For its first event of the 2013-14 school year, Elon Microfinance Initiative members attended the Lend for America Summit at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA from October 11-13. Dedicated EMI members Anna DeDufour (Vice-President of Public Relations) and Savannah Peery represented Elon University at the Summit, which brought together over 200 students and experts from the field of microfinance. Now in its fifth year, Lend for America brings together leaders from campus microfinance institutions nationwide to host a unique dialogue on offering microfinance services to Americans.
Anna and Savannah attended several breakout sessions at the event, with topics ranging from micro-financial modeling to careers in microfinance to community development. Savannah found the conference to be a very enlightening experience.
“I think the most beneficial part of the conference was the familiarity of everyone about the topic of microfinance and it was just so easy to bounce ideas off each other,” Savannah remarked. “They made us feel like friends and teammates rather than associates.”
They also learned several lessons at the conference that are very applicable to our organization. Specifically looking to the future, they believe EMI can make an impact in the Burlington-Alamance County community by providing education and assistance to small business owners on topics like personal finance, banking, and networking. EMI anticipates building relationships with small business owners and business officials in our community.
Anna added: “We learned from other organizations in the industry about their activities and learned how we can grow our organization here at Elon. We received professional advice that will be very beneficial going forward.”