The Lend for America Fellowship is an incubator for students to launch new Campus MFIs. It is an immersive experience customized for selected fellows to build skills in community finance. Selected fellows receive a $2,500 stipend, paid travel, and a full-time position with a microfinance organization in North Carolina, New Jersey, or Rhode Island.
What Fellows Do
The Fellowship starts with a three day classroom based crash course in U.S. microfinance. This intro training equips fellows with basic skills needed to be successful during summer internships.
After the kickoff, fellows spend 8 weeks learning from hard working Americans and microfinance practitioners about the opportunities for microfinance to transform communities. Fellows review loan applications, open savings accounts, and coach clients. All travel expenses are paid and fellows receive a $2,500 stipend.
After the summer, fellows return to campus with new skills and confidence to launch microfinance initiatives. Lend for America offers year-round support to help new Campus MFIs get off the ground.
Microfinance Immersion Locations
“Microsavings and homelessness: A relationship based approach to financial services”
The Community Empowerment Fund offers comprehensive workforce development services, opportunity classes, and safe savings accounts for individuals experiencing or at-risk of experiencing homelessness. This year, CEF helped 247 clients save $55,000 and open 205 bank accounts.
“Consumer lending and financial capability”
The Capital Good Fund (CGF) is a financial empowerment organization that provides high-quality, innovative and transformational financial services to underserved families. CGF offers small loans, Financial Coaching and free tax preparation to those in need. In 2013 alone, CGF distributed 74 loans and prepared 709 tax returns.
“Growing strong businesses, making loans and technical assistance”
The Intersect Fund is a non-profit microlender and certified CDFI that provides business training, coaching and microloans to low-income, minority and women-owned businesses throughout New Jersey. To date, the organization has served over 450 clients, disbursing over $1 million in micro-loans since its inception.
Application and Selection
Applications for the 2015 Fellowship closed on March 30th. Check back next spring for details on applying for summer 2016.
Are you currently enrolled at US based university? Undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to apply.
“This was a milestone for me. I feel empowered to start change now wherever I am, despite being a 19 year old college student.”
— Haley Burns, Tulane University, LFA Fellow 2012
LFA’s 2014 Fellows
Brooke Cooke is a rising junior at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA who is studying Commerce and Economics. He is a former Future Business Leaders of America Student President and currently the CMO of the Alternative Investment Fund at UVA. Brooke also is the co-founder of his university’s Campus MFI in Charlottesville, and they hope to make their first loan by the fall semester.
Evie Baxter is an up and coming sophomore at the Indiana University in Bloomington, where she is one of the student founders of the Hoosier Social Impact Fund, a certified 501c3 serving southern Indiana. An accomplished cellist, teacher, and baker, Evie is pursuing a degree in Economic Consulting and Public Policy Analysis.