Domestically, our economic lives are fortunate. Our free market structure makes it easy for aspiring entrepreneurs. We enjoy social safety nets – like welfare programs – that aid the economically disadvantaged. In many places abroad, there are few structures in place to benefit this population; to better their situation, many individuals take the entrepreneurial route.
In the developing world, entrepreneurs face barriers in ascending towards a more comfortable living situation. Many banks in these countries issue loans at exorbitantly high interest rates. A good line of credit is difficult to attain. Entrepreneurs in these countries have limited access to the capital required for starting a business. With a host of domestic inhibitors, these creative individuals often receive vital financial assistance from foreign entities - like Spartan Global Development Fund.
Spartan Global Development Fund (SGDF) uses a powerful tool to actualize its altruistic goal: microfinance. Microfinance entails the offering of financial services to business owners who don’t qualify for traditional loans. With the energy of motivated students, and guidance from professionals, SGDF has used this strategy to extend over $60,000 in non-interest bearing microloans since 2009. Now under new student leadership, SGDF is poised to continue making an international impact in 2017 and beyond.
Current SGDF Project Manager, Scott Lyman, was chosen by the SGDF Board of Directors to lead our student organization in December of 2016. Since then, he has assembled a dynamic student executive board, expanded the organization’s member base, and spearheaded initiatives to further the organization’s goals. With long-time Faculty Advisor and Board of Directors member, Paulette Stenzel, and Board of Directors Chairman, Nikolai Wasielewski, guiding the organization's development, SGDF is striving to fulfill its selfless mission.
The main goal for SGDF this semester is to issue $1,500 in loans to our field partner in As Green As It Gets (AGAIG). AGAIG is a non-profit coffee cooperative in Guatemala that aids local producers with their coffee businesses. AGAIG has been a valued SGDF-partner since 2012 and we are excited to continue connecting with their artisans. In closing weeks of the semester, we are nearing our $1,500 goal. In other progress, SGDF - and others who have lent in our name - has given over twenty loans to entrepreneurs across the world through a microfund website, Kiva.
In just a few short months, the SGDF student group has evolved into a multifaceted team. Our Marketing, Fundraising, and Education departments are devising action plans and looking ahead to new projects; check out the “Who We Are” page to meet the new team. Learn more about
SGDF by exploring our website and social media accounts. Looking to get involved? Drop us a note with the “contact” button at the bottom of the site. Go Green!