October 20, 2008

Microfinance Alliance

Filed under: Projects, School — Robert John Ed @ 2:23 am

I’m undertaking a project with some really incredible people at Carlson who run the Microfinance Alliance.  It’s exciting to get behind a project for an organization that is centered around altruistic intentions. MA is a relatively new club at Carlson and they are centered around promoting microfinance holistically at the local and international level.

Do you know what microfinance is?  I didn’t until about two years ago when I started to read about peer to peer loan websites.  My feeling is that the term “microfinance” is a barrier for most people.  They probably don’t know what it means and there are some negative connotations.  Micro = microeconomics (nothing more fun than that) and finance = finance.  You have to get people to understand what something is very quickly nowadays.  There’s no time for anything else, and the name of something is the first place they look.  So we are looking at changing the website (which is extremely aesthetically appealing, to me) and one of my thoughts is that a better and faster way to explain what it is could add value.  If you want someone to get interested in a subject, it’s important not to scare them off.  I am on the website and communications team, so hopefully we’ll be able to pull some strings and create a bit of groundswell.

What’s really amazing to me about this idea is that I can donate $25 or $50 and completely alter someone else’s life for the better.  That’s a beautiful thing.  My feeling is that this kind of idea is incredibly appealing to people from all sectors and creating awareness and understanding of how you can take action will really get this off the ground.  Tons of people would love to do this!  So our job is to make sure people know about it first.

If you have any thoughts on the website or MA at all, please drop me a line.  Updates to come.


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