Seattle University takes Community Investment to the Next Level

After a student and faculty-led proposal for increased investment in the Seattle University (SU) community, the administration invested an initial $100,000 in a Seattle neighborhood microenterprise firm, Community Capital Development (CCD) http://seattleccd.com/drupal/. The firm provides small loans to local businesses that don’t have conventional access to funds.

Beginning next fall, CCD will invite 2-3 SU student interns to work with their loan officers in the distribution of these funds to qualified applicants as well as providing financial guidance to the recipients’ microenterprise ventures.

This idea is actively supported by the Community Development and Entrepreneurship Clinic, a partnership between the Seattle University business and law schools. For over 5 years the Clinic has worked with Washington Community Alliance for Self-Help (CASH) http://washingtoncash.org/ and Community Capital Development (CCD).

Steve Brilling, the Executive Director of the Entrepreneurship Center who is building the program with CCD, would like to see hands-on student/investment partnerships eventually expand to both WA CASH and CCD in other ways. Made possible by donations from McKinstry and BECU, he is working with Clinic faculty to have each student team work with their Clinic clients to explore the idea of getting additional funds to enhance their business growth. The donated seed fund would provide loan loss protection to any subsequently delinquent loans issued through the Clinic.

Though both programs are still in their finalizing stages, Seattle University faculty and administration are proud to be building a model for other community/university partnerships. For questions on how to make a program like this happen on your campus, please email maura@endowmentethics.org.

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