Jenna Gyorfi wrote -
From the Colorado Rockies to the Swiss Alps to the African plains, I'm climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to help business entrepreneurs in Denver, Colorado through Rocky Mountain Microfinance Institute. Join me!
Jess and I are embarking on a life changing opportunity we have. Although we are now on different mountain ranges we are joining each other in Tanzania, East Africa to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in June! We are doing this 6 day hike as part of a team raising money for RockyMountain Microfinance Institute (where Jess works) and we need your help! RMMFI is an incredible organization that works solely with business entrepreneurs in the Denver Metro area. It is a community that creates economic and social mobility through entrepreneurship. RMMFI helps curious people transform into serious entrepreneurs through skill-building, mentorship, and micro-lending. Some businesses are in the launch stages of development and merely exploring the possibility of business ownership while others have been churning along for a while but need a boost. Wherever the business is, RMMFI is committed to training, teaching, and financially assisting these businesses. Twice a month RMMFI offers a free class called “Exploring Business Ownership” to the public and three times a year offers a more intense program called “Business Launch Boot Camp.” To participate in the Business Launch Boot Camp, business owners must apply with a feasible business model and commit to a 12-week intensive program. Once selected, each business owner, affectionately called a "Boot Camper", is assigned three local community members as mentors to assist the Boot Camper throughout the program. From marketing to financials to operations and management, these Boot Campers throw themselves heart and soul into the ups and downs of business ownership. At the completion and “graduation” from the program, the Boot Campers become eligible for initial loan funds of $2500. This is the beauty of micro-finance because the loan makes an immediate impact on the business. Once the $2500 is paid off, entreprenuers have the option of taking out another loan. Check out this story of one of RMMFI's entrepreneurs. Patrick's dedication is truly amazing as many of the business owners have other jobs and families to support but pursuing your dreams takes sacrifice and hard work. In just eight years, RMMFI has helped launch or re-launch over 143 businesses in Denver! Their work has also won the organization the prestigious 2016 Small Non-Profit of the Year Award by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. Attached is a PDF explaining in greater depth the impact RMMFI has and continues to have on the Denver community. So why are we writing you about an organization in Denver, Colorado? Business entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart but the effects are far-reaching.
Through RMMFI’s work, the organization became acquainted with another Denver-based company called OneseedExpeditions. Oneseed was founded by Chris Baker, who has been a dedicated business mentor in the RMMFI program. Oneseed Expeditions is a recognized leader in socially mindful travel. The company leads expeditions all over the world and 10% of all revenue the company receives through these expeditions is invested in the Oneseed Microfinance Fund. The Oneseed Microfinance Fund has also made a tremendous impact on business entrepreneurship on a global scale. With over $195,000.00 invested, Oneseed Expeditions has helped fund over 440 businesses globally. These similar passions have forged a bond between RMMFI and Oneseed. Microfinance looks differently domestically and abroad, but the concept is similar: give a person the opportunity and access to non-traditional forms of education and lending and watch that person create sustainable social and economic mobility in their lives and their family’s lives. Thus, the two organizations have teamed up to offer an expedition to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. The cost of the expedition is completely born by the climber (Us!). However in choosing to participate in this experience, each RMMFI climber agrees to raise $3000.00 for RMMFI. 100% of the money fundraised goes directly to RMMFI and does not go towards the cost of the trip. We've chosen to make this over 19k vertical feet climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro as part of the RMMFI team. We are thrilled to take part in this opportunity together! Although RMMFI may seem remote, your donation gives you the opportunity to partner with the global small business community. Would you please consider donating towards each of our $3000 fundraising goal? If you choose to donate, you can donate here!
Or if donating online is not your thing, you can send a check directly to RMMFI with “Kilimanjaro Climb” and our names in the memo section:
Rocky Mountain Microfinance Institute
PO Box 48138
Denver, CO 80204
Thank you so much for taking the time to read about RMMFI and the experience Oneseed Expeditions is providing. If you have any additional questions about the organizations, our climb, or how to donate let us know and we will do our best to provide an answer! All donations are tax-deductible as well. We head to Tanzania on June 1, 2017 and start our climb on June 2, 2017. Thanks again!