Student entrepreneurs could potentially receive mirco-loans through the UW-Whitewater Student Chamber of Commerce.
Sophomore Dan Fink, the co-founder of the chamber, said micro-loans are usually used for the initial costs associated with starting a business, such as inventory, supplies or machinery.
According to entrepreneurship.com, micro-loans can be used for furniture, equipment, machinery, inventory, supplies and working capital, but can not be used to pay existing debts. Micro-loans are usually administered though private organizations, entrepreneurship.com stated.
The loans vary in size depending on what the business offers and what the student needs.
Fink said when the bank evaluates a candidate for a loan, they look at their credit score, assets and collateral that can be used.
“For most student, they have not established credit yet and they don’t have enough collateral,” Fink said. “They are starting out at the very foundation.”
Senior Justin Murphy is the chair of the chamber. Murphy said the micro-loans will help student entrepreneurs who need funding to start their business. The micro-loans will assist students with growing their businesses ideas while they are in college, as opposed to afterward, Murphy said.
Fink said money for the loans will come from donations received from alumni, local businesses and membership dues.
Murphy said the chamber is seeking entrepreneurs who have a solid business plan and have a plan to grow their business in the future. Currently, the chamber is considering writing legislation that will address the micro-loan process.
“[Student entrepreneurs] will apply through the chamber and will have criteria they have to follow through,” Murphy said.
The business or student entrepreneur will have to apply through the chamber, and then they will have an interview with the chamber. The chamber then decides to approve or not approve them for the loan. If they receive the loan, a payment plan will be determined.
Fink said the goal of the program is to help as many student entrepreneurs as possible.
“What is great about micro-loans is that they are self-sustaining,” Fink said. “Every year we are going to receive more membership dues and donations as well as the loans with the interest paid on them.”
This allows the chamber to continually invest in more student entrepreneurs and other members including: local businesses, faculty, and alumni.
Murphy said the micro-loans will improve the community, since student entrepreneurs will be able to establish their business in the Whitewater area.
“It will help the campus because high school students will think of Whitewater as the place to go for entrepreneurship,” Murphy said.
What is the SCC
The chamber makes it possible for small businesses to advertise on campus. The chamber was made possible by the Whitewater Student Government and the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization.
To apply for membership, a business must provide articles of incorporation and a letter of intent. Businesses must pay a fee of $150 or more to join the chamber.
Membership allows businesses to advertise monthly in the University Center and other campus resources. Students pay a $50 fee to join the chamber.
“Our slogan ‘The intersection of university and community’ really explains and defines what the SCC is all about, because without the SCC, community businesses in the area would not be able to advertise on campus, reaching at least 10,000 students,” Fink said.
Murphy said the chamber’s focus is to promote student entrepreneurship and help community businesses.
“The overall goal is to connect the community and the university,” Murphy said.
This is the first student chamber of commerce in the state of the Wisconsin, Fink said.
“What we want to do is create a good model for other universities to adopt, and help other universities create a student chamber of commerce as well,” Fink said.
What are micro-loans?
A loan used for furniture, equipment, machinery, inventroy, supplies and working capital, but can not used to pay existing debts. These loans are usually administered through private organizations.
Range of Funds:
No less than $100 and no more than $35,000 is distributed in a micro-loan.
* The average micro-loan is $10,500.
What are micro-loans used for?
Micro-loans are usually used for startup businesses and entrepreneurs.
All information recieved from http://www.entrepreneurship.com