The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Staff ed: Student group achieves rare nonprofit status

As students at Grinnell, we all attempt to advocate social justice. Thus, we applaud the work that the Social Entrepreneurs of Grinnell (SEG) has accomplished since its creation in April of 2007. As a college group on campus that focuses on collecting money for making micro-finance loans, SEG has given power to individuals so that they may address inequality in terms of social and economic positions in society.

SEG provides micro-financing to entrepreneurs in Third-World countries that cannot obtain enough credit for a loan. Micro-finance is a way to assist sustainable development. The owners of these loans use the money awarded to them to expand their businesses, invest in better technologies for their farms or improve their houses.

Recently, SEG received federal non-profit status and as a result has gained status as a Non-Governmental Organization. This is an incredible accomplishment, considering the fact that SEG came from such humble beginnings—a student’s Wells Fargo bank account. SEG grew in numbers, in terms of both student involvement and money, and in two short years gained status as an international NGO. Not only is SEG one of the first college groups in the nation to create a fund to make micro-finance loans, but it is also one of the first to receive status as a non-profit organization. The fact that such a group within a small institution and with such limited resources has achieved this status is stunning.

Though we may be having difficulty on campus initiating a tranquil community, it is nice to know that other organizations outside of the Grinnell bubble continue to promote peace by creating partnerships with community-based entrepreneurial organizations and making differences in in Third World countries. Giving the underprivileged opportunities to build a better life for themselves and their families is always a plus in our eyes.

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