GLOBE, a student-managed academic program at St. John’s University, 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 is going to contribute to the goal of eradicating poverty within our lifetime.”

GLOBE 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 means that over 90 cents of every dollar goes directly to the needy entrepreneur.

GLOBE 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.

GLOBE 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 5%, compare very favorably with other microfinance programs charging interest of anywhere between 18% and 35%, and sometimes more.

GLOBE 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: Kenya, Bolivia, Nigeria, Ghana, Mozambique, Thailand, and Madagascar.

More Information
For more information on the program or supporting GLOBE projects, please email

Linda Sama
Associate Dean for Global Initiatives
Bent Hall Rm. 109B
(718) 990-7323


Dr. Sama discussed an innovative St. John’s effort to end poverty through “micro-credit loans” — very small loans for aspiring entrepreneurs who have little or no access to traditional credit. The Global Micro-Loan Program (GLOBE) is St. John’s student-run initiative.

GLOBE, as Dr. Sama explained, targets small businesses in the “poorest of the poor” parts of the developing world. “People in those places are simply unable to secure traditional bank loans,” she said. “GLOBE is just one way that St. John’s is committed to helping the world’s disadvantaged secure the tools they need to ultimately help themselves.”

Dr. Sama linked GLOBE’s achievements to the U.N.’s goals. She told listeners that since its inception in January 2009, GLOBE has raised $55,000, approved 12 loan applications from seven countries and granted four. Dr. Sama added that she is especially proud that 96 percent of loan recipients so far are female.

Students like Hadia Ali Sheerazi ‘10C found the program inspiring. “Microfinance is the key to the future,” said senior Hadia, a government and politics major who plans to participate in GLOBE this spring. “I’m very excited that St. John’s is giving me a chance to help realize the U.N.’s goal of empowering women around the world.”

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