Microfinance for Low-Income Entrepreneurs in U.S.

by Lending for Evanston and Northwestern Development

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!

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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

Dear Supporters of LEND, 

In the past few months, LEND has been working closely with the Evanston City Council to provide financial resources for small business owners. After extensive due diligence, we are happy to announce that we are now working with two new loan clients.

In May of this year, we approved a 6000-dollar loan to Badou for his business on Howard Street. The concept of starting a Senegalese restaurant in the intersection of Evanston and Chicago emerged from Badou’s dream of introducing the at-the-time foreign Senegalese culture to the neighborhood. Since the inception of Badou Senegalese Cuisine, Badou has done tremendously well in connecting with his customer and bridging the community. The 6000-dollar loan will go towards enhancing his current operations to meet with growing demands. More specifically, it will fund the purchase of a new oven, microwave, and the hiring of a delivery employee.

Two months following Badou’s loan, LEND approved a 5000-dollar loan to Clarence for his Mini-mart on Church street in Evanston. The Mini-mart on Church Street has served as a local community center for a decade. The loan will go towards expanding the Mini-mart’s product offerings by building a deli counter as a healthy dining option. Additionally, he will also be investing in an A.C unit to maintain the quality of his inventory.

As always, we greatly appreciate your support and enthusiasm for LEND. We hope to continue our efforts in building meaningful partnerships to help empower and support small businesses in the Evanston community. 

Sincerely, 

Vickie Chi and Vashnav Pandey

LEND 2015 Team
LEND 2015 Team

Dear Supporters of LEND, 

In the past three months, LEND has transitioned in a new executive board and continued its effort to expand loan activities and improve business training services. Filling the loan pipeline has taken top priority as the organization strives to establish strong and consistent presence in the Evanston community. Continuing the tried and tested referral method as our primary outreach effort, LEND has continued its strong relationships with Evanston Aldermen and the Evanston City Council. Additionally, LEND has also strengthened its partnership with the Evanston Community Foundation, Downtown Evanston, and Rotary International. 

Beyond filling the pipeline for loan clients, LEND has received its nonprofit status and official exemption determination letter. This gives the organization greater legitimacy and allows greater eligibility for regional and national grants.

Projecting forward to the Spring, LEND will be continuing its successful business training initiatives and organizing an Evanston entrepreneur training. In addition, LEND will gather evidence for its past successes and seek renewal for its partnership with First Bank and Trust. Internally, LEND will be welcoming new members to the team as it expand in scale and scope. Finally, the organization will be welcoming back its Alumni to share exciting progress and seek guidance moving forward.

As always, we greatly appreciate your enthusiasm, guidance, and support. We look forward to a fruitful and productive Spring quarter!



Sincerely,

Vickie Chi and Vashnav Pandey

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!

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Organization Information

Lending for Evanston and Northwestern Development

Location: Evanston, IL - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.lendevanston.org
Project Leader:
Victoria Chi
Evanston, IL United States
$17,006 raised of $20,000 goal
 
261 donations
$2,994 to go
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