Bentley Small Business Expo

On November 16th, BMG hosted its first ever Small Business Expo. The Bentley Small Business Expo at Bentley University was a free event for small businesses located in the greater Boston area.  This great opportunity encouraged small business owners to come and interact with the companies that are currently offering them assistance. representatives from local banks, credit unions, small business education services, and government agencies all attended.

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Bentley Microfinance Review Launch

On September 14th BMG celebrated the launch of the inaugural edition of the Bentley Microfinance Review. The journal is a student-run and student-edited academic journal similar to the law review models found in many of the finest U.S. law schools and publishes high quality scholarly research that significantly informs and contributes to the fields of microfinance, microenterprise, and community development. The Review is intended and designed to be an effective research forum through which undergraduate students who are engaged in the analysis and practice of microfinance can share their work. Articles may consist of methodological research, quantitative or empirical studies, case studies, or literature reviews – all with a focus on undergraduate work. What makes the journal so special? It is both managed, written, and edited by undergraduate students. With over 100 guests in attendance including faculty, staff, students, and friends of the University, the evening featured keynote speaker Mike Page, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, as well as former president Jimmy Haight and Roy ‘Chip’ Wiggins III, Dean of Business. The journal was funded by a generous donation made in the memory of William L. Muir, father of Glenn P. Muir, MST Class of 1993.


Bentley Microfinance Group Leadership Ceremony

On March 31st, BMG hosted its first ever Leadership Ceremony featuring current members of BMG as well as former BMG alumni and current Bentley professors and faculty. The evening started off in Backbay ABC with a cocktail reception and was followed by a meal provided by Bentley’s own Sodexo.  After dinner, the ceremony included presentations from current and past BMG leaders, Loan Approval Board Members, Dean Roy Wiggins, and Betsy Meyers. Each person shared their experiences with microfinance and gave the audience a better idea of what BMG has accomplished thus far, and the direction the group is moving in. Following the presentations, awards were given to those who have been instrumental in the formation and growth of the group. The final piece of the ceremony was the official transfer of the Presidency from James Haight to John Warden. The BMG would like to thank James for his dedication to the group and would like to welcome John to the Presidency. Congratulations to the both of you.



Susan Hammond and Kristin Zecca

The Center for Women & Enterprise is an organization that aims to help support women in their quests to start-up and sustain their own businesses.  Co-founder, Susan Hammond alongside current Director of Programs & Services, Kristin Zecca spoke to Bentley students about the dynamics of entrepreneurship and the rigor involved with starting a business.  With about 90% of the CWE’s client base being female, the non-profit organization strives to help women find their happiness in the business world by guiding them through financial literacy coaching, management skills, and other business skills through classes offered at the CWE.  Recently the CWE was recognized as the Most Outstanding Partner of the Bentley Microfinance Group.  Both organizations share common goals of helping the community grow through excellence in commerce.  BMG is proud to recognize the CWE as a partner.




Woody Benson

On November 29th, BMG hosted its third speaker series featuring award winning CEO and Bentley University alum, Woody Benson. Mr. Benson engaged with the audience from the start and based his talk on questions directly from the crowd. He gave tips to success and shared his personal experiences in the real world as a top 100 venture capitalist. Overall, the event had a large turn-out and was a huge success. For over three decades, Woody Benson has been at the forefront of major computing and technology trends. He started his journey in computer sales, working for a regional retailer and running the software business for the Apple rep firm. Career highlights include, managing channels and creating the OEM division for Lotus Development, running sales and marketing at Shiva Corporation, to becoming CEO of MCK Communications where he was named Mass Telecom CEO of the year. Later in his career Woody became a Venture Capitalist at Lazard & Prism Venture investing in Communications, SaaS & Digital Media while also teaching at his alma mater, Bentley University, as an Executive in Residence. He currently serves on the board, or is an advisor to: LogMeIn, Expo Communications, Swirl Networks, Greater Good, and MetaResolver.


Jane Tchaïcha

Professor Jane Tchaïcha, associate professor of modern languages at Bentley and Fullbright Scholar recipient, spoke to the Bentley community about her role in a few of the microcredit programs in Morocco: the A.M.S.S.F program and the Ajddigue Women’s Cooperative. The AMSSF program faced a tremendous amount of success in the past couple of years, with 95% of the loans being paid back on time. Ajddigue Women’s Cooperative follows a model different from the traditional microcredit loans. Instead of lending out money to borrowers, the cooperative is a way for people to come together and manufacture a local product for a portion of the profits. Through the success of both these programs, Professor Tchaïcha was able to inspire the Bentley community and educate them with real, worldly experience. Professor Tchaicha has truly done some incredible research.

Marcel Quiroga

Marcel Quiroga, a former private wealth specialist and advisor at Merrill Lynch, spoke at the final speaker series event of this semester. Currently the Chief Relations Officer and Director of Marketing at Capital Formations Group, Quiroga shared her own success stories. She detailed how she made a point of being noticed by higher-ups at each bank she worked for and by following what she described as the four Cs of success: confidence, creativity, capabilities, and connections. Later, Quiroga ended the event by stating that we all have a legacy to fulfill, even if it means doing nothing. By incorporating the four Cs of success in the execution of our future plans, only then can we truly be successful.

Diane Kellogg

Dr. Diane Kellogg, an Associate Professor of Management at Bentley University, was featured in BMG Speaker Series: Ghana and Beyond. Dr. Kellogg spoke to the Bentley community about her microfinance experience in Ghana. She and a group of Bentley interns spent part of their summer in Ghana helping facilitate a $5000 BMG loan given to the villages of Dogobon and Ada Foah. Overall, the event was a success with many students expressing interest in future involvement with the program.

Superstar Conference

BMG hosted the Superstar Conference which featured an interactive loan shark game, in which participants were given a client profile and asked to find a loan from representatives of different lenders. Bank of America, a Loan Shark, ICICI Pvt. Ltd, ACCION (U.S. Microfinance Group), and a Foreign Microfinance Group were represented by BMG members as lenders. With a great turnout and heavy student engagement, the Superstar Conference was a great success in building awareness of Microfinance within the Bentley Community.  Attendees developed a deeper understanding of the differences between microfinance domestically and abroad, along with the differences between microfinance and traditional sources of financing.

Speaker Series: Accion and Microfinance

On October 17th, BMG hosted a speaker event that featured Bentley’s own students as well as a professional, nonprofit organization called Accion. Dawn Recio and Eric Willett, two Bentley students, went on a microfinance trip to Ghana over the summer to learn about lending abroad. They helped manage $5,000 worth of loans as well as establish relationships with people within the various communities. While Dawn and Eric focused on microlending abroad, Lia Mayaka, a loan consultant from Accion, talked about domestic lending and the process Accion undertakes for potential clients. Bentley students gained insightful information on how microfinance differs domestically and globally. In addition, BMG members had a great opportunity to ask Lia questions that may help to improve our organization.