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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Bentley microfinance lends small for big impact

Published: August 31, 2012
Section: News

A group of students at Bentley University recently founded a microfinance group intended to provide loans for small start-up companies in or around the Boston area. The organization, Bentley Microfinance Group was first founded in 2008 but has expanded greatly in the past few months. The first loan they provided was to Aspire Magazine in the spring of 2009. Since then, Bentley Microfinance has provided start-up loans to a variety of different organizations, including woodworking and construction companies as well as a number of local shops and businesses. The process for receiving a loan from the Bentley Microfinance Group involves the completion of a number of forms as well as approval from a group of four Bentley students who are in charge of selecting businesses.

The students involved in Bentley Microfinance have a good deal of sway regarding the process of selection, though they are overseen by a board comprised of Bentley faculty and members of larger companies in the greater Boston area who are intimately involved in the process. Ultimately, however, the students have the final say in determining who receives loans.