Spes Nova was launched by a small academic team within Fordham University. While we operate wholly independently from the University and are nondenominational in every respect, we remain able to draw on the support and resources of a thriving college community as well as the broader Jesuit network.
A particularly important component of Spes Nova’s operations is the involvement of students, both in the United States and in the countries where we will be working. Students are involved as employees, volunteers and interns. In the United States, students take part in a wide array of activities including supporting our website, managing data, translating funding requests (from local languages to English), answering phone and e-mail inquiries, etc. As interns, they are available to visit, train and audit our MFI partners in foreign countries. Outside of the U.S., college students are used to evaluate, train and support our MFI partners as well as work with their clients through all stages of the loan process (from sourcing loan candidates to assisting them during the loan application process to helping meet their loan obligations). On the market development side, students work with local artisans to post their products on our website and assist them during the order taking and fulfillment process.
Spes Nova works with a small group of universities as it interacts with their students and student organizations. The university sponsorship not only helps validate Spes Nova’s work, but provides Spes Nova with a critical level of influence and control over the students’ activities.
Finally, as part of healthy development, Spes Nova promotes independent analysis and evaluation of its operations. Spes Nova asks local universities working together with other private or public entities to evaluate the impact of its activities. All results will be publicly available and will be used by Spes Nova to improve its operations.