BNI (organization)

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Business Network International
IndustryBusiness networking
FounderIvan Misner
HeadquartersCharlotte, NC, United States
Area served
Key people
Ivan Misner, Graham Weihmiller

Business Network International (BNI) is an American franchised networking organization with around 233,000 members in 8,399 local chapters worldwide. Members meet weekly to discuss business and support each other's businesses by sharing referrals. It claims to be the world's leading 'referral organization'.[1] In 2015, the organization says its members generated referrals resulting in over $9.3 billion in closed business worldwide.

In 2016, this figure increased to $11.2 billion business passed between members and their referrals (worldwide) and in 2017, $13.6 billion worth of business was passed.[2] BNI was founded in 1985 by Ivan Misner.[3]

In Sept 2018, this figure grew to $15.5 billion worth of done deals passed between members, with over 242k members worldwide in 8,653 chapters across 70 countries and 10.4 million referrals passed between them. It is one of the biggest networking organization of its kind in the world.[citation needed]


Local BNI chapters arrange weekly meetings for people from various industries and encourage the building of relationships and the passing of referrals. Members mostly consist of small business owners but medium and large organisations are also represented. Anyone can apply for membership providing they are wiling to attend the weekly meeting, are operating a full-time business and as most Executive Directors would agree, are in a position to grow and scale their business.[4].


  1. ^ "BNI web page". Archived from the original on 22 February 2008. Retrieved 2013-06-14.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Why Technology Is Rewarding Close Personal Relationships". California Science & Technology News. 2006-02-23. Archived from the original on September 29, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-17.
  4. ^ 6 Reasons NOT to Join a BNI Group, by Ivana Taylor, Business to Community, 11 December 2014