Philadelphia is creating fewer new businesses than the national average and Pennsylvania ranks 48th in the country in microbusiness ownership. Lend for Philly provides long-term opportunities for student leaders to engage with the community and leverage their numbers and talent to tackle enduring challenges of financial self-sufficiency, enterprise development, and job creation. Our goal is for Lend for Philly to create new campus microfinance initiatives 'Campus MFIs.'
Lend for Philly is a contest for Philly based college students to win up to $20,000 for a local microfinance initiative. Lend for Philly is an initiative of Lend for America, founded to empower students to build their communities by launching campus microfinance institutions (Campus MFIs).
You must be currently enrolled in a college or university in the Delaware Valley region. Not sure if you qualify? Contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The university team with the most businesses mapped by May 1, 2014 wins $5,000. The winning team and other teams can access up to $15,000 for small loans to local businesses. Teams with 'ready to fund' loan applications will be awarded the $15,000 on a first come, first serve basis. Lend for Philly will distribute the $15,000 in grants ranging from $500 to $3,000. Each team can receive more than one grant.
Teams are formed based on your university. For example, each student participant from Temple University is on the same team. To get contact info for your other participants from your university, submit a request here.
We know there are many kinds of small and informal businesses such as dorm room start-ups, mobile food carts that may be there one day and not the next, home-based food or artisan entrepreneurs. For Lend for Philly, we are asking you to pin locally owned businesses. The business owner must be making sales for at least 3 months. Lend for Philly reserves the right to verify the integrity of any business pin in this contest.
The $5,000 will be awarded to create a new Campus MFI, a campus based microfinance institution. Campus MFIs are founded by students and offer microloans and technical assistance to local small business owners.
The prize money can be used to fund microloans for small businesses, get set-up as a nonprofit organization, printing materials, purchasing supplies or other typical Campus MFI start up costs.
A campus MFI is an initiative or organization founded by students that offer microloans or training in its community. For example, the Campus MFI at the University of Alabama is called Forza Financial, a nonprofit organization led by students that makes microloans up to $5,000 to local businesses in Tuscaloosa, AL.
Lend for Philly provides a unique opportunity for students to gain work experience while giving back to their community. Participants acquire skills in finance, negotiation and management to make them competitive in the job market post-graduation—while helping grow the businesses of real, local entrepreneurs.
Local stakeholders, including Campus MFIs, will have access to the data to follow up with businesses about their needs. Current contact information for local business owners and market research about business needs is very useful for local programs such as FINANTA, The Enterprise Center, WORC, and Entrepreneur Works. University teams participating in the contest also benefit from building early relationships with local businesses and from learning what needs exist in the local business community.
No, your Campus MFI does not have to be a registered corporation.
No, each business entry must be unique. The system admin will delete duplicate entries and only the first team’s submission will count.
Yes, please see a one-page flyer here. The flyer describes the purpose of the program and answers questions we anticipate business owners might have about Lend for Philly including who the data will be shared with.