Microfinance allows low-income communities to escape the cycle of debt and poverty through low-interest business loans, often accompanied with business guidance. It is a service that it needed in both the US and abroad.
As a junior in college, I received a scholarship to attend former president Bill Clinton’s Global Initiative program for my committment to raise $5000 for microloans. I took the fundraising and marketing strategies learned during this weekend, and used them to meet this goal. We did this by partnering with Campus Kiva, a student organization that supports the work of Kiva Microlending. Check out our University’s contribution of over 180 loans!
Due to my success as a microfinance leader at Chapman, I was asked to serve as Coordinator of International Expansion. I helped fellow student leaders outside of the US to start their own chapters, and used my personal experience to advise them on fundraising and marketing strategies.
In my senior year of college, I was lucky enough to received a scholarship from MFIConnect to be a part fo the first student delegation to the World Microcredit Summit in Nairobi, Kenya. I spoke about my experiences as a student leader and participated in a small group discussion with Mohammed Yunus himself!
Due to the success of the Chapman Campus Kiva team, Chapman University chose microfinance as their 2010 freshman orientation theme, and asked me to serve as an educational consultant. I wrote a 15-page packet explaining the basics of microfinance and current events. I also wrote blog posts for the orientation website and spoke at the plenary session in front of 1,200 students, staff, and faculty.