Loyola University Maryland undergraduate students have been working on the York Road Microfinance Initiative, which provides business consulting services and encourages microfinancing options in the local community.
The program—made possible through the financial support of OneMain Financial and a strategic partnership with Kiva, a nonprofit micro-lending website—allows students to partner with local business owners along Baltimore’s York Road corridor to offer consulting services in business strategy and underwrite microloans to those businesses.
Tasked with forming and nurturing partnerships with business owners to address problems these owners face, Loyola students developed digital inventory systems, arranged launch parties, and helped to spread awareness about the businesses. Students also helped the businesses obtain microloans, typically small amounts of money lent for relatively short terms. Loyola facilitated the loan program through Kiva Baltimore with OneMain Financial’s grant.
"Contemporary business schools must develop true partnerships with the business community to promote positive social impact,” said Kathleen Getz, Ph.D., Dean of the Sellinger School of Business and Management. The collaboration among our faculty, students, and businesses on York Road, the vision and support of OneMain Financial, and organizations like Kiva are what lead to sustainable economic and social development in our city."
Members of the student team working on the pilot project are seniors Aaron Davis, Alexis Fox, Tommy Gensinger, Joseph Patron, and Zach Russo. The student team is advised by J.P. Krahel, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Accounting, and Srikanth Ramamurthy, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Economics.