Microfinance for Low-Income Entrepreneurs in U.S.

 
$13,946
$6,054
Raised
Remaining
Dec 3, 2014

Fall Brings a Renewed Sense of Purpose

Giving Tuesday
Giving Tuesday

This past fall LEND has been working at a feverish pace to get our operations up and running again. The summer team did an excellent job managing client and community relations as the majority of the students were on their holidays but there was plenty of work to be done when we came back for classes. Along with getting our day-to-day operations up and running, LEND welcomed six new members to the team. These students showed passion and enthusiasm for LEND's mission and we have full confidence in them carrying LEND's mission on for the next four years. 

Operationally, LEND has been busy re-engaging the Evanston community. We have received four loan requests throughout Evanston totalling in $18,000. These request continue to show us that our services are needed in this community.

With the holidays around the corner, everyone at LEND would like to ask our supporters to continue to support LEND in its mission to further economic development in Evanston. Attached is a photo of our new holiday fundraising campaign that is in alignment with Giving Tuesday, a global day of philanthropy. However, we will be extending our campaign throughout the holidays up until the New Year. 

In conclusion, we wish everyone very happy holidays and a happy New Year!

Aug 4, 2014

Updates from LEND

To our supporters:

The Spring and Summer months of 2014 have been a exciting and demanding time for LEND. Since March of 2014, LEND has completed 3 loans totaling in $20,500. These loans have been disbursed to loan clients with a variety of needs, from getting the much needed capital to start a project to adding on to a store to foster business growth. As always these loans could not be accomplished without our supporters both locally in Evanston and throughout. Furthermore, they are a testament to the fact that microfinance can have meaningful impact on Evanston businesses.

Beyond lending, the Summer months have always provided a challenge for LEND. During the months from June to September LEND volunteers head off for summer vacation leaving a void as our operations get condensed to a smaller scope. This year we were fortunate enough to field a small staff of students who are in Evanston for the summer months to maintain our presence. They have been busying meeting with Evanston entreprenuers looking for business assistance as well as maintaining our relationships with current LEND clients. 

As the summer months roll into the fall, a rejuvenated LEND team looks forward to helping Evanston entreprenuers remove the obstacles that they face. With our supporters continued support we hope to build upon our success from earlier this year. 

Sincerely, 

Salil Gupta 

Apr 28, 2014

LEND primed for growth in spring 2014

 

The new year has brought many exciting changes to LEND. As of June 2013, LEND has begun the process of incorporating as an independent, tax-exempt 501(c)3 non-profit entity. Incorporation will bring significant changes, all of which will help us better serve Evanston entrepreneurs - allowing us more avenues to grow our capital base. Not only will we be able to make more loans, but we will have more flexibility as we begin to institutionalize. Our broader goal is to expand our operations into areas of Evanston that we have not targeted in the past and bring about a more consistent operational cycle throughout the year.

LEND has also welcomed a brand new executive team along with 6 new staff members. The team has been hard at work to further the efforts of the graduating senior class.  Extensive outreach work by the team has yielded an at-capacity business training program as well as new partnerships in the Evanston community. Lending operations have also seen an uptick this quarter as applications for our loans have continued to rise.

This year brings about many exciting opportunities and challenges for LEND. We ask you for your continued support in helping us achieve our mission of empowering entrepreneurs and driving economic growth.

LEND welcomes Victoria Adams to Evanston

Before she moved to Evanston this past fall, Victoria Adams performed in shows and gave private voice lessons to more than 35 students in Las Vegas. Several factors, including the economy, prompted her to relocate with her 11-year-old son.  

“I’m pretty much starting from scratch here,” Adams said. “But I have experience.”

Since the move, Adams has worked a variety of jobs including a waitressing gig at Walker Brothers. Recently, however, she’s been itching to pick up her passion again.

LEND team members Sabrina Kaplan and Hans Mueller-Schrader are helping Adams capitalize on her vast background in vocal performance. They hope to help her find a venue to teach students in, as well as design a simple website for the business.  

“There’s a lot more out here in Chicago," Adams said. "It’s much more cultural musically, and that's inspiring.”

LEND works with "Stepping Out On Faith"

Vivian Killebrew is the owner and operator of the consignment store Stepping Out on Faith, located on Orrington Ave right in the middle of downtown Evanston. The shop sells new or gently used high-end clothes and accessories for men and women at an affordable price. Stepping Out on Faith has a loyal customer base, but Vivian is looking to further expand her visibility in Evanston. Vashnav Pandey and Caroline Miller just started working on a business training engagement with Vivian, focusing on bookkeeping practices and expanding the store's marketing to draw in new customers.

Measuring impact with analytics

Over the past several months we have looked deeply into our business training program to better understand the impact we have in the community. We have developed a LEND impact meter, based on metrics relevant to the specific areas covered in each training, in order to identify how much of a difference each engagement has made as well as what aspects of the program can be improved. Our goal is to use this data to provide more effective training to our clients and improve our internal processes in the pursuit of better serving the Evanston community.

Work with LEND

The past year has been one for the record books. We’ve supported local businesses through five new loans totaling $7,600, and provided business development services to four aspiring entrepreneurs. We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished, but there's potential to do so much more.  Reach out to us at lend@u.northwestern.edu to start a conversation on how we can work together.  

 

Links:

Jan 27, 2014

Forging Partnerships, Preparing for the Future

The 2013-2014 LEND Team
The 2013-2014 LEND Team

To our supporters:

Exciting developments are in the works at LEND, as the organization continues to institutionalize and build its capacity to sustain long-term impact in the local community. Currently, we are establishing partnerships with local corporations to leverage common resources and harness potential from untapped networks. Such partnerships will also build our capital base and capacity to lend to more entrepreneurs, allowing LEND to greatly enhance its impact.

From an internal standpoint, LEND recruited more passionate individuals to our staff in the past quarter.This reflects the organization's readiness to expand and increase its local footprint. The coming months present a leadership transition as members of the outgoing executive team hand off responsibilities to their successors.

As LEND continues to take strides towards achieving our mission, we will increasingly lean on our passionate supporters who help make our work possible. We aspire to work together with you to build a stronger community and provide small business owners with the resources to ultimately develop a more robust local economy. Your donations help make this possible, and for that - thank you.

Please feel free to contact us at lend@u.northwestern.edu -- we would love to hear from you!

As always, we greatly appreciate your enduring support.

Best regards,

Gaurav Kikani

 

Links:

Oct 22, 2013

Developments at LEND

LEND staff working with a local restaurant
LEND staff working with a local restaurant

To our supporters:

Last year, LEND grew at an exciting rate, disbursing $15,000 in microloans and working with over 10 new businesses through our Business Training Program. Our all-time lending has now exceeded the $27,000 mark, and we hope to surpass this figure in the upcoming years.

As we resume our operations after the summer hiatus, we anticipate an immediate demand for our services. We are currently working with 4 new local businesses and have identified over $12,000 in lending opportunities. These businesses range from a pet day-care to bakeries, attesting to the vibrant and unique small business environment in Evanston.

LEND also is in the process of incorporating as a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, independent of Northwestern University. We are hoping to secure this legal status by the end of the school year. This change will allow us to garner more institutional support and operate with more autonomy. While strategic guidance will be derived from our Board of Directors, LEND will continue to be operated by Northwestern students, with our mission and vision unchanged.

Entrepreneurs are requesting loans at an unprecedented rate, and we want to be able to meet their needs. However, we must continue to grow our capital base - and for that, we look to you, our supporters! Our capacity to lend must grow lockstep with demand, as we want to be equipped to support every passionate entrepreneur we encounter.

Support small business owners, help LEND grow, and become part of the microfinance movement that is sweeping across the nation. We believe change begins at a micro-level, and your contributions are vital to catalyzing that change.

Please feel free to contact us at lend@u.northwestern.edu -- we would love to hear from you!

As always, we deeply appreciate your enduring support.

Best regards,

Gaurav Kikani

Links:

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Project Leader

Ashley Augustine

Evanston, IL United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Microfinance for Low-Income Entrepreneurs in U.S.