Catalysts, Client Services, and Community Change: Interdisciplinary Collaboration in a Nascent Microfinance Initiative


  • Lora L. Reed
  • Bernice Baroudi
  • Alyssa Joseph


This paper explores collaboration expressed as experiential learning in a nascent microfinance initiative (MFI). First, the paper examines the need for interdisciplinary teamwork in student-led client services. Then, benefits and challenges for students, faculty, and other stakeholders cooperating on projects such as health education are examined. The needs of entrepreneurs, small non-profit organizations, and the local community are considered. The paper surveys student leadership roles, such as project developers, assistants to subject matter experts, and information disseminators. Faculty and staff roles, as well as institutional support, are also assessed. Plans for project implementation and evaluation are discussed. The paper concludes with an analysis of project limitations and suggestions for future research.