The Economic and Social Empowerment Foundation Inc. (ESEF)

a man pays a woman for vegetables at a food stall.

Students will contribute to a research project focusing on the establishment of the Economic and Social Empowerment Foundation Inc. (ESEF) as a nonprofit organization that will provide microcredit financing to low-income entrepreneurs in the Buffalo region.

Project description

This research project focuses on the establishment of the Economic and Social Empowerment Foundation Inc. (ESEF) as a nonprofit organization that will provide microcredit financing to low-income entrepreneurs in the Buffalo region. The initial clientele for ESEF will concentrate on the refugee population who reside in the west-side of Buffalo; however, there is intent within the design for future expansion and accommodation for the inclusion of low-income entrepreneurs overall. These low-income refugees are interested in entrepreneurship but face a lack of funding options. Without credit history, it is difficult for these would-be entrepreneurs to borrow startup capital from financial institutions. As a work-in-progress, this project has helped promoted the International West Bazaar and intends to provide microcredit options through establishment of self-sufficiency economic models that will increase productivity instead of reliance; thus promoting these individuals as active members of the Buffalo community. In addition, the ESEF organization will provide business training to these individuals who are still adapting to U.S. government procedures with regards to taxation and business regulations.

Project outcome

The specific outcomes of this project will be identified by the faculty mentor at the beginning of your collaboration. 

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment To be determined by student/mentor
Start time Fall, Spring, Summer
Level of collaboration To be determined by student/mentor
Benefits Academic Credit, Possible Internship Credit
Who is eligible Graduate or Undergraduate students with degrees/majors in the School of Management, Economics, and Urban Studies are preferred. All majors may apply. Excellent research skills. Comfortable with computation. Prior knowledge in economic development
Support Funding is available after the completion of the preparation badge. See below.

Core partners

  • Economic and Social Empowerment Foundation Inc. (ESEF)

Project mentor

Hodan Isse

Clinical Assistant Professor Emeritus

Finance

242 Jacobs Hall

Phone: (716) 645-3293

Email: hsisse@buffalo.edu

Preparation

To engage with this project, you will work through a series of Project-Based Collaboration digital badges to guide your experience. These badges will:

  1. Guide you in setting your goals and intentions as well as gaining additional context,
  2. Enhance your collaboration with your mentor/partner,
  3. Support your reflection and help you integrate your learning with your academic and professional goals.

All students who wish to participate in a project on the Project Portal must first complete the Project Preparation Digital Badge. First, contact the project mentor to discuss availability and after you’ve received approval, you can start the Project Preparation Digital Badge.

Preparation guidance

The specific preparation activities for this project are being finalized by the project mentor. Once they are finalized, this section will be updated. In the meantime, please reach out to the project mentor to confirm what specific preparation activities you should complete for the Project Preparation Digital Badge.