Microfinance for Low-Income Entrepreneurs in U.S.

Aug 8, 2011

LEND Project Update: 8/7/2011


To all who have followed and supported in our past:

First off, thank you. With your financial support, we’ve been able to mobilize a base and build a strong presence in our community. Your donations have given us more than financial vitality; they offer us greater legitimacy through which we can improve the impact of our work.

As an organization entirely staffed by Northwestern undergraduates, summer serves as a unique challenge to our organization. Many members spend summers away from Chicago, which limits their impact, and our overall ability to work in the field. Despite a thinner staff for this summer, we’ve made plenty of strides.

One order of business was building a strong organizational infrastructure to ensure that our organization will stay strong long after the original staff is gone. To do so, 15 pages of bylaws have been drafted. Additionally, we have increased our work in the community. We are specifically looking to use our programs to help empower ex-offenders in our community. Members of LEND have met with Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl of Evanston to discuss a program in this area. Additionally, we have met with members of the Evanston ex-offender community to assess the needs and resources for this community, so we can design the best training and loan program to serve them.

In addition to these new ventures, we’ve made sure to maintain excellence in our current projects. We’ve collected regular repayments on our two outstanding loans, and have issued an application for a third loan, which may be issued by the fall. LEND has created a detailed strategy document for one of our clients, an email marketing campaign for another client, and advised a community theatre.

All in all, its been a busy summer - and its going to be a busier fall. We’re looking to rapidly scale up our operations. To do so, we’ll be leveraging our relationships with local government and business leaders to add more clients to our program, and leverage the attention we captured during our fundraising and outreach campaign on campus to recruit more talented and passionate staff members.

We look forward to your continued support. Please feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions. We look forward to hearing from you.

In solidarity,

Sahil Mehta
Director of Internal Strategy



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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.