The St. John’s University Tobin College of Business hosted an information session on Monday, Oct. 12 over the GLOBE program in order to increase awareness of the program as well as encourage application to it. Hosted by Dr. Linda Sama, the founder and current teacher of GLOBE, the session shared information on what the program is, what the application process entails, and the benefits the class has, both personally and professionally.
GLOBE, the acronym standing for the Global Loan Opportunities for Budding Entrepreneurs, was created in 2009, and is a 3 credit course offered through the Tobin College of Business, open to all qualifying juniors and seniors. It is a student-managed program which introduces the field of microfinance, or the category of financial services targeted at smaller businesses, while, according to their page on the St. John’s website, “helping the poorest of the poor help themselves and their families out of poverty.”
Acting as a social business, the program provides loans to entrepreneurs, mostly women, in developing – and most often, impoverished – areas, in countries such as Vietnam, the Republic of the Congo and Nicaragua, the loans allow them to get themselves and their family out of poverty.
The attendees to the session were a combination of students who were currently enrolled in GLOBE and students interested in being part of next semester’s class. Dr. Sama allowed each of the current members of GLOBE who attended, to give some reasons why they joined and what they have gained from being a part of the program. Though the answers slightly varied for each individual, most of the members discussed how it was great to be able to personally help others and be a part of something that was impacting the world, one sharing that she loved simply giving a “helping hand.”
At the information session, Dr. Sama shared in more detail what the roles of the students are in the loan process, making it clear the effort necessary, stating that is “quite a bit of work.” After their partners, the Daughters of Charity, find possible entrepreneurs who need loans, it is the students who vet the loan applications, track the money, fundraise (which is especially important because the entire program is run through donations), market the program, and measure the success of the program. The role of the students is summarized through one of their slogans, found on their websites and flyers:
“GLOBE – students changing the world, one loan at a time!”
For anyone interested or has any questions, Dr. Lima Sama and the GLOBE program will be hosting another information session on Monday, Nov. 4.