Global Brigades’ mission is particularly crucial in rural Honduran communities, where there are few opportunities for residents to gain any formal business or financial training. Microfinance Brigade members are highly motivated to change this, providing community members with the fundamental knowledge base required to allow them to pursue their own financial ambitions though a series of community workshops that cover basic concepts such as savings, interest, and personal financial management. At the end of the week-long trip, each student has the opportunity make a lasting positive impact by investing a portion of their program fee to sponsor loans to the community in general or an individual Honduran entrepreneur with an especially exciting business idea.
McLain, Endeavor’s CEO, is particularly enthusiastic to help undergraduate students participate in this program, which will not only empower underprivileged communities but also serve as a valuable experience for the students’ professional development. As a graduate from the College of Charleston, McLain holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a minor in Economics, as well as a bachelor’s in biology. He also studied Mandarin Chinese and Japanese, and currently serves on the School of Business’s Board of Governors. After being approached by a reluctant member of the CofC faculty, it was McLain who enthusiastically decided to utilize the Delta Airlines frequent flyer mileage accrued through Endeavor’s corporate American Express account to purchase plane tickets for a number of the participating students.
“The College of Charleston Microfinance Brigade provides a life-changing experience for both the students involved and the fledgling entrepreneurs in these poor countries. Opportunities afforded by just a single trip can forever influence the career of a young business person and the lives of generations in these villages,” says McLain. “I can think of no better application of Endeavor's award program."
If you are interested in making a donation to support the College of Charleston Microfinance Brigades team, visit their group page at http://www.empowered.org/
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