Palmer Center to Launch Microfinance Program

August 31, 2010  | 1 min read

Pepperdine's Geoffrey H. Palmer Center for Entrepreneurship and the Law has partnered with the Los Angeles Union Rescue Mission to launch the Palmer Center Microfinance Program.

The program will provide microenterprise training and microloans to impoverished individuals in downtown Los Angeles. The pilot group will consist of five to 10 residents of the Union Rescue Mission. Prior to loan disbursement, the prospective borrowers will participate in a 12-week training session taught by Palmer Center faculty. The sessions will teach the basic principles of financial management, business planning, and accountability.

Students from the law school will participate as Teaching Fellows for the instructional components of the program and also serve as coaches for individual borrowers throughout the duration of the program. Loans will be funded by community members through a Web site, where borrowers' profiles and business plans will be posted for review by potential lenders. Borrowers will have 12 months within which to repay the loan.

"The Geoffrey H. Palmer Center for Entrepreneurship and the Law proves that innovation, leadership, ethics, social responsibility, and entrepreneurship can go hand in hand," says Janet Kerr, professor of law and executive director of the Palmer Center. "This unique business model offered by an ABA-accredited law school remains ahead of the curve."