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ASU graduate student named RSF Regional Fellow

October 28, 2011

Arizona State University graduate student Charis Elliot has been selected to participate in the RSF Regional Fellowship Program by RSF Social Financial.

RSF Social Finance (RSF), a non-profit financial services organization providing capital to non-profit and for-profit social enterprises. Each academic year the company selects graduate students from across the U.S. and Canada to join the program. This year they selected twelve students to join the fellowship.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to learn more about the unique approach to financial security and banking for nonprofits that RSF takes in their business dealings,” Elliot said.  

As a Fellow, Elliot will work closely with RSF’s Lending Team identifying prospective borrowers, conduct due diligence and structure commercial loans that will become part of RSF’s flagship, $70 million Social Investment Fund. Fellows will also have the opportunity to work with RSF’s Mezzanine Debt Fund, which offers subordinated debt to fast-growing social enterprises throughout the U.S.

“I’m hoping to accomplish the goals of the fellowship and to make this venture successful for the social enterprises in my community,” Elliot explains. “I’m interested in finding ways for non-profits and social enterprises to have access to capital that is necessary for them to develop their ideas and grow their business.

Elliot is currently working to complete a master’s degree in justice studies and a certificate in non-profit leadership. In 2009 she won an Edson grant for her venture Las Otras Hermanas, a fair trade clothing line manufactured by women in Mexico to foster economic and community development.

In the future Elliot would like to serve as a guest speaker in classrooms sharing her experiences working with non-profits and promoting ways to grow social impact. She feels that it is important to bridge the gap between academia and practice.