IN THE BEGINNING
Our story began in the summer of 2013 in New York City. After countless hours of studying and many sleepless nights, Donte and Nate had earned the two spots amongst 250,000+ applications to be interns at Goldman Sachs. At the time, Nate was a rising senior at Morehouse, working his second summer with the bank, and Donte was a rising junior at Morehouse, working at Goldman for his first summer. The experience that Nate, who comes from the South Dallas town of Desoto,and Donte, from Greenville, South Carolina, had at the bank was both a technical and cultural awakening. We spent lots of time meeting new friends and understanding the theory and application of finance. One very late night after spending a full day focusing on one aspect of a company's financials, Nate and Donte reflected on their backgrounds and about what they were doing and how it did not seem to have any direct impact on the the "real people" who played such a massive role on where we were.
We just knew that if we put the same amount of rigor and focus that we did at work on the small businesses in our communities back at home and in similar neighborhoods across the U.S., we could create a world of change. Over the course of the summer, it was that thought that evolved into the early stages of the Village Micro Fund, or VMF. Once we returned to Atlanta after that summer ended, we put the idea into action. We reached out to our friends from the summer who went to school in Atlanta and classmates from school who also had really rich summer experiences and would be willing to provide technical assistance to small business owners in their community. We got our first logo (Thanks Ben!), held our first meeting on the Morehouse campus, and met our third co-founder, Robin Mckinnie. The people who came to the meeting wanted to do whatever they could to support small business in West Atlanta, either with skills-based volunteering or through shopping. And soon, three of us started to realize what the "village" could become.