Elon Microfinance Initiative Kicks Off New Year

(L to R) EMI executive board members Denis Dotson, Jill Hemmindinger, and Kristin Ruffe celebrate the start of a new season.

(L to R) EMI executive board members Denis Dotson, Jill Hemmendinger, and Kristin Ruffe celebrate the start of a new season.

The 2014-15 school year kicked off on September 11 for members of the Elon Microfinance Initiative. Now in its 5th year in existence, Elon Microfinance Initiative (EMI) is committed to developing awareness and funding for small business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide.

In the past, EMI developed connections with local and international microfinance institutions, including Slow Money NC and Nuestras Huellas in Buenos Aires, Argentina. EMI plans to grow these relationships this year and create new partnerships with MFIs in the United States and abroad. EMI plans to send students on a social business and entrepreneurship experience in Peru this January.

Senior Jill Hemmendinger is excited to begin her fourth year with EMI. “”Seeing EMI grow over the last three years has been really inspiring and reflective of the true spirit of microfinance. We are starting small and working our way up to making a huge difference in the Elon community and beyond,” she said at Thursday’s meeting. Jill also serves as EMI’s Vice President of Human Resources.

Other plans for EMI’s 2014-15 season include multiple microfinance documentary screenings, attendance at national microfinance conferences, and partnerships with other social justice and volunteer groups at Elon University.

“An upcoming series of events that EMI will be hosting in the future are movie nights featuring humanitarian themes including microfinance,” Jill added.  “This will help to raise awareness at Elon and engage students with our cause.”

Members of EMI are very excited to accept new and great challenges, and we are confident that the 2014-15 school year will be a year of education, engagement, and impact.

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