Continuing my theme related to the flexibility of our Spartan Global Development Fund (SGDF) members during this year of turmoil (See entry #2020-1), this blog post includes my SGDF students’ statement on Black Lives Matter. It expresses our respect for others no matter what their race, ethnicity, or background. This is deeply important to SGDF internally and in our interactions with others around the world.
Entry #33 - Flexibility and Creativity: Meeting the Needs of Small Entrepreneurs in Guatemala in Times of Covid
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Spartan Global Development Fund (SGDF) students at Michigan State University have found ways to be creative and flexible in their service to others. (See www.spartanglobalfund.org.) Spartan Global works to expand awareness and support for microfinance while building lasting partnerships in the quest for permanent solutions to global poverty. We aim to educate, inspire, and enable tomorrow’s agents of global change by raising funds locally to offer interest-free microloans to aspiring entrepreneurs throughout developing regions of the world.
We founded SGDF in 2009 by making contributions to four different microloans through the KIVA.org online lending platform (See https://www.spartanglobalfund.org/.) Kiva works with field partners around the world, who administer loans on-site. In 2011 SGDF expanded its activities by forming a companion 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The 501(c)(3) enables us to make loans through our own field partners. Between these two channels (KIVA and loans using our own field partners), we have made over $110,000 in loans. As Covid-19 came upon us, we adapted our practices to meet the needs of many of microloan recipients.
Paulette L. Stenzel
I am Professor Emeritus of International Business Law and Sustainability at Michigan State University (MSU). I continue to teach part time at MSU and coordinate the Broad College Ethical Leadership program Additionally, I advise Spartan Global Development Fund - a student-driven microfinance organization.