Student-led Microenterprise

Understanding the Role of Student-led Microenterprise


Over the last few years, university student-run microenterprise organizations have emerged, offering direct services (both training and financing) to small business owners in their local communities. FIELD has closely followed the development of this emerging movement and created resources for student groups looking to build capacity to serve microentrepreneurs. Two studies explore the evolution of the movement, the range of organizations represented (from academic programs to professional nonprofits), their strengths and challenges, as well as their potential impact on the field. Read more about what we’ve learned below.

White Papers


Catching Fire: The University Microenterprise Movement in 2012



Scale and Sustainability among Student-run Microfinance Organizations




The following publications are written for student groups, but can also be useful for startup and small scale microenterprise organizations looking to improve their marketing and data collections practices:


Marketing for Micro 101: Lessons from around the U.S.

Data that Works

The Campus Microfinance Alliance


FIELD helped convene the first conference of student microenterprise groups in the fall of 2009. Subsequently, a collaborative of those student groups formed the Campus Microfinance Alliance (MFI). Campus MFI continues to host an annual conference, in addition to providing assistance to startup and existing student groups throughout the country. In an effort to catalyze support for emerging campus-based organizations, Campus MFI launched its Lend for America initiative, which features a summer internship for university students committed to starting a new campus-based microenterprise initiative.

2012 Lend for America Interns