About the SDMP

The University of San Diego's Center for Service-Learning and School of Business, in collaboration with the San Diego Microfinance Alliance and our community partners La Maestra, ACCESS, Via International, has created the San Diego Microenterprise Project (SDMP). The purpose of this project is to promote economic recovery, encourage experiential learning, and facilitate active community involvement.

In partnership with the San Diego Microfinance Alliance (SDMFA), USD will collaborate with local microfinance institutions, agencies, schools, and universities to increase the scale of microfinance education, awareness, and support in the San Diego Region. Building on the successes of the University of San Diego (USD) CARE Project the three goals of the continuation CARE Project are 1) to double the number of clients that will benefit from the consulting services from twenty to forty businesses 2) to increase financial literacy education 3) and to increase microenterprise collaboration and awareness in the San Diego region.

SDMP seeks to develop socially responsible leaders through experiential learning and active community engagement, using business principals as a catalyst for social change. The SDMP will work with Point Loma Nazarene UniversityACCION San Diego, the Foundation for WomenSan Diego Small Business Finance Office, the International Rescue Committee and other organizations through the SDMFA partnerships.

About our Partners

La Maestra

La Maestra logo It is the mission of La Maestra to provide quality culturally and linguistically competent health care and educational programs to improve the overall well-being of families in need. La Maestra also extends small business loans of $250 to women entrepreneurs in San Diego county to begin their microenterprises. The loans are administered using the group lending model.


Via International

Via International logo Via International programs address the basic needs of communities by building the capacities of community members to become agents of positive change. The community members in turn create opportunities for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Via International has been working in the border region for over 28 years. Experience has shown us that successful community development must include and promote economic development and sustainability. Community Development is a participatory process through which community members identify community needs and organize themselves to take the actions necessary to improve their quality of life.


Point Loma Nazarene University Microfinance Club

Point Loma Nazerene logo The club’s mission is to spread awareness about Microfinance and the impact it is making in alleviating poverty both locally and around the globe. The club plans to empower individuals so that they may actively participate in the development of this movement. The club seeks to:

  • To spread awareness through monthly discussions and readings
  • To bring in speakers from Microfinance organizations to give presentations/discussions with students
  • To connect students to the Microfinance realm through local volunteer opportunities as well as domestic and international internships
  • To establish a formal partnership with a current Microfinance organization
  • To host one main event each semester that will raise interest and awareness about Microfinance


Microfinance loan recipients prior to their weekly meeting.
Microfinance loan recipients prior to their weekly meeting.

A microfinance loan recipient fills out a vendor application form.
A microfinance loan recipient fills out a vendor application form.

Microfinance loan recipients discuss attending a local farmer's market together.
Microfinance loan recipients discuss attending a local farmer's market together.