Social Innovation Microlending Program

The Social Innovation Microlending Program provides an opportunity for alum and college student social entrepreneurs to obtain a loan to start a social venture.

Eligible individuals are either:

Are you ready to bring about social change? Do you have a social venture in need of additional capital? If so, then apply for a loan—up to $50,000—through the Social Innovation Microlending Program.


Remember, the Social Innovation Microlending Program is open to any alum of a Campus Compact partner institution who currently resides in Indiana or anystudent (undergraduate through doctoral) currently enrolled at an Indiana Campus Compact partner institution.

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. This is a loan program, NOT a grant program. Individuals meeting loan requirements and receiving funds will have to repay Bankable (the loan provider).
  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 will provide consultation and professional developmentfor funded social entrepreneurs through events and partnerships with other organizations.

For more information about how you can get financial support to implement your solution to a societal issue, contact Summer Webb, Director of Grants 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 also 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 if a loan recipient defaults. Loans will be distributed by Bankable, on behalf of the Small Business Administration.

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 resources, incubators and other social entrepreneurs who can share their story and insights.

Q: What support can I expect from Bankable??

A: Bankable is the second leading Small Business Administration (SBA) microlender in the nation and the largest SBA Community Advantage lender in Indiana. The staff at Bankable provide both business mentoring and technical services throughout the process helping borrowers with everything from consulting, website and logo design, marketing materials and blogs, to business analysis and growth plans. Bankable works with borrowers on average once a month (as needed) to ensure success.

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 6-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.

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

Interested in the Social Innovation Microlending Program? 

Download the Application


Process for submitting:

  • Applications will only be accepted for review when submitted as a single PDF document.
  • Applications must be submitted via email in accordance with the instructions detailed in the application.
  • Submitting your application is only step one of a three step process.
  • All applications will be reviewed by an advisory committee. This is an 6-week 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.

For more information on the application process or to discuss the Social Innovation Microlending Program further, contact Summer Webb, Director of Grants and Operations, at summer {at} incampuscompact(.)org or 317-274-6500.


Let’s talk Social Innovation: Compact Nation Podcast #10 with Marina Kim, executive director and co-founder of Ashoka U. LISTEN NOW

In this episode of #CompactNationPod, Andrew Seligsohn and Marina Kim, executive director of Ashoka U, discuss social innovation. 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 change-makers.

We also explore the transition from social entrepreneurship to social innovation, and how that change has expanded the roles students can play in contributing to social impact. Listen now and weigh in on the conversation online using #CompactNationPod!

Veronika Scott, 2015 Service Engagement Summit keynote, founder and CEO of the Empowerment Plan is a great source of inspiration for students aspiring to be social entrepreneurs. Veronika was inspired to start The Empowerment Plan when a class at The College for Creative Studies in Detroit challenged her to create a product to fill an actual need in her community. Veronika took to the issue of homelessness and began spending time at a nearby warming center where the design for the EMPWR coat was born. While conducting her research, Veronika was angrily confronted by a homeless woman who stated that she did not need a coat—she needed a job. This is the moment that shaped the innovative business practices The Empowerment Plan would adopt upon establishment.

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.”

Ashoka is an international organization the promotes social entrepreneurship. The mission of Ashoka is “to shape a global, entrepreneurial, competitive citizen sector: one that allows social entrepreneurs to thrive and enables the world’s citizens to think and act as changemakers.” Each year Ashoka engages a network of social entrepreneurs, dubbed the Ashoka Fellows, who are working towards creating new solutions and championing new ideas that will transform systems throughout society. Ashoka Fellows represent entrepreneurs from countries across the globe. Learn More about the 2016 Ashoka Fellows

Ashoka U, an initiative of Ashoka, works with colleges and universities across the world to foster a campus-wide culture of social innovation. Ashoka U works in partnership with other higher education organizations, such as Campus Compact (see the #CompactNation podcast episode featured above) and AAC&U (see the Summer 2016 Vol. 19 No. 3 issue of Diversity & Democracy featured on the Resources tab), to help foster this culture. They also offer the following Student Resources:

  • The Campus Starter Kit – a toolkit designed to help campus leaders build hubs of social innovation.
  • The Ashoka U Social Change DIY event kit – resources to inspire students on your campus around social entrepreneurship and social innovation.
  • The Changemaking 101: A Student Guide to Social Entrepreneurship – a comprehensive guide introducing students to social entrepreneurship.

Shifting Philanthropy From Charity to Justice –

Dorian O. Burton (@Dorian_Burton) is the assistant executive director and chief program officer at the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust. He is also co-founder of TandemED. Burton holds a Doctorate degree from Harvard University, where he is also an affliate of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School.


Brian C.B. Barnes, (@BCBBarnes) is the chief community officer at the Tennessee Achievement School District and is co-founder of TandemED. Barnes holds a Doctorate degree from Harvard University, where he is also an affliate of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School.

The Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) works to inform and inspire social change leaders from around the world. They offer a variety of resources on a broad range of topics. The SSIR is published by the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society at Stanford University.

To better understand the “what and why” of social innovation, social entrepreneurship, and changemaking and how it intersects with higher education, we have gathered the following articles, resources, videos and podcasts.


When looking up the definition of “social entrepreneur” or “social entrepreneurship” one can find a wide variety of definitions and organizations that are developing resources to support individuals and companies. In 2012 Samer Abu-Saifan compiled seven of the most common definitions for social entrepreneur and/or social entrepreneurship in his article Social Entrepreneurship: Definition and Boundaries. 

Social Entrepreneurship

A market-based, usually sustainable methodology to create social value at the systems-change level.

Social Entrepreneur

As outlined by Reem Rahman, Kris Herbst and Patrice Mobley in More Than Simply “Doing Good”: A Definition of Changemaker, a social entrepreneur is a type of changemaker who creates widespread impact by being focussed on systems change. Every social entrepreneur is highly skilled at collaboration, and is often focused on equipping others to thrive and collaborate in solving social problems (i.e. to be changemakers).

Social Innovation

Ashoka U poses the following as their working definition as a way to understand social innovation.

Methodology to create social value and potentially economic value at the systems-change level, which addresses the root cause of a problem. It includes new strategies, concepts, ideas and organizations that address social needs of all kinds – from working conditions and education to community development and health.

James A. Phills, Jr., Kriss Deiglmeier, and Dale T. Miller define it as “A novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than existing solutions and for which the value created accrues primarily to society as a whole rather than private individuals,” in their 2008 article Rediscovering Social Innovation.


What is Social Entrepreneurship? Social Innovation? Changemaking?

How does Social Innovation intersect with Higher Education?

Dr. Sandra Enos, Associate Professor of Sociology at Bryant University and Campus Compact Scholar-in-Residence in 2015. Dr. Enos is a national expert in community-based learning and social entrepreneurship, and has published a number of articles and a recent book, Service-Learning and Social Entrepreneurship: A Pedagogy of Social Change (2015, Palgrave MacMillan) on the topic.




Diversity & Democracy Special Issue – Summer 2016 Vol. 19 No. 3 Social Innovation and Civic EngagementThe Association of American Colleges & Universities’ (AACU) Summer 2016 issue of their Diversity & Democracy publication was devoted to intersection of social innovation and civic engagement and how college and universities are connecting these two areas of work.




Marina Kim, executive director and co-founder of Ashoka U, and Erin Krampetz contextualize social innovation within higher education in their article The Rise of the Sophisticated Changemaker by outlining the following concepts:

  • Systems Thinking: To identify new ways of addressing complex problems, social innovators need to understand how elements within a system are connected. Systems thinking requires mapping the stakeholders involved, understanding how incentives are aligned, and identifying root causes in order to propose interventions for systemic transformation.
  • Solutions: While it is always important to understand problems—and existing approaches—before offering solutions, change efforts too often stop at the research phase. Social innovators give themselves permission to relentlessly learn, adapt, find, and implement solutions.
  • Innovation: While many social change models and strategies exist, new and creative approaches are sometimes needed in order to address intractable problems. Assessment of whether a new approach is more effective or more efficient than pre-existing solutions is necessary in order to justify pursuing an innovation over existing alternatives.
  • Scale: Social innovation models typically have relevance beyond one particular situation (e.g., a school) and can be applied at a systems level (e.g., to an entire school system). Yet innovations that occur at scale can offer both breadth (affecting a significant number of people) and depth (transforming relationships, structures, and systems in a particular place).
  • Financial Sustainability: Social innovation aims for a triple bottom line of economic, social, and ecological value. Achieving this bottom line requires securing and aligning resources of all kinds, combining private, public, and philanthropic support with income generation to ensure ongoing sustainability.
  • Impact Measurement and Assessment: When trying to use resources wisely and deliver results, learning what works and what does not work is of utmost importance. For example, formative and summative assessments offer critical information to guide continuous feedback and improvement.
  • Collective Impact: The most difficult and important problems cannot be understood, let alone solved, without involving multiple sectors (nonprofit, public, and private) and diverse stakeholder perspectives. Social innovation encourages collaboration across organizations in order to use resources effectively and efficiently, and to achieve significant lasting social change.