August 6, 2014
SFU's Francis Fund has made its first loan to an aspiring entrepreneur who approached the student group for a loan of $3,500 to purchase a zero turn mower for his lawn care business.
Todd Hurst is the owner of Hursty's Lawn Care, and resides in Cassville, PA with his wife Cathy. Hursty's Lawn Care has the marketing slogan "Looking Good is Understood" to emphasize the level of quality that Hursty's Lawn Care intend to deliver to its customers. Todd has aspirations of expanding his business and hiring workers from the local community.
The Francis Fund is a new student organization on campus that received a generous gift of $10,000 from Ohio resident Charleen Blum, formerly of State College, in Fall 2013 to launch a domestic microlending initiative. Charleen was a member of the Good Shepherd Catholic Church and the JustFaith in Action group The Francis Fund is a member of Lend for America(www.lendforamerica.org/) a national organization of campus based microlending organizations.
The Francis Fund is dedicated to offering low interest loans to aspiring local entrepreneurs. The Fund is especially interested in clients that have been unsuccessful in obtaining funding from banks. Prospective clients are required to contact the Saint Francis University Small Business Development Center for assistance in planning and launching a new business.
The Francis Fund consists of 10 Business School students and 1 Computer Science major. The club's chief executive officer is Timothy Keith, senior Economics major. The Francis Fund is advised by Dr. Edward Timmons. The Francis Fund would like to extend a special thanks to Edward Huttenhower, Associate Dean of Community and Economic Development and Director of the Small Business Development Center for help in identifying Hursty's Lawn Care as a potential client. The Francis Fund would also like to thank Tom Fritz, Controller of Saint Francis University, for his assistance with preparing a loan repayment book and his guidance with the loan process.