The mission of BNI is to help members increase their business through a structured, positive and professional referral marketing program that enables them to develop long-term, meaningful relationships with quality business professionals. Business Network International (BNI) is an American franchised networking organization with around 227,000 members in 8,211 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'. 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, $13.8 billion was tracked between January and November. BNI was founded in 1985 by Ivan Misner.