Lending for Evanston and Northwestern Development

LEND is dedicated to fighting poverty within Evanston by empowering and supporting the entrepreneurial aspirations of our neighbors. By offering small loans and consulting services to local entrepreneurs, LEND encourages the development of innovative businesses that enrich the Evanston community. Utilizing the unique skills of Northwestern's talented student body to support our clients through comprehensive, rigorous and systematic training, LEND seeks to create an environment in which low-income Evanston residents can obtain the business skills and capital they need to realize their entrepreneurial dreams.
Apr 26, 2016

LEND Springs into Spring

Dear Supporters of LEND,

Spring 2016 has just begun, and LEND has welcomed its new presidents and executive board. LEND is pleased to transition a new Chairman of the Board from Northwestern University and hopes for a fruitful and exciting new relationship. We are hoping to continue expanding our reach on the campus by opening a university chapter of our organization at Northwestern, and not only spread awareness of microfinance to Northwestern students, but also garner interest in the organization's activities among the college students throughout 2016.

This spring, LEND has also been working hard to establish an stronger presence in the Evanston community. With new support from a bank in Wilmette, LEND hopes to continue reaching out to new clients and preparing them for traditional loans through larger financial institutions. Already this quarter, we are evaluating opportunities to involve the bank's staff in our activities and engage them with Northwestern students at a Spring banquet focused on social impact in the workplace.

Finally, LEND has been working towards providing a loan for a local business in Evanston that has survived for 6 years on its own, and seeks to expand its services through LEND's help. Through improved relationships with Evanston aldermen, LEND hopes to reach out to other communities in Evanston that might not have heard of LEND's services by planning block walks throughout the different wards. LEND's members will be trooping through Evanston's streets in small groups, telling businesses about the newest event LEND has planned: a Social Media marketing training session!

We greatly appreciate your support and enthusiasm for LEND. We hope to continue our efforts to help empower and support small businesses in the Evanston community.

Sincerely,

Luke Bertolet & Sarah Xie

Feb 2, 2016

LEND makes progress in the Evanston community

2015, has already brought much to LEND as an organization. With another school year over, old members pass along the torch to the new. For the first year since its inception, we have had two co-presidents working to tackle the larger responsibilities brought along by the new 501(c)3 status. And, appropriately so, LEND has seen several exciting months and looks forward to another half year of similar success. 

LEND has catered two new loans for Evanston's food scene

LEND welcomes two new loan clients into its portfolio! Badou, opened his Senegalese restaurant two years ago. So next time you're on Howard Street, keep an eye out for Badou's Sengalese Restaurant--the neon sign will be hard to miss!

Clarence, a daytime information technician, opened his convenience store and adjacent ice cream shop a year ago right next to Evanston Township High School. He has also expanded into the deli sandwich business- his first catering being to Evanston's very own CEBA.

Another $3000 to give

In late March, LEND received a Northwestern Leadership Ventures Grant for $3000. Unlike previous donations, this grant was given under special stipulations. Throughout this next year, we plan to expand from our client base of already established entrepreneurs and test the waters in the start-up scene. The money will be used specifically to spearhead LEND's new initiative, allowing the organization to invest in an entrepreneur from the idea phase to launch. Plans are already being drafted in terms of specialized outreach tactics and business training programs in order to facilitate this new expansion. Keep an eye out for further developments as the organization begins making progress into this exciting, new venture.

LEND connects with Evanston community

In late May, LEND hosted its first business strengthening workshop for Evanston entrepreneurs. The event featured Northwestern professor Pennington who spoke about key marketing strategies for small business owners. The workshop aimed to provide insightful business strengthening practices and promote town-gown relations. Over twenty-five student and business owners attended, giving them a chance to gain new knowledge, ask specific questions, and share commonly encountered problems. After this successful turnout, LEND looks forward to hosting future workshops and engaging further with the community. 

Your support keeps us motivated to help serve this rich community and make a larger impact! Thank you!

Links:

Nov 3, 2015

LEND Fall Progress

Dear Supporters of LEND, 

2015, though far from over, has already brought much to LEND as an organization. LEND welcomes three new board members and six new staff members. With talented new members joining the team, we are hoping to scale our operations and expand our reach in 2016. 

This fall, LEND has been working hard to establish a stronger presence in the Evanston community. With a new partnership with Sunshine Enterprise, LEND hopes to supplement structured training for entrepreneurs with capital support to give business owners in Evanston the best chance to succeed. Already this quarter, we are evaluating five strong potential clients to be finalized by early next year. 

Finally, LEND has been working towards its mission of supporting entrepreneurs by providing business training to three business owners in Evanston. LEND staff members are currently working on providing a targeted marketing campaign for a passionate piano instructor, building out a new product strategy for a retail client, and providing book keeping services to a restaurant owner. 

We greatly appreciate your support and enthusiasm for LEND. We hope to continue our efforts to help empower and support small businesses in the Evanston community. 

Sincerely, 

Vickie Chi & Vashnav Pandey

 

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