UMBC’s New Kiva U. Chapter: Microlending for Social Impact

Greg Simmons is UMBC’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement.

Greg SimmonsThanks to a grant from OneMain Financial, UMBC will join Loyola University in launching the first two formally designated Kiva University chapters in Maryland. Kiva U seeks to engage students and educators in a global effort to expand financial inclusion, foster community, and have a tangible positive impact on issues that matter to them.

Students involved with UMBC’s Kiva U. chapter will work with faculty and staff to develop a management team that will create marketing strategies and engage campus partners to support local, national and international communities. The management team will oversee a pool of funds from which it will make loans to support enterprises that mitigate poverty. Planning began this summer, with the goal of awarding the first round of up to 10 loans in spring 2015.

Beyond resonating with me personally, Kiva’s goals and entrepreneurial approach are a great fit with UMBC’s culture of innovation and BreakingGround’s themes of individual and collective empowerment. I’m thrilled to see this effort taking shape, and look forward to seeing what our students will do with the opportunity.

Contact the author, Greg Simmons, at gsimmons@umbc.edu.

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