Big plans in small loans

Jenna Weigand

When Jenna Wiegand talks about finance and sustainability, her words are expressions of an underlying passion for global change. A University Honors College and College of Business student majoring in management and sustainability, Wiegand was recognized last spring for her commitment with a nationally competitive Udall Scholarship.

Congress established the Udall Foundation to support scholarship, fellowship and internship programs that promote environmental and Native American issues. Wiegand is one of 81 U.S. students to receive a $5,000 undergraduate scholarship in the program this year.

A trip to South Caicos through the School for Field Studies last fall solidified Wiegand’s interest in microloan programs. Her experience in South Caicos, an 8-square-mile island of about 1,600 in the Turks and Caicos archipelago southeast of Florida, is the basis for her University Honors College thesis. One of Oregon State’s many high-achieving students, Wiegand hopes to create a microfinance company that gives small loans to residents in developing countries to start their own businesses.

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