Organization to fund, support international entrepreneurs

The Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization has found a way to advance its field around the world.TCU CEO is supporting two entrepreneurs in Mexico through Kiva, an organization that allows people to lend money to help entrepreneurs in Third World countries. Their motto is giving “loans that change lives,” according to Kiva’s Web site, and that is just what CEO is seeking to offer.

CEO board member Jeff Livney said a fellow member read about Kiva in the news and introduced CEO members to the idea of getting involved.

“We found it to be an excellent and worthwhile cause to take on in the CEO club,” Livney said.

Currently CEO has $750 it has invested in two different entrepreneurs, Livney said. One, is a woman who sells shoes through a catalogue and needed money to purchase additional merchandise. The other, is a man who makes and sells leather products and needed funds to purchase equipment to continue his business.

Board member Brittany Randel said both entrepreneurs are fully funded by CEO and have a specific period of time in which to re-pay the loan.

Randel said CEO chose these two specific entrepreneurs based on the fact that the organization had enough money to fully fund them.

“Our main goal was to make sure that we could fund somebody 100 percent,” Randel said.

Throughout the duration of the loan, CEO will receive e-mail updates through Kiva about its sponsored entrepreneurs and have the ability to e-mail them in return if they want.

Through their sponsorship, members of CEO are finding that they can make a difference in the lives of entrepreneurs in other countries, said Brad Hancock, assistant director of the Neeley Entrepreneurship Program.

“When they saw an opportunity to help people in Third World countries who were trying to make better lives for themselves through entrepreneurship it seemed like a good fit,” Hancock said.

CEO will be raising money at a table in Smith Hall from Feb. 27 to March 1 during Entrepreneurship Week USA, an event promoting entrepreneurship through speakers and activities, Livney said.

Board member Jenna Duvall said CEO hasn’t set a specific goal, but that it would like to eventually spread its fundraising efforts campus-wide.

Although this is the first time CEO has supported someone through Kiva, Hancock said he would like for this to be an annual activity for the club.

“As an organization it feels good to do something like this,” Randel said. “It’s a great opportunity to give back to a field we are hoping to go into one day.