What is the Emory Impact Investing Group?
The Emory Impact Investing Group (EIIG) is a student-run undergraduate organization that provides short-term debt investments to local microbusinesses (businesses with four or fewer employees) in historically underprivileged areas of Metro Atlanta. Our mission is twofold: For the community, we work to improve neighborhood vitality by providing critical loans to microbusinesses that have a concrete business plan with a desire to help economically underserved areas. For our students, we offer the tangible experience that can only be gained from working directly with small businesses.
Why is this important?
According to recent Emory University research, when comparing low- and high-poverty residential neighborhoods, there is little difference in the number of large businesses but a substantial gap in the number of microbusinesses in high-poverty neighborhoods. EIIG believes that investing in such microbusinesses generates income for entrepreneurs and their families while simultaneously building neighborhood vitality.
Your Support Matters to EIIG
In conjunction with Emory’s Social Enterprise @ Goizueta, the Start:ME Accelerator Program, and the Center for Civic Innovation, EIIG is working to expand the amount of capital available to promising microbusinesses that are starting or growing ventures in underserved Atlanta neighborhoods. Since we first deployed capital investments in May 2015, we have executed loans totaling about $18,000 to three entrepreneurs in the East Lake and Clarkston areas of Atlanta. Thanks to your donations last year, we were able to support the following entrepreneurs in 2016:
- Eden Fesshazion is an Eritrean-American lawyer who provides low-cost legal services to immigrants in the Clarkston area. Our $7,800 loan to Eden allowed her to relocate to a suitable office and purchase the software she needed to serve her clients.
- Akissi Stokes 92OX 94C, founder of WUNDERgrubs, runs a small bakery that leverages protein-rich mealworms within traditional snacks like cookies and granola bars to deliver increased nutritional gain to every consumer. She is using our $5,000 loan to support a mealworm incubator and a shared kitchen space.
EIIG cannot continue to grow without your support. There are more promising entrepreneurs than funds to support them right now. Your donations can be put to use quickly, helping entrepreneurs accomplish their dreams and provide for their families. All gifts are tax deductible to the extent provided by law and will be allocated entirely to our loan fund.
This is just the surface of the vast potential that Atlanta holds for new microbusinesses. Every dollar donated is another dollar reinvested in the local community.