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Students attend Lend for America Summit

October 25, 2013

 Several members of the Saint Francis Society of Economic Analysis (SEA) club traveled to the University of Pennsylvania during Fall break to attend the Lend for America Summit. Saint Francis is a member of the Campus Microfinance Alliance, an exclusive group of 19 universities nationwide (including Brown, Yale, Georgetown, etc).

Member universities either engage in micro-lending activities (offering small loans to consumers or entrepreneurs in the US or abroad) or offer business consulting services. At the conference students had the opportunity to learn from other student-run micro-finance entities (in particular, the Rutgers University Intersect Fund) some of the basics of micro finance including book keeping, collections, staff training, retention, and recruitment.

Dr. Edward Timmons, associate professor of economics, and Edward Huttenhower, director of the Small Business Development Center and associate dean of community & economic development, accompanied students Caleb Brantner, Leah Kessler, Timothy Keith, Juan Pardo-Montoya, and Zachary Vigneault to the conference.

This academic year the SEA's new microfinance entity (named the Francis Fund) will begin operations. The fund has already received a generous private donation of $10,000. The fund will lend to aspiring entrepreneurs located primarily in the Cambria and Blair county areas of PA.