The Micro Movement Goes Big on Campuses in the US

Microfinance used to be synonymous with terms like “international development” and “global aid.” Now it is as ubiquitous in the states as it is abroad, thanks to the innovations of our very own college students.

For over five years, students from universities and colleges all over the country have been attributing to this movement of campus-based microfinance institutions, or “campus MFIs.” These non-profit groups are managed by student volunteers and provide financial assistance to underserved community members in the form of small business loans, tax preparation, credit building services and more.

By utilizing the resources available on campus, such as faculty, facilities, and free labor, these millennial students are able to make a substantial difference in their communities. While doing so, they also gain practical, employable skills to brave the competitive job market post-graduation.

Campus MFIs are positive additions to any university or college. Not only are students given an opportunity to serve while they learn, but more importantly underserved and underbanked community members are allowed access to invaluable financial services.

Since 2009, Lend for America (formerly the Campus Microfinance Alliance) has helped students realize their potential in the field of campus microfinance. Made up of 23 member universities, the coalition has helped disburse over a million dollars in microloans, and provides training and support for students interested in leading their own campus MFIs.

This fall, Lend for America hosts their annual student microfinance conference.

When: October 11 – 13, 2013

Where: University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia

Cost: Early bird registration is $29 and $39 after September 15. Applicants in great need are encouraged to apply for travel scholarships.

As Lend for America commands to their Facebook followers: “DO microfinance. Don’t just study it.” Their 5th annual summit is the perfect opportunity to do just that.

Students can register now on Lend for America’s summit website. Program associate Charity Yoro can be contacted at charity@lendforamerica.org for further information.

 

Charity Yoro, Program Associate

Lend for America

http://www.lendforamerica.org

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