Brooklyn Business Center Receives Microfinance Award
B.J. Handal, the Director of Small. Business Services at Restoration recently received an award from Kiva,
the well-known global microfinance group. The award was presented to him for popularizing the role of
crowdfunding in small business creation.
Kiva was founded as a nonprofit microfinance enterprise in 2005, focusing its efforts on empowering
residents of impoverished nations by providing loans through small amounts of money collected from
supporters worldwide. It has quickly developed into an important funding source for men and women to
start businesses that serve and strengthen their communities and lift families out of poverty. Kiva
started its U.S. operations in 2009. Mr. Handal has been involved with the organization as a Trustee for
the past three years.
Kiva lends entrepreneurs with loans up to $10,000. The loans are given at 0% interest rate, something
that “no other microfinance organization can offer,” Mr. Handal said.
Restoration’s small business unit, known as Brooklyn Business Center, typically helps small business
owners and entrepreneurs with preparing their business plans and financial projections, which banks
and other conventional financial institutions require as a precondition of funding. In contrast, Mr.
Handal pointed out, Kiva loans do not require such onerous paperwork.
“Small businesses create 2 out of every 3 new jobs in the U.S.,” Mr. Handal said. “Peer-to-peer lending
programs like Kiva have an important role to play to spur the growth of small enterprises in this
Click here to visit the Brooklyn Business Center.