Local Loans Project - Grace Philipp, The Social Entrepreneurs of Grinnell, Grinnell College
The Social Entrepreneurs of Grinnell (SEG) manages an innovative domestic microfinance initiative to combat the problem of rural poverty in central Iowa and empower individuals in desperate situations. Faced with little access to traditional credit, low-income families often turn to loans from predatory lenders that are nearly impossible to repay, which can lead to homelessness, joblessness or worse. The Local Loans Project has already provided $13,000 of temporary financial assistance to 25 individuals in the form of small, no-interest loans to help break these persistent cycles of poverty and debt. A student-directed 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, SEG further creates service learning opportunities for the Grinnell College student body through its many international and local partnerships. Since 2007, SEG has loaned over $37,000 to nearly 200 individuals in 44 countries.