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A Peru Company, Danper, that Partnered with USU Students to Offer Small Business Loans and Training, Has Won First Place from World Business Council for Sustainable Development in Peru

Editor's note: The following is a press release issued by the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business.

USU Students Raise Money for the Loans and Work with Danper to Teach Business Basics to Entrepreneurs

LOGAN, UT- For five years Utah State University students have been teaming up with an agricultural company in Peru, Danper, to help struggling entrepreneurs there launch new business ventures. That company has just won first place for sustainable development from the World Business Council for helping to facilitate small business loans funded largely through the efforts of students from the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University.

Danper, a company that cans vegetables, won the “PERU 2021” Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development Award in 2012 from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a nonprofit organization that promotes corporate social responsibility and enterprises it believes will stimulate economic progress.

The students have been going to Peru as part of the Small Enterprise Education and Development (SEED) program which is part of the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business. They use the Danper facility to teach business basics to those who come seeking assistance. USU students raise money that SEED loans out to qualifying entrepreneurs, said David Herrmann, the faculty advisor to the program.

Danper, in partnership with USU, won first place in the category “collaborators.” The organization recognized Danper for its successful sustainable business ventures that help entrepreneurs who might not otherwise have access to credit.

The relationship between the Huntsman School SEED program and Danper was formed in 2007 when students were visiting the company on a study abroad trip. Herrmann had the idea of starting a small-business loan program that students could help direct.

Danper had previously implemented an aggressive social-improvement agenda for its employees, but the one thing it lacked was the small loans and education program that the Huntsman School could provide, Herrmann said.

Danper helps the students find competent and deserving participants for the program, Herrmann said. The company has a full-time employee assigned to the program, who collects loan payments and works with the student interns who rotate through every three months.

“It is a very exciting acknowledgment of all of the work and effort that the school has put into the program, and particularly all the student interns who have served in that program for the last five years,” Herrmann said.