Professional women in Washington, D.C. area, teamed up and founded the Women’s Microfinance Initiative (WMI) which is a non-profit organization. The founding of the organization sprout from a discussion of an initiative that would allow local women to reach out to their counterparts in the developing nations. Robyn Nietert and Betsy Gordon, who resided in Carderock Springs neighborhood in Bethesda, brainstormed the idea in spring 2007. WMI has U.S.-based board members working with interns and other volunteers to use non-exploitative approaches for making a society financial stable. The organization offers loans to women who cannot access financial services. It issues affordable and collateral free loans to promote the economic participation of women with the hope of achieving prosperity for the poor in the rural areas of Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. WMI helps the society to grow small businesses and empower their lives through affordable basic needs education, healthcare and savings for the future and emergencies. Two years into the WMI village-level loan program and the women are then promoted to access financial services in banks and financial autonomy and join the formal economy of their country.
Women’s Microfinance Initiative disburse the loans through village-level organizations and collaborates with the organizations to develop social-outreach programs. Some of the organizations that have partnered with WMI include Andrew Stevenson Architect, Arlington Academy of Hope, The law firm of Baker and & McKenzie, Boeing among others committed to improving the financial status of marginalized people such as the women in the society.