Social Innovation Microlending Program

Supporting innovative solutions for social change.

Are you a social entrepreneur who has the passion and drive to create change and solve a societal issue? Do you have a social venture in need of capital? Are you prepared to enhance society’s capacity to act on social issues?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, Indiana Campus Compact may be able to help you along your journey to successful social innovation.

The Social Innovation Microlending Program provides an opportunity to alums and students to obtain capital for their social venture. In addition, this program provides entrepreneurs with consultation, resources, and professional development through our events, programs, and partnerships with local community organizations.

Eligible Individuals include:

This program is made possible by a partnership between Bankable (on behalf of the Indiana Small Business Administration) and Indiana Campus Compact.

Items of note:

  1. The Social Innovation Microlending Program is a loan program, and as such, individuals receiving funds from Bankable will have to repay the loan.
  2. Loan amounts vary from $500 to $50,000 (a typical loan amount will range from $5,000 to $10,000).
  3. Indiana Campus Compact is not the loan provider and does not monitor loan payments or defaults. The organization is not responsible for any damages that may occur to due loan financing.

For more information about how you can get financial support to implement your solution to a societal issue, contact Summer Webb, Director of Finance and Operations at summer {at} incampuscompact(.)org or 317-274-6500.

Q: Am I eligible to apply for this loan opportunity?

A: Any alum of a current Campus Compact partner institution who currently resides in Indiana is eligible to apply. Click HERE to view a full list of partner institutions. Additionally, any student (undergraduate through doctoral; full-time or part-time) currently enrolled at any Indiana Campus Compact partner institution is eligible to apply for funding. Click HERE to view the list of partner institutions. 

Q: Is this a grant or a loan?

A: This is a loan program, NOT a grant program. If an applicant meets the requirements to receive a loan, the money will be distributed by Bankable (the loan provider), on behalf of the Small Business Administration, and will be paid back to the Bankable in accordance with the agreed upon terms.

Q: How much are the loan amounts?

A: Loan amounts range from $500 to $50,000. Typical loan amounts are between $5,000 to $10,000. See the loan application for more details.

Q: Is Indiana Campus Compact providing the funds for the loan?

A: Indiana Campus Compact is NOT the loan provider and is not responsible for monitoring payments or defaults. In addition, Indiana Campus Compact is not responsible for any damages that may result from loan financing.

Q: What support will Indiana Campus Compact provide?

A: Indiana Campus Compact will provide consultation, resources, and professional development for loan recipients through events and partnerships with other organizations. These may include special programming at Indiana Campus Compact events, and connections to local resource incubators and other social entrepreneurs who can share their story and insights.

Q: What support can I expect from Bankable??

A: Bankable seeks to create opportunities for entrepreneurs in Indiana by providing capital and resources to build a healthy small business. Bankable will work you, at any stage of the business, to provide additional resources that help you make sound business decisions. This funding is the stepping stone you need to ensure you credit, financial standing, and business know-how are where they need to be to secure traditional funding. Bankable is the top SBA microlender in Indiana, with over 23 million dollars allocated to more than 700 loans. In addition, Bankable is an SBA Community Advantage Leader and CDFI.

Q: How long is the loan application review process?

A: All initial loan applications submitted to Indiana Campus Compact will be reviewed by an advisory committee. This review process will take six weeks, at which time applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision.

Applicants who have successfully passed the committee review process will be directly contacted by Bankable in order to complete steps two and three (step two: application submission to Bankable; step three: secure collateral, process payments, and manage collections) of the application process. In addition, Indiana Campus Compact will provide the applicant with any feedback the committee had.

Interested in the Social Innovation Microlending Program? 

Apply Today!

Application Process:

    • Applicants who have successfully passed the committee review process will be contacted directly by Bankable in order to complete steps two and three of the application process. In addition, Indiana Campus Compact will provide any feedback the committee provided.
    • You will have the opportunity to make changes to your application or financial information and re-submit to Indiana Campus Compact should the committee provide suggestions for strengthening your application.

Please note:

This application is step one of a three step process. Steps two and three (step two: application submission to Bankable; step three: secure collateral, process payments, and manage collections) are handled through our partner Bankable.

4 Myths That Keep Students From Becoming Social Entrepreneurs – From Ashoka via Forbes.

  1. “No one will take me seriously because I’m just a college student.”
  2. “To make a difference, I have to do work in a remote, developing country.”
  3. “I have to raise a lot of money before getting any real work done.”
  4. “People in my community will be suspicious of my work because I’ve only lived here for a couple of years.”

 

The Empowerment Plan, Veronika Scott. Inspired by her course at The College for Creative Studies, Veronika set out to address the homeless population in her community. The solution initially took shape as a coat – a coat that could be used as a sleeping bag and carried as a backpack while not in use. It wasn’t until Veronika was approached by a woman stating that she did not want a coat, she wanted a job, that the potential of her project was realized. That moment is what shaped the Empowerment Plan into an organization that is committed to hiring parents from homeless shelters to manufacture the coats in efforts to break the cycle of poverty.

 

To date, the Empowerment Plan has become an internationally recognized workforce development organization. By paring full-time employment with a wide range of supportive service, they have helped dozens of individuals achieve financial stability and independence to support their family. This program serves as the stepping stone to move beyond homelessness. Not a single employee has returned to homelessness since the inception of the program. Visit https://www.empowermentplan.org/ to learn more.

 

WellBuilt Bikes. As a non-profit bike shop in Tampa, Florida, WellBuilt Bikes sells refurbished bikes at affordable prices and invests the revenue to their Earn-A-Bike Program. This program, inspired by the lack of access to reliable transpiration for the low income and homeless populations, provides those individuals the opportunity to ownership of a bicycle. Bicycle ownership is a vital took that serves as the bridge to independence, employment, community-involvement, and physical health for the less fortunate.

 

The Earn-A-Bike program provides individuals the opportunity to use the drop-in center to build their own bikes for free, regardless of your income level. This access to transportation allows individuals the ability to access employment, community happenings, appointments, and many more things! WellBuilt Bikes offers public work stations for access to tool for bike repairs, repair services, and free workshops on bicycle repair and safety. Visit https://www.bikeshoptampa.com/ for more information.

 

Better World Books, Xavier Helgesen, Chris Fuchs, and Jeff Kurtzman. Inspired by piles of textbooks on their floor when they were looking for work after graduation, these three friends with degrees in engineering and I.T. from University of Notre Dame set out to increase funding for the world of literacy, increase revenue for libraries, provide access to used books at an affordable price, and to provide those in need of books at no charge. To date, Better World Books has donated 26,502,000 books to those in need and kept 320,019,014 books out of the landfill by reselling and recycling books.

Each book purchase allows a book to be donated to someone in need in their Book for Book Program. Donated books go through hundreds of non-profit organizations to supply in need population the access and resources to books. Visit https://about.betterworldbooks.com/ to learn more.

Defining the Terms

It is all too easy to get the phrases social innovation, social ventures, social entrepreneurship, and changemakers mixed up and how the differ from one another. You can find scores of definitions when you look up any of these words, so how do you know which one to use? Below, you will find summaries of multiple definitions for the terms of our program.

  • Social Innovation. While you will find a multitude of definitions for what social innovation is and what it should look like, we can summarize the definition broadly for the purpose of this program: Solutions, either new or revised, that solve or challenge a social problem leading to social change and progress. Essentially, it is the IDEA of the product, service, or method that will create change.

Resources for this summarized definition:

Young Foundation, TEPSI

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Ashoka

Medium

  • Social Entrepreneur. Broadly summarized, a social entrepreneur, or a changemaker, is an individual who creates widespread impact focused on system change in the social sector. Essentially, it is the individual who has the idea and is implementing the idea.

Resources for this summarized definition:

Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Ashoka

Medium

  • Social Entrepreneurship. One can find a vast variety of definitions when you search for social entrepreneur or social entrepreneurship. Many organizations are developing new definitions daily in effort to help other understand what social entrepreneurship means. In his article, Social Entrepreneurship: Definition and Boundaries, Samer Abu-Saifran proposes the definition for social entrepreneurship as a set behavior that social entrepreneurs use to deliver social value. These behaviors consist of being mission-driven, acting entrepreneurially, possessing a strong culture of innovation and openness, and planning for earned-income. Essentially, social entrepreneurship is created when the social entrepreneur takes action based on their mindset/behaviors.

Resources for this summarized definition:

Medium

Technology Innovation Management Review

  • Social Venture. Often referred to as a social business venture, a social venture is a formal undertaking of an organization established by the social entrepreneur that provides systematic solutions which achieve sustainable social objectives. Essentially, it is the business that implements the social innovation.

Although a social venture can take many forms (non-profit, for profit, B Corporation, Hybrid, etc.), the social goals are embedded in the organization from the beginning. Social ventures can and should gain a profit, however, the distinguishing characteristic is that most of those profits are then used to sustain that, or another, social benefit.

Resources for this summarized definition:

Cause Capitalism Good for Profit

Tomorrow Toolkit for Entrepreneurs

OTHER RESOURCES

As with definitions, there is a wealth of resources for individuals looking at starting a social venture  We want you to be successful!  Below are some resources that will help keep you on track.

  • Stanford Social Innovation Review. The Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) is an award-winning magazine and website that covers cross-sector solutions to global problems.SSIR is written by and for social change leaders from around the world and from all sectors of society—nonprofits, foundations, business, government, and engaged citizens. SSIR’s mission is to advance, educate, and inspire the field of social innovation by seeking out, cultivating, and disseminating the best in research-and practice-based knowledge.
  • Skoll Foundation. The Skoll Foundation drives large-scale change by investing in, connecting, and celebrating social entrepreneurs and the innovators who help them solve the world’s most pressing problems. Their mission to drive truly transformative change is accomplished by supporting the social entrepreneurs who create models for change and identifying people and programs already bringing positive changes and empowering to the extend their reach and deep their impact.
  • Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship supports the world’s leading social entrepreneurs in their efforts to create a more just, equitable, and sustainable world. The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship works in partnership with the World Economic Forum.
  • Ashoka Changemakers. An Ashoka program, the Ashoka Changemakers builds global movement where anyone, anywhere can take action to solve a social problem. Ashoka Changemakers creates opportunities for companies, foundations, and impact-sector organizations to co-create large-scale social change. We work together as collaborators to ignite communities focused on solving our world’s most pressing problems.
  • Ashoka U. An Ashoka program, Ashoka U works with colleges and universities across the world to foster a campus-wide culture of social innovation. Since 2008, they have enabled the implantation of changemakers for over 500 universities across 50 countries. Ashoka U works in partnership with other higher education organizations to foster social innovation and changemaking.
  • Compact Nation Podcast. Let’s talk Social Innovation, Episode # 10 with Marina Kim, Executive Director of Ashoka U. Kim explains how Ashoka U has worked to make sure students learn about social change in order to participate in the social innovation process and contribute as changemakers. LISTEN NOW

Recommending Readings

Defining Social Innovation, Social Entrepreneurship, Changemaking

Social Innovation and Higher Education

Scaling your Venture

General