Traditional methods used to address poverty and income inequality in the United States through microfinance have primarily focused on providing financial resources directly to underserved communities. While this approach has been relatively effective in emerging market economies, it may not be as successful to apply the same model into developed economies.
In 2012, Dr. Scott Miller established a microfinance initiative in South Central Los Angeles. Working hands-on in this community, he learned that providing financial capital was insufficient to help individuals break free from the generation poverty afflicting their communities. However, combining financial support with human and intellectual capital in underserved areas established a more well-rounded and comprehensive foundation for growth.
Pictured: Dr. Scott Miller running a student meeting for the South Central Los Angeles microfinance initiative
In 2018, Scott founded version 2.0 of the program, Innovative Microfinance Promoting Ambition and Cultivating Talent (IMPACT). IMPACT is uniquely positioned to deliver these needs of underserved entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs work closely with leading experts of industry and high performing business students at the University of Tampa to identify problems and find creative solutions to those problems. These resources provide the human and intellectual capital that is crucial to the entrepreneurs’ success and also offer UT students real world consulting experience. Since the support provided is beyond just a financial capital investment, IMPACT has the unique opportunity to “protect” our financial investment by ensuring the entrepreneurs are put in the best possible position to succeed.
Pictured: Dr. Scott Miller and Sara Mazzola, co-founders of IMPACT