Haverford Microfinance Consulting (HMFC) is a student-run organization here at Haverford College. It provides opportunities for students to engage in microfinance and impact investing projects outside of class. Wonder what HMFC did last year? Let’s find out!
I’m Wanyi Yang HC ’20, one of the leaders of HMFC. Every semester at HMFC has been a different experience. We kicked off the 2017-2018 school year with a project for Quaker Bolivia Link (http://qbl.org/), an NGO working on water irrigation, food and agriculture projects in rural Bolivia. We designed an impact survey that QBL could use to directly measure their project success with concrete data. Fun fact: Ed Dunlop, one of their USA directors, teaches people how to fly during his free time!
HMFC also welcomed many incredible speakers this year. Back in February, three Haverford alumni, Kae Anderson ’13, Stuart Hean ’14 and Travis West ’13 spoke about their organizations’ different approaches to ethical urban redevelopment. Kae and Stuart also shared with us a project they had both been working on – the “Kensington Avenue Storefront Challenge” that aimed to transform Kensington into a safe and innovative neighborhood.
This was arguably the most well-attended HMFC event during my time here!
And we made good use of the new VCAM space for a reception afterwards.
We also welcomed Tim Ogden to speak about the “US Financial Diaries” project. The project documented detailed financial data from more than 230 US low-income households for a year and has had a major impact on anti-poverty policy.
Our next speaker – Fabrizio Cometto from MCE Social Capital – introduced his organization’s innovative financing model – using guarantees from high net worth individuals to secure low-interest loans from banks for microfinance organizations (and more recently, social enterprises directly).
In April, HMFC took a field trip to The 12th Annual Penn Microfinance Conference. This year’s theme was “Financing the Future.” Speakers touched upon how microfinance was used to promote green technology, and discussed the complicated subject matter of sustainability in microfinance.
Our bake sale fundraiser each semester has long been a tradition at HMFC. The organizations we raise funds for differ every semester. During Fall 2017, in the light of the natural disasters that hit multiple parts of the world, we raised funds for three organizations dedicated to disaster relief in Haiti, Puerto Rico and Mexico. During the spring semester, we made loans to 3 borrowers on Kiva (www.kiva.org). The donors chose what causes they wanted their money go towards and in the end, women and education won the popular votes. Two semesters combined, we have raised more than $350 for these organizations and individuals!
Along with the delicious cookies, the donors also received catchy financial literacy tips that we prepared.
- Make sure to pay your credit card off and track your expenditures every month!
- Pay your IRA before buying your IPA!
In fact, this summer, Mi3 is actively planning on developing a financial literacy program for Haverford students.
Also this summer, one of our Kiva borrowers, a startup which won funding from the “Kensington Avenue Storefront Challenge” saw our participation in her Kiva loan and contacted Mi3 asking for advice. I have been working with Professor Mudd during the summer preparing some background memos for her as she seeks additional funding for her Juggarnaut Studios and GlassHaus business.
Stay tuned for more updates on our Mi3 blog and Facebook pages!
Students – if you would like to join our mailing list, be sure to message HMFC on Facebook!