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University Partners


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, providing market insights, managing data and inventory, 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 university partners and artisans in foreign countries.  At universities outside of the U.S., students identify and evaluate local artisans for partnership. Once a partnership is formed, the students work with them to provide sample products to US partners, adjust the products as necessary, and fulfill the shipment and payment. Additionally, these students will be able to evaluate, train and support our MFI partners as well as work with the loan recipients 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). 

Spes Nova is on a mission to engage the next generation of change-makers in service learning that provides tangible business and leadership skills along with cultural awareness.  The university partnerships provide that opportunity to students, while also ensuring the integrity of Spes Nova’s work.

Finally, to ensure that Spes Nova's operations are making optimal impact, Spes Nova will conduct impact reports and other evaluations. These will be performed by Spes Nova's international partner universities along with other private or public entities.  All results will be publicly available and will be used by Spes Nova to improve its operations.