Making a worldwide difference

World Affairs and Microlending Club helps small businesses


Alex Muñoz

Bhasin scrolls through Kiva looking at business profiles.

by Alex Muñoz, Staff writer

Junior Isabel Bhasin makes a financial difference in developing countries across the globe with her World Affairs and Microlending Club.  Founded in the fall of 2021, the club comprises 20 members and is open to anyone who is interested in making a difference.

The club focuses on investing in communities and businesses that have the potential to thrive with financial assistance. Their main focus is aiding businesses in developing countries.

The goals of the club are to aid people and to better understand the world and other countries.

To contact these small businesses, Bhasin created an account on Kiva, an online lending platform connecting lenders to under-served communities.

Businesses post facts about themselves and why they need financial help. The club can then sift through applications to find businesses to help. Over time, the club will be reimbursed for their loan.

“We have loaned to people in a couple of countries around the world, and we are already getting paid back,” Bhasin said. “The businesses are already beginning to be self-sustainable and creating a profit, which is great.”

To raise money for donations, the club hosted a bake sale, and they plan on holding more in the future.

Junior Skyler Maier said she has learned about microlending and its impact from being part of the club.

“I joined this club because I wanted to have a positive impact on not only my community but the world,” Maier said. “The whole concept of microlending is truly amazing and a super-efficient and easy way to help people all across the world.”

The club has made an impact on five small businesses in developing countries already and looks to continue to boost self-sustainability among these companies in the future.

Computer Science and math teacher Dr. Jeffrey Hulbert is personally interested in microlending, a common research topic in his graduate school cohort. As the sponsor of the club, he enjoys helping Bhasin and club members pursue their passions in changing the world.

“The club is Isabel’s passion and it is her drive and the drive of her fellow leadership members that make the club as successful as it is,” Hulbert said.