As a loan officer for CEF, Ben and his partner, Santi Beltran, worked with one community member on her micro-loan. It was not always easy to contact their borrower. It requires a lot of patience to work with borrowers to understand the nature of micro-lending.
Like any true entrepreneur, Ben has had to face failure. Yet, like any true entrepreneur, he has turned it into success. As a result of their early experiences as loan officers for CEF, Ben and Santi were able to help CEF re-design the loan program so that microloans were disbursed only upon completion of a workshop series or a savings program. This example illustrates the entrepreneur's flexibility and ability to innovate in order to solve any problem. Failure with one approach inspires reflection that leads to discovery of a new approach.
What's next for Ben? Well, he's just secured a highly competitive Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship to expand CEF's work into the local Latino community.
I look forward to working with Ben on his project and will post updates here!