18 May Kickstart Monday: Village Initiative Tackles Student Loans Through Crowdfunding
The Village Initiative is an early-stage startup that will be a community-based crowdfunding platform which allows individuals to become members, tell their stories behind their student loan debt, and allow their own “villages” or network, contribute to their campaign.
Co-founders Jason Hilliard and Randon Knighten are alumni of University of North Texas and secured student loans to finance their education so the creation of The Village Initiative is very personal. The goal is to build an online community of individuals that have the commonality of student loan debt. The founders are looking to raise funds via crowdfunding through Indiegogo to assist with various costs associated with creating The Village Initiative.
With student loan debt currently at $1.2 trillion dollars—outpacing credit card debt for millennials, one of the main goals of The Village Initiative is to positively affect the economy by helping individuals to decrease or eliminate their student loan debt. Co-Founder Jason Hilliard states, “As we gain traction and grow, The Village Initiative will hold a monthly drawing where a random member will receive $5,000 towards the balance of their student loan.”
The Village Initiative is targeting the over 30 million individuals that currently have student loans and also has their sights on creating educational software aimed at colleges, school districts, parents, and students that will guide them through the financial aid process and educate them on other aspects of college and career options.