Buffalo, NY, April 25, 2012 – Rich Products Corporation and the Canisius College Students In Free Enterprise (Canisius SIFE) program have recently partnered to help bring a local businessman’s dreams to reality.
Rich’s sponsored Canisius SIFE’s Classroom and Community Partnership for Economic Development Program (CACPED), offering a $30,000 loan to be used as a student-managed micro-loan initiative for small business start-ups across Buffalo’s West Side community.
And, as a result, Kaji Sunwar was able to open his newest business venture – Sagarmatha Groceries, LLC (489 Grant Street, Buffalo) earlier this month.
Note: There will be a grand opening celebration at Sagarmatha Groceries, LLC on Saturday, April 28, at noon.
“We’re pleased to support Canisius SIFE as they strive to use sound business practices and instruction to educate, improve, and empower our local West Side community,” said Howard Rich, vice president of Community Relations. “More than 65 years ago, Rich’s began as a small business on the West Side. Over the years, through hard work and the support of our own mentors, our company has grown into a global enterprise. We are thrilled for the opportunity to give back to the community that has supported us.”
As part of the CACPED, Canisius SIFE students developed the Refugee Economic Development Initiative. It was through this project that students were able to analyze Buffalo’s immigrant and refugee community, determine a strong business opportunity within the more than 1,700-member Bhutanese/Nepali community and identify Kaji Sunwar as a businessman and leader who is capable of launching and managing a business in an area that is in need of revitalization.
Under the guidance of Dr. Patricia A. Hutton, professor of Economics and Finance for Canisius and advisor to the school’s SIFE program, the students wrote a business plan for Sunwar, assisted with business start-up activities (including store set-up, signage marketing and advertising) and offered initial and ongoing training and management assistance to Sunwar.
“Through this program, we are not only helping the community, we are giving our SIFE students the tools they need to successfully launch and run their own business,” said Hutton. “These students interact with Kaji every week and act as leaders through their strategic thinking and general knowledge. This is tremendous experience for our students.”
Per the loan agreement, Sunwar, has three years to pay back his loan to Canisius SIFE at two percent interest. Future loans will also be given at three percent interest. However, the duration of time that business leaders have to pay the loan back will be determined based on the amount of the loan. Canisius SIFE will continue to re-use this money to help launch several more businesses over the coming years.
SIFE is an international non-profit organization that brings together the top leaders of today and tomorrow to create a better, more sustainable world through the positive power of business. Founded in 1975, SIFE has active programs on more than 1,600 college and university campuses in 39 countries. For more information, contact SIFE World Headquarters at 417-831-9505 or visit www.sife.org.
Canisius College is one of 28 Catholic, Jesuit colleges in the nation and the premier private college in Western New York. Canisius prepares leaders – intelligent, caring, faithful individuals able to pursue and promote excellence in their professions, their communities and their service to humanity.