GLOBE, a student-managed academic program at St. John’s University, the Peter J. Tobin College of Business, provides loans to entrepreneurs in the developing world. Through GLOBE, students are educated about the world of microfinance while helping the poorest of the poor help themselves and their families out of poverty. Students, in describing their mission as part of GLOBE, say:
We are committed to building a global community (starting here at St. John's) that contributes to the goal of eradicating poverty within our lifetime.
STUDENTS manage all aspects of the program including vetting loan applications, marketing the program, tracking funds flows, fundraising, providing technology to the field, and measuring program success. Student management permits a low-cost administrative structure with very little overhead costs. This allows us to ensure that at least 95 cents of every donated dollar goes directly to our borrowers and related student fieldwork
COMMUNITIES include the developing nations where loans are destined, the University community in which the program is lodged, and civil society with whom we share common interests and values in creating positive and transformative change in the world.ENTREPRENEURS, many of them women, engage in micro-enterprises, the profits from which allow them to support their families and educate their children. Loan fees attached to the loan payback serve future borrower needs as well as local community needs such as books, clean water, and medical supplies. These loan fees, at 3%- 5% on a declining balance method, compare very favorably with other microfinance programs charging interest of anywhere between 18% and 35%, and sometimes more.
PARTNERS, the Daughters of Charity, act as field partners and identify worthy loan candidates, make recommendations, disseminate funds and collect loan repayments in an ongoing effort to reduce poverty and distress in the communities in which they work.
“GLOBE - students changing the world, one loan at a time!”
GLOBE aims to provide loans to struggling entrepreneurs and currently operates in seven countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Vietnam, Guatemala, and the Philippines. GLOBE also has connections with Daughters in many other countries.
For more information on the program or supporting GLOBE projects, please email [email protected].
Associate Dean for Global Initiatives
Center for Global Business Stewardship
The Peter J. Tobin College of Business, 3rd Floor, Room 327
St. John’s The Peter J. Tobin College of Business recently introduced a novel, student-run Global Microloan Program that actively engages students in international finance while fulfilling St. John’s Catholic and Vincentian mission of helping the poor and the marginalized. In the Vincentian tradition, the program, named GLOBE (Global Loan Opportunities for Budding Entrepreneurs) aims to help the poor help themselves by boosting the earning capacity of local entrepreneurs while also serving the needs of their local communities. It reflects the University’s long-standing commitment to globalization and student engagement.
Lending small amounts of money to entrepreneurs who do not have the necessary collateral required by traditional financial institutions to qualify for a loan has been increasingly embraced by the microfinance industry. Borrowers in the most under-resourced regions of the globe, most of whom are women, are carefully vetted and repayment terms typically vary from nine months to two years. Default rates on these loans tend to be low, averaging approximately three to four percent and a recent focus on measuring outcomes suggests that communities receiving microloans enjoy lower rates of extreme poverty and higher levels of education for the borrowers’ children.
The organization of GLOBE begins with a class of selected students who demonstrate a strong record of academic achievement, an understanding of the global business environment and an expressed interest in microfinance and social entrepreneurship. Relying heavily on the Web to source donations, the program combines St. John’s award-winning Information Technology capabilities with student talents in marketing, management and financial assessment. The Daughters of Charity serve as program field partners, coordinating the necessary distribution and collection of funds worldwide.
The program is based upon a division of labor between participating students and the Daughters of Charity and is designed to achieve effectiveness and minimize administrative and start-up fees.
With an established presence in 72 developing countries and familiarity with their local communities, the Daughters of Charity receive initial applications. They then communicate with and distribute funds to approved candidates and subsequently collect loan repayments. They monitor loan repayment and fees, and assist in assessing lending risk and evaluating business plans.
Students in the class, which runs every semester, work in task teams to manage the microloan fund, vet loan applications, maintain the website, market the program, communicate with stakeholders, and raise funds. Every loan presents a new learning opportunity for students about the microfinance industry and social entrepreneurship, the issues of poverty and social justice in the developing world, cultural differences that impact the way in which business operates globally, and the power that each individual has to make transformational changes in the world.
At least 95 cents of every donated dollar goes directly to our borrowers and related student fieldwork.
More about GLOBEArticles about Microfinance
Analysis of the Effects of Microfinance on Poverty Reduction (PDF)
Prepared by Jonathan Morduch and Barbara Haley
Can Microfinance Reduce Economic Insecurity and Poverty? By How Much and How?
By Nazrul IslamGetting Microfinance Right
By Michael ChuTiny Loans Have Big Impact on Poor
New York Times
By Saritha RaiSaving the World’s Women: How Changing the Lives of Women and Girls in the Developing World Can Change Everything
New York Times – Magazine Section, August 17 2009
By Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
What is microfinance?
“Microfinance offers poor people access to basic financial services such as loans, savings, money transfer services and microinsurance” (CGAP). Microfinance involves lending small amounts of money to people who do not have the necessary collateral to borrow funds from traditional financial institutions.What are the effects of microfinance?
Microfinance helps to meet basic needs while protecting against risks that poor households may face. Also, the majority of borrowers are women so microfinance supports the economic participation of women and promotes both gender equality and household well-being.What does GLOBE stand for?
GLOBE stands for GLOBAL LOAN OPPORTUNITIES FOR BUDDING ENTREPRENEURS.When was GLOBE founded?
The proposal for GLOBE was submitted in 2007 and after 18 months of hard work and partnerships developed with 10 Daughters of Charity in eight different countries: Bolivia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria, Thailand, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the program and associated course were officially launched in Spring 2009, with the first loans provided in late Fall 2009.
Who runs the GLOBE program?
GLOBE is a student-managed micro-loan program that engages students in international microfinance while fulfilling the St. John’s mission of helping the poor to help themselves. Participating students work with The Daughters of Charity as program field partners to supply, distribute, and collect funds in eight developing countries. GLOBE is governed by a Steering Committee chaired by the faculty instructor for the course (who also serves as the Program Director) and including members from across the University as well as advisors to the Tobin College of Business and a student representative. How do The Daughters of Charity work along with participating students?
The Daughters of Charity assist borrower candidates to complete the initial applications and then forward them along with their recommendations and comments to students and the GLOBE Steering Committee for vetting. Final loan approval and loan terms are made by the students with the approval of the Steering Committee. Once approved, the loan funds are wired to the field where the Daughters communicate with and distribute funds to approved candidates and subsequently collect loan repayments.Do the borrowers have to have a concrete business plan before GLOBE lends them money?
All GLOBE applicants must include on the loan application a description of the business purpose for which the loan is to be used, and for what the money lent will be spent. They also indicate whether the business is a new venture or an existing business that needs funds for expansion. What interest rate does GLOBE charge borrowers?
Loans are technically “interest-free”, however GLOBE charges a 3-5% rate, on a declining balance method, on all loans to help the borrower assume some of the responsibilities that are incumbent on any borrower in a microfinance context, albeit a very small fee in the case of GLOBE. These Loan fees, at 3-5%, compare very favorably with other microfinance programs charging interest of anywhere between 18% and 35%, and sometimes more. Having a 3-5% “interest” fee allows for the education of both our students and borrowers, in addition to providing a cushion against defaults.How much money does GLOBE typically lend to a borrower?
Most potential borrowers request a loan of anywhere between $60 and $900, depending on the nature of the business being funded. In 2011, GLOBE issued its first group loan in Vietnam. The $3000 loan allows four women to work together and mass produce dresses to sell at the supermarket. In the developing world, a small amount of money can go a long way to ease an entire family out of poverty.Why does GLOBE focus on the developing world?
The GLOBE program is aimed at the needs of the poor in the most under-resourced areas of the world. Academically, the program seeks to educate students about international issues related to microfinance, and serves to meet the global education vision of the University and the Tobin College of Business. While students learn, in the context of the course, about micro-loan programs in the U.S. including those operating right here in New York City, GLOBE’s resources do not permit including U.S. loans in its portfolio at this time given the larger amounts of money needed to fund start-ups in the developed world. How can I make a financial contribution to GLOBE?
Use the online giving page to make your gift. On the Designation category, select Tobin College of Business Global Microloan Program. Any questions please email [email protected].How much of my donation goes directly to the borrower?
At least 95 cents of every donated dollar goes directly to our borrowers and related student fieldwork.I am a student at St. John’s University. How can I be a part of the GLOBE program?
Undergraduate students with a GPA of 3.0 or better and with the appropriate pre-requisite for the course are invited to apply. Applications are received by the Program Director and interviews are scheduled with all candidates for a seat in the class for the upcoming semester. Classes run every Fall and Spring semester. Opportunities to expand the program to include a course at the Graduate level are under consideration. Further questions may be addressed to the Program Director at [email protected].
GLOBE Gazette December 2020 (PDF)
This semester, GLOBE Managers organized the program’s 11th GiveCampus; they wanted to focus the attention on the impact that the pandemic has had on people all over the world, including GLOBE’s borrowers.
GLOBE Gazette May 2020 (PDF)
Honoring the GLOBE Community: Overcoming Adversity During Difficult Times
GLOBE Gazette December 2019 (PDF)
GLOBE Managers organized the program’s 10th GiveCampus crowdfunding campaign and 1st QuadWrangle campaign, with the hashtag #GrowingWithGLOBE and a combined goal of raising $1,650. GLOBE Fellows traveled to Guatemala from May 22-25, 2019. The highlight of the GLOBE Fellows trip was the opportunity the Fellows and Dr. Sama had to meet prospective borrowers and talk with them about their business aspirations. By the time the trip was over, they had collected six new loan applications from women they had met during their time in Guatemala!
GLOBE Gazette May 2019 (PDF)
GLOBE Managers organized the program’s 9th GiveCampus crowdfunding campaign, with the hashtag #GLOBE4Women and the goal of raising $3,500.
GLOBE Gazette December 2018 (PDF)
GLOBE had the incredible honor of being this year’s Spirit of Service Award Recipient, demonstrating the impact that the program has had over the past 10 years of its existence. Dr. Linda M. Sama, who founded the program and launched it in Spring of 2009 accepted this award on behalf of GLOBE at this year’s Annual President’s Dinner, held on Friday, November 2, at the New York Hilton Midtown.
GLOBE Gazette May 2018 (PDF)
GLOBE organized its 7th GiveCampus crowdfunding campaign, #10moreyearsofGLOBE, with the goal of raising $1000. At the GLOBE Soirée, the Marketing and Fundraising team created a special QR code for invitees to scan and directly donate to the campaign.
GLOBE Gazette December 2017 (PDF)
Dr. Sama and the GLOBE Fellows visited the Nicaragua from May 21st to May 29th, 2017, hosted by the Daughters of Charity. The Fellows visited the cities of Managua, Matagalpa, Granada, and San Juan del Sur and visited Lake Managua, Mirador Laguna de Apoyo, Mombacho Volcano and Rainforest, and Masaya Volcano. Students also met with our Nicaraguan borrowers most of whom have applied for second and third-time loans and have been approved!
GLOBE Gazette May 2017 (PDF)
This past semester, GLOBE managers held the annual gathering called the GLOBE Mixer. They launched GLOBE's 5th GiveCampus campaign #GLOBEendspoverty. The campaign raised over over $3200, well over the $2000 goal!
GLOBE Gazette December 2016 (PDF)
Dr. Sama and the GLOBE Fellows visited the Philippines from May 23rd to June 1st, 2016, hosted by the Daughters of Charity. The Philippines is the 6th country in which GLOBE has expanded its operations. During the visit, the Fellows met 34 of the 36 GLOBE borrowers.
GLOBE Gazette May 2016 (PDF)
This past semester, GLOBE managers held the annual gathering called the GLOBE Mixer. Students from the Spring 2016 class were reunited and introduced to former GLOBE managers, alumni and donors to update them on the current happenings of the program.
GLOBE Gazette December 2015 (PDF)
This semester GLOBE is expanding its operations to a 6th country, the Philippines. In February, GLOBE Program Director, Dr. Linda Sama travelled to the Philippines and met with the Daughters of Charity, introducing them to the microloan program. As a result, GLOBE received 36 loan applications from three different regions of the Philippines.
GLOBE Gazette May 2015 (PDF)
GLOBE Managers Don’t Just Set Goals… They DOUBLE Them!
GLOBE’s first ever Crowdfunding campaign, #94globeborrowers, was a huge success! Spring 2015 GLOBE Managers worked with St. John’s Office of Institutional Advancement and GiveCampus to launch this exciting fundraising campaign. The goal of the campaign was to get 94 unique donors within 30 days.
GLOBE Gazette December 2014
Fall 2014 Managers Give "Thanks" to GLOBE's Supporters
Building upon the momentum of GLOBE’s 5th Year Anniversary, the GLOBE Fall 2014 Managers hosted the annual GLOBE Appreciation Luncheon in honor of the program’s donors and supporters. The presentation featured an introduction by Dean Shoaf and a moving role-play where the managers embodied two of GLOBE’s borrowers and told their stories. The event was once again a huge success and this semester’s GLOBE Managers effectively demonstrated the value of the GLOBE program within the St. John’s community.
GLOBE Gazette May 2014
3rd Annual Mixer Celebrates GLOBE's 5th Year Anniversary
The annually held "Friends of GLOBE" Mixer was once again a huge success and effectively commemorated the 5th year anniversary of the student-led, microfinance program. Nine out of eleven semesters of GLOBE Managers, both former and current, were in attendance as well as numerous St. John's faculty and GLOBE supporters.
GLOBE Gazette December 2013 (PDF)
GLOBE Fellows Facilitate Program Expansion to Nicaragua
This past summer, former GLOBE Managers Felipe Juan, Megan Lane, Sally Ren, and Nurus Salam traveled to Nicaragua as GLOBE Student Fellows along with program director Dr. Linda Sama. This was a great learning opportunity for these students to immerse themselves in the culture and gain first-hand experience at fieldwork in impoverished communities, which is a vital part of GLOBE. GLOBE’s partners, The Daughters of Charity, were extremely helpful and took the Fellows to communities to meet potential borrowers. Nicaragua is a new market for GLOBE; as a direct result of the trip, three new applicants were approved. The Fellows Program has once again proved to be an essential supplementary facet to the microfinance course.
GLOBE Gazette May 2013 (PDF)
Asian Pacific Heritage Month- Human Trafficking Conference
The GLOBE Spring 2013 class had the opportunity to staff a GLOBE informational table at the OMA's Human Trafficking Conference held on April 6, 2013. The conference's goals included increasing awareness and activism in stopping the trafficking of humans, exploring the role of the travel industry in human trafficking, and creating an agenda for action with the participants of the conference. GLOBE managers actively networked with the conference's participants and presenters to spread the word about GLOBE, effectively tying in the role of microfinance as a possible combatant of human trafficking.
GLOBE Gazette April - May 2012 (PDF)
TBCAA Speed Networking Event
The GLOBE spring 2012 class had the opportunity to attend the Tobin College of Business Alumni Association Speed Networking event on February 16th 2012. TCB Alumni went from table to table getting to know students and providing valuable advice regarding careers throughout the night. GLOBE managers had the pleasure of meeting some of St. John’s TCB alumni and informing them about what GLOBE is all about.
GLOBE Gazette September - October 2011 (PDF)
Grand Opening of the Grameen America Bronx Branch Office
The opportunity to see Muhammad Yunus at the Bronx Museum of the Arts for the opening of the Grameen Bank’s new Bronx branch helped make the bank a more real, tangible entity in my mind. Grameen’s work intrigued me from the moment I read about it, but it also seemed like a distant, foreign idea rooted half a world away.
GLOBE Gazette April - June 2011 (PDF)
Looking Back at Spring 2011
The Globe managers worked hard to achieve their goals for the semester, and in the end, went far beyond their initial expectations. The managers worked in their respective teams, managing and implementing ideas and plans that kept the program’s progress as the main focus. They organized events, created marketing campaigns, developed a new promotional item, gave out new loans and fundraised to add to the GLOBE Fund.
GLOBE Gazette March - April 2011 (PDF)
Globe Hosts Second Fundraiser
The GLOBE managers organized their second bake sale of the Spring semester on Monday, March 28 to raise funds and increase awareness of GLOBE among students and faculty. In addition to baked goods, GLOBE promotional items were also sold.
GLOBE Gazette February 2011 (PDF)
Valentine’s Day Bake Sale
The GLOBE managers organized their first bake sale of the spring 2011 semester on February 14; the Marketing Team organized a great event with the help of the entire class. The class baked an assortment of cookies and cupcakes to help raise money for GLOBE.
GLOBE Gazette January 2011 (PDF)
That micro-lending will only successfully alleviate poverty if loans are designed with the borrowers in mind, and not the other way around. Microfinance is not a field firms should enter to reap large monetary rewards or high returns on investment. When done correctly, profits for firms are minimal, but the quality of living in the communities in which micro-lending is successful increases dramatically because borrowers are empowered to help themselves and their neighbors.
The Daughters of Charity were established through the collaboration of Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac in 1633. Over 20,000 Daughters work to serve the poor and marginalized in 91 countries around the world, and approximately 75% of those countries are severely poverty stricken. The Daughters of Charity International Project Services (DCIPS) is a nonprofit service organization, established in 2004 to support the Sisters who minister in these areas of the world. DCIPS works to acquire the financial resources necessary to initiate projects in impoverished communities- addressing basic human needs such as food, shelter and water, economic needs, training, and education. Since September 2004, DCIPS has facilitated 299 projects in 50 countries.
The Daughters of Charity act as GLOBE field partners and recommend loan candidates, distribute funds, and help to collect loan repayments from the entrepreneurs in their communities.
View the official Daughters of Charity - International Project Services Web site.
Your tax deductible charitable donation will enable the students of St. John's University’s GLOBE program to review worthwhile microfinance projects in developing countries, provide funding to deserving entrepreneurs in the most under-resourced areas of the world, and monitor the progress and repayment of their micro-loans.
At least 95 cents of every donated dollar goes directly to our borrowers and related student fieldwork.
Use the online giving page CLICK on "make your gift" link.
Pay by Check
If you wish to donate with a check, please make your check payable to “St. John’s University – GLOBE” and indicate “GLOBE” in the memo. Send to:
Dr. Linda M. Sama
St. John's University
8000 Utopia Parkway
TCB Suite 327, Room 331
Queens, NY 11439
For more substantial levels of giving, or to learn more about how you can support GLOBE, please contact Dr. Linda Sama, GLOBE Founder and Director at 718-990-7323 or email at [email protected].