Build The Hill’s (formerly known as Carolina Microfinance Initiative) mission is to alleviate poverty by promoting sustainable small business growth in Chapel Hill and the greater Triangle area. We provide lending and credit building services to financially disenfranchised local business owners and entrepreneurs who are unable to access traditional banks. Additionally, we strive to continually improve our services by keeping abreast of practical developments and innovations in the microfinance industry.
Through building long-term relationships with our clients, our volunteers gain practical skills in professional networking and small business administration, while also gaining expertise in navigating the legal structures surrounding microfinance. This programming also helps strengthen ties between the university and the town of Chapel Hill, giving students the opportunity to connect with non-university-affiliated community members.
These days, we are hard at work building our own pool of capital to begin offering services as an independent banking institution. This will allow us to disburse loans more quickly and more flexibly, and it will allow our volunteers to gain experience in underwriting, collecting, and credit reporting. Throughout the semester, we are planning to create more local relationships and continue cultivating partnerships with established national microfinance organizations, such as Kiva Zip, The Intersect Fund, and Justine Petersen.