Elon Microfinance Initiative is proud to announce the creation of a new lending team on Kiva.org. The Elon University Kiva Team will unite Elon University students, professors, and student clubs to raise money for entrepreneurs around the world. Elon University is committed to developing “global citizens” and we are confident that this is a way to learn more about the many types of businesspersons around the world. More than 1 billion people live on less than $1/day, and making a loan of just $25 can make a lifetime impact on a buisiness.
Take Elvira for instance. Sheis a hardworking entrepreneur who has a motorcycle transport business in the Philippines. She lives in Cordova in Cebu province, a small city of about 53,000 people. She is borrowing $375 through Kiva to purchase spare parts for the maintenance of her motorcycle. Elvira has been in this business for five years. She earns additional income from buying and selling peanut butter.
Elvira has been sustaining her business activities through her own efforts with the help of the loans from Kiva. She dreams of building and expanding her business to secure the future of her family.
With a contribution of just $25, you can join Elon Microfinance Initiative in promoting and sustaining Elvira’s business for the thousands of people in Cordova that rely on her. Think about what $25 can do for someone like Elvira.
EMI members pose for a picture with Slow Money NC founder Carol Hewitt.
On Thursday, March 13th, Carol Hewitt of Slow Money NC visited Elon Microfinance Initiative for a discussion on microfinance and social business in North Carolina. Hewitt is the founder and principal matchmaker for Slow Money NC, an organization started in 2010 that provides loans to businesses in the food and farming industries.
Hewitt started Slow Money after years of work in social justice. She was captivated by the idea that many small businesses can succeed with very small amounts of capital. Of the 90% of small businesses that fail, Hewitt believes many of them could have been saved with microfinance loans. “One of the reasons we find microfinance so compelling is that it’s hopeful,” Hewitt mentioned. “There’s just a natural way of looking for things that are hopeful.”
Slow Money NC has funded more than 55 businesses in the food and farming industries.
Since founding Slow Money, Carol has facilitated more than 55 loans to local businesses, including a major loan to help refinance a company shops market near Pittsboro, NC. In addition to her work with microfinance, Ms. Hewitt is also an accomplished author. She wrote Financing Our Foodshed: Growing Local Food with Slow Money, which chronicles the stories of more than 20 Slow Money businesses.
Elon Microfinance Initiative is very grateful to Carol for making a trip to Elon and we look forward to working with her company this semester!
Martin, 34 years old, is from the region of Cucirisne in Nicaragua. He is a father of two children aged 7 and 11 years old, and he is dedicated to planting corn and wheat. He also has cows which allows him to sell milk. When the crops are low, he leaves the country to work picking coffee. Everything that he grows he sells in the same region. Today, he is requesting this loan to buy wire, staples and pay labor to help him repair his pasture fences. Martin says that the loan will be helpful because at this time he does not have the money needed for the maintenance and cleaning of his animals.
Elon Microfinance Initiative helped Martin fund his farming business with a $25 loan in February 2014.
Dergham is a 38-year-old married father of three children who has worked in agriculture for fourteen years. He has a small farm in Lebanon where he raises livestock that are his only source of a living. He is a hard worker and well known in his region with a special reputation for the quality of products he provides.
He is acquiring a loan from Kiva partner, Al Majmoua, to pay for his mother’s funeral expenses that weren’t expected, and he wasn’t saving extra money for unexpected occasions. Dergham is his family’s sole breadwinner, and that’s why he has to work hard on developing his business to make sure that it will cover his family’s needs and expectations.
EMI proudly supported Dergham’s family and business with a $50 loan in February 2014.