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Citi Foundation Funds Interns For 20 Microenterprise Organizations

For the second year in a row, the Citi Foundation is funding summer interns to work with 20 organizations across the country that help entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Known as the "Citi Microenterprise Researchers Program," the interns will help collect data on clients, while also learning about the microenterprise development field, which supports budding entrepreneurs by providing capital and/or training.

Each organization will recruit and hire a graduate student for the internship, which will pay a $7,000 stipend.

As part of the $280,000 program, Citi Foundation also is funding FIELD, the microenterprise Fund for Innovation, Effectiveness, Learning and Dissemination, a research group housed at the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C., to manage the project and train the interns in data collection methods.

Microenterprises are defined as very small businesses capitalized with $35,000 or less and employing five or fewer people. Currently, there are approximately 500 organizations nationwide engaged in the microenterprise field.

The internship program was designed to help these organizations collect extensive data on their clients that can be used to improve or identify gaps in services, fund-raise or advocate for entrepreneurship. The internships also are a way to introduce college students to the microenterprise field and help create the next generation of industry leaders.

FIELD selected the 20 organizations through a competitive application process. The organizations and their locations are:

ACCION New York, New York, N.Y.
ACCION San Diego, San Diego, Calif.
ACCION USA, Boston, Mass.
(Business Investment Growth) BiGAUSTIN, Austin, Texas
Community First Fund, Lancaster, Penn.
Justine Petersen Housing and Reinvestment Corporation, St. Louis, Mo.
Latino Economic Development Corporation, Washington, D.C.
Lenders for Community Development, San Jose, Calif.
Mercy Corps Northwest, Portland, Ore.
Micro Business Development Corporation, Denver, Colo.
Mountain BizWorks, Asheville, N.C.
Nebraska Microenterprise Partnership Fund, Oakland, Neb.
Philadelphia Development Partnership, Philadelphia, Pa.
Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, San Francisco, Calif.
Utah Microenterprise Loan Fund, Salt Lake City, Utah
Washington Community Alliance for Self-Help (CASH), Seattle, Wash.
Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation, Milwaukee, Wis.
Women’s Economic Ventures, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Women’s Initiative, San Francisco, Calif.
Women’s Opportunities Resource Center, Philadelphia, Pa.

Written by John-Paul Maxfield

John-Paul Maxfield is the founder of Waste Farmers. Waste Farmers is a next generation sustainable agricultural company focused on helping humanity meet current and future food demands, while decreasing agriculture’s environmental footprint. The Company started in 2009 with $9,000 and a belief that idealism and capitalism can coexist. Today Waste Farmers has evolved into an innovator respected by leaders in the global community for developing simple solutions to the complex problems of modern agriculture and food security. Prior to starting Waste Farmers, John-Paul founded the "The Inspired Economist", a blog focused on covering the people, places, ideas, and technologies inspiring positive change and redefining capitalism.
In addition, John-Paul served as an Associate a private equity group specializing in small to mid cap service companies. In this capacity he focused on planning, forecasting, budgeting, and performance evaluation of MBH and its designated subsidiaries. Prior to joining MBH, John-Paul was an Analyst with Alvarez and Marsal where he spent the majority of his time on a team that aided Louisiana’s Recovery School District with the restoration of public schools post Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

John-Paul is active in the Colorado community, serving on the Board of the Rocky Mountain MS Center. In 2007 he was selected as one of the “Fifty for the Future” by the Colorado Statesman and is a graduate of the inaugural class of Impact Denver. John-Paul holds a BA from the University of Colorado.

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