MOre to Explore: Finance

DIGITIZING A SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION LOAN PROGRAM

Client
GUIDEHOUSE
Faculty
Michael Dardia
Team
Jungeun Chloe Cha, Nadine Fouad, Olvy Nunez Cruz

Guidehouse is a global consultancy that serves as a Central Servicing Agency for US Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs. Guidehouse engaged a team to analyze the SBA 504 Loan Program, which provides financial assistance to small businesses for major fixed assets that promote business growth and job creation. The team assessed the digital maturity of the program’s end-to-end lifecycle, identified digital gaps, examined the impact of COVID-19 on loan applications, and conducted interviews with stakeholders. It identified benchmarks by comparing the SBA 504 loan process to conventional mortgage loans with advanced digital processes. The team adopted best practices from its research to create a set of recommendations for digitizing the SBA 504 loan program.

Areas Of Impact
Capstone Year

LAUNCHING A GLOBAL YOUTH GRANTMAKING PROGRAM

Client
GLOBAL OPPORTUNITY YOUTH NETWORK
Faculty
Mo Coffey
Team
Deirdre Dolan, Tasia Hawkins, Emmily Kissa, Lusine Muradyan

In 2020, the Global Opportunity Youth Network (GOYN) partnered with the Aspen Institute to launch the Youth Innovation Fund, which provides micro-grants to youth addressing challenges in their local communities related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Youth Innovation Fund is a new program that lacks rigorous internal protocols and processes for its grant application process. GOYN engaged a team to establish best practices for program management and create a grantee application and evaluation process. The team compiled relevant research on engaging youth around SDGs, identified best practices for establishing youth grant funds, and developed an application and selection framework to guide GOYN in selecting diverse and influential grantees.

Capstone Year

SOLVING ECONOMIC INEQUALITY THROUGH PERSONAL LOAN ACCESS

Client
LENTILS
Faculty
Andy Moss
Team
Osa Aihie, Divya Jethwani, and Derrick Spencer

Black and indigenous people of color in the US have less access to low-interest loans, pay high interest on government-backed loans, and pay an average of twice as much as their white counterparts in bank fees. The Lentils team has designed an initiative that employs long-term capital through public and private means to provide low-interest loans and free checking accounts. The team interviewed individuals and business owners to better understand loan barriers, and conducted a comparative analysis of loans by type, region, interest rate, and qualifications. It created a database to help increase seed funding for minority-owned businesses by 8 percent and decrease the average interest rate for personal borrowers in Central Brooklyn by at least 3 percent. The team’s long term goals are to reduce the interest divide by at least 50 percent and restore long-term wealth-building.

Capstone Year