Microfinance for Low-Income Entrepreneurs in U.S.

by Lending for Evanston and Northwestern Development

Dear Supporters of LEND,

LEND started this fall by finishing up recruitment. We onboarded a mix of freshmen and sophomores for a total of 9 new members. The new members will be staffed on projects within the month. 

We are looking to the future by strengthening our client pipeline and focusing our efforts on findraising. We plan to revamp our Business Training Program to promote consistency for the future. LEND will be transitioning new executive board members in the coming quarter. We expect to have one loan completeted and two more disbursed by January of 2017 - including one for a local catering company. 

We greatly appreciate your support and we will continue to make the 2016-2017 school year a great year for LEND! 



Luke Bertolet & Sarah Xie

Dear Supporters of LEND,

LEND ended spring of 2016 with a larger potential client pipeline than ever before. Our marketing and outreach team has been co-hosting events on Northwestern's campus and all around the Evanston community. In May, LEND partnered with two Northwestern business organizations to host an event about social impact in business with speakers from Chase Bank, Deloitte, and Youth & Opportunity United. Over 100 NU students were in attendance. LEND members also hosted a social media in marketing workshop with local businesses, aldermen, and industry expert Carly Arbuckle. 

As we break for the summer, several LEND members remain in Evanston managing client accounts and keeping our presence in the community. Our executive board is working hard to revamp our new member on-boarding process as the school year draws closer. 

Finally, LEND looks to the fall and 2016-2017 school year with the goals of increasing our loan pool, strengthening our client pipeline, and keeping a strong presence in the Evanston community. We will be on-boarding a new member class of freshmen and sophomores in October and hope to have them working with clients as soon as possible. 

We greatly appreciate your support and we will continue to make 2016 LEND's strongest year to date. 


Luke Bertolet & Sarah Xie

LEND is receiving timely loan payments from its current seven loan clients - and had a very successful quarter of external outreach. The marketing team held a social impact synopsium in May in partnership with two other student groups.The turnout for which was great, the speakers promoting relevant discussions on how we can use business skills to help solve the many problems facing non-profits & local communities. The next week, LEND held a social media marketing workshop with industry expert Carly Arbuckle, which yielded a great turnout with plenty of local SMB owners.


LEND disbursed another loan to William Reed and his construction business, while Floyd Johnson and Kathy Leichenstein completed their loans. Currently, the group has two loans in the pipeline, for which the loans packets are being constructed and being pitched to the board this summer break.

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.


Luke Bertolet & Sarah Xie

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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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
$17,941 raised of $20,000 goal
284 donations
$2,059 to go
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