Elon Microfinance Initiative (EMI) is a student organization at Elon University in North Carolina. We were founded in 2010 by four students who ran business workshops at Alamance Community College. In 2011, we grew to more than twenty members. We worked with several small business owners in the Burlington, NC area to help them develop marketing strategies and smart business plans for growth and development.
We also donate to small business owners all over the world through Kiva, which is a website that is used to make loans to small businesses and receive payments back. We choose people to loan money to, and we are repaid by the business owners. That money then goes back out to other prospective business operators around the world. Our Kiva portfolio consists of more than twenty people in fourteen countries.
In 2012, we grew again to about thirty members. We organized charity fundraisers and events such as the screening of Living on One, a documentary film made by four California college students about the challenges of extreme poverty in the world. We also developed an international partnership with Nuestras Huellas, a growing microcredit organization in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Some plans for the future include the possibility of going international with another organization with the opportunity to travel abroad and see our contributions in action. While plans are not set in stone, we are hoping to launch our organization even further and make a difference, both locally and internationally.