The Hawk's Eye

Microfinance Club Loans

Tai Tran, Reporter

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Clubs are an important part of the School’s academic culture, and Microfinance Club is no different.  Microfinance is a source of financial services for entrepreneurs and small businesses lacking access to banking and related services in the form of micro loans. Micro loans are relatively small amounts of money that have little to no interest. Senior Maddi Thayer, one of the presidents of the Microfinance club, says that the purpose of the club is to “choose people to make those micro loans to, through something called Kiva, which then helps the people do the most they can do and later pay us back.” Kiva is an international nonprofit organization, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco with a mission to connect people through lending loans to people for their interests. They celebrate and support people looking to create a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities.  The School’s Microfinance club has been around for quite some time; Thayer said, “We started a really long time ago, so I don’t know how we started. It’s been going on for like ten years.” With a mysterious past, but a bright future, the School’s Microfinance Club is filled with dedicated members. With over $700 loaned, Microfinance has been very successful in their goal to “make good investments” and play a role in helping other people’s goals.  With a club that is based off of money and loans, one would think there would be profit, or interest in the loans that they give.  However, “it is a charity club, even though a lot of people don’t know that.”  Each of the club’s loans range from $25-$100.  The club is very unique in Microfinance, within the program Kiva, because they raise and loan money as a group and not as individuals, which is the most common way to give micro loans. In the bigger picture, the club wants to expand inside and outside the School.  In addition, Junior Belinda Tucker says that their “ goal is to branch out from just Kiva, and find new ways to help out the community.”  Finding a positive way to impact the community has always been the goal of the School, and the Microfinance club has found a way to impact the School’s clubs, and, hopefully overtime, impact Oakland. “We want to help people, and as many people as we can.” If anyone wants to join Microfinance club, it meets on Tuesdays in the Institute.

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