,000 at 0% interest. Learn more about the program and complete a loan application below!

the alliance for artisan enterprise + Kiva

Kiva is the world's first online crowd-lending platform, connecting entrepreneurs around the world (like you!) with over one million individual lenders. Leveraging the Internet and a global network of Field Partners (including the Alliance), Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 each to help create opportunity. Hundreds of people fund each loan on the Kiva website. 

Through the Alliance loan program, your organization may receive a no-interest loan between $200 and $20,000 tailored to your artisan business. Artisan businesses are often overlooked by traditional lenders; Kiva allows your to bypass banks and secure capital to buy raw materials, access markets and trade shows, invest in equipment, and more!

how does the program work?

Each borrower works with the Alliance team to think about business needs, determine a loan timeline, and post a story on the Kiva crowd-lending platform. Individual lenders see your story online and fund your loan. The Alliance disburses all funds to you after the loan is funded. New borrowers may apply for a loan up to $8,000, lasting up to one year. Our team will work with you to determine the best repayment schedule for your business. Learn more about the past Artisan Loan Program borrowers on Kiva

Should I apply?

The artisan loan program was designed for first-time and hesitant borrowers. Never taken out a loan before? Tell us what your business needs and the Alliance will help you every step of the way. 

In the past, artisan businesses have used Kiva loans to:

  • Buy raw materials for handcrafted bracelets, scarves, and pillows
  • Purchase new sewing machines to increase productivity
  • Construct a roof to accommodate more artisan workers
  • Participate in international markets, including NYNOW and the International Folk Art Market
  • Produce samples for prospective buyers

Before beginning an application, do you meet the following requirements? 

  • Active bank account that can both receive and send loan funds in USD (personal or business)
  • Your photo
  • Story of your artisan business
  • Any financial records, including (but not limited to!) a financial statement, projected sales for the coming year, history of sales from an international market or trade show, or an active purchase order 

At this time, the Alliance is unable to lend to individuals or businesses in Cuba, EU member states, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Uzbekistan, and Venezuela. Borrowers based in Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, Mali, Myanmar, Russia, Somalia, South Sudan, Tajikistan, and Yemen may apply for an Alliance-Kiva loan, but will require additional review. 

artisan loan program timeline

*Submitting an application by the date listed does not guarantee a loan will be approved by the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise and/or Kiva and disbursed according to the timeline above

**Final application includes:

  • Application approved by Alliance for Artisan Enterprise
  • Story and photo received
  • Client waiver signed
  • Contract signed

We are currently accepting loan applications for our third cycle - applications finalized by April 30, 2017 will be disbursed in early July!

Please email gina.rogari@aspeninst.org with any questions or to receive a paper application!