Just days after arriving on campus after the winter break, members of Hamilton Microfinance (HMF) met with Tom Owens, CEO and president of ACCESS Federal Credit Union, to evaluate the club’s first loan application of 2016. After reviewing the application, the group voted unanimously to provide a $2,500 loan to Rudy (for Rudy's privacy, the club is not disclosing his last name), who plans to use the funds to buy machinery for his farm.

Rudy is a member of the large Amish community in Oriskany Falls, N.Y. He is a farmer who is using the loan to purchase an Amish Cat Claw Sharpener and Cat Claw Dual Tooth Setter. These tools are designed to realign and sharpen the blades of his sawmill. With help from HMF, he was able to take advantage of the limited time $1,000 discount on the equipment.

A few days prior to voting on the loan award, Lisa Yang ’17 and Flavia Oliveira ’16, president and executive board member of HMF, toured Rudy’s farm in Oriskany Falls and met his family on January 22.

In the last several years, HMF has given several loans to local small business owners and has raised several thousand dollars through on-campus fundraisers such as their popular Date Auction and Giant Pumpkin Challenge. In November, five members of the organization attended the Lend for America (LFA) Summit at Georgetown University, to learn new skills, network with like-minded students and professionals, and share their work with the microfinance community.

HMF thanks Tom Owens and ACCESS Federal Credit Union for their support and facilitation of the loan process. Reviewing loan applications is the most educational and interesting part of the club activities for many members. In addition, HMF would like to thank members of the extended Hamilton Community for their support and donations in making the loans possible.

To learn more about Hamilton Microfinance, please contact micro@hamilton.edu.

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