Car sharing marketplace Turo has forged a partnership with Kiva — a nonprofit that expands financial access to underserved communities — to launch its Turo Seed Initiative and help address America’s wealth gap.
According to a news release, the initiative was designed to specifically address wealth inequality in the U.S. as it pertains to traditionally underserved Black communities.
Turo has committed $1 million to this initiative, which will offer people — regardless of gender, race, or class — access to interest-free car loans in an effort to provide more wealth-building opportunities.
“Our commitment of up to $1 million in funding to address the growing wealth inequality in the United States is not only the right thing to do, but a necessity,” said Turo CEO, Andre Haddad, in a statement. “Traditionally, minority communities have more difficulty procuring fair loans, receiving access to credit, and have been disproportionately impacted by the effects of COVID-19. Kiva and Turo have aligned principles of creating economic opportunity for all regardless of race or background. We have a responsibility to break down systemic racism and foster more economic growth opportunities for disenfranchised communities and are thrilled to be launching the Turo Seed Initiative.”
In addition to its financial commitment, the Turo Seed Initiative will also give aspiring entrepreneurs across the U.S. access to an interest-free investment opportunity to build a small car sharing business on the Turo marketplace.
Qualified applicants of the initiative will then be featured on Kiva’s platform to raise up to $15,000 (with up to $7,500 crowdfunded from the Kiva community and a dollar-for-dollar match from Turo up to $7,500).
After crowdfunding is complete, the Turo Seed Host will be able to buy a vehicle with the funds to share on the Turo marketplace.
“We are thrilled to partner with Turo to launch an innovative program that can help close the growing racial wealth gap in the United States,” said Head of Kiva US, Rohit Agarwal, in a statement. “Kiva and its community of lenders are excited to help entrepreneurs in the Seed Initiative build and grow their businesses. We are proud to take this crucial step with Turo, towards our mission of financial equality for underserved communities.”
Turo is also partnering with car manufacturer Nissan to provide Seed Hosts with three years of free Maintenance+Plus coverage to help cut down on running costs so they have the bandwidth to focus on their business operations.
To learn more about Turo’s initiative, click here.