The Hilltop Microfinance Initiative (HMFI) is managed and staffed by Georgetown University students who choose to commit their time without compensation. Our organization prides itself on the passion of our members to provide one-on-one services. As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization registered in the District of Columbia, we are financed entirely by the generosity of individuals and foundations who are committed to our ideal of financial empowerment.
HMFI aims to empower individuals by promoting financial independence and stimulating economic growth in the DC area. We offer a committed partnership that helps small business owners excluded from the commercial lending system grow their businesses by providing affordable access to capital.
Inspired by Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohammad Yunus’ work with microfinance in Bangladesh, Georgetown students Eugene Goldberg, Mohit Narang, Alex Siegel, and Max O’Neill founded HMFI.
HMFI disbursed its first loan to Bernardo, allowing him to purchase a new refrigerator for his food truck and eventually open his own grocery store.
HMFI separated its underwriting process from its client-facing outreach to promote organizational efficiency. Financial coaching courses catered to a client base of more than 100 members. HMFI secured a $10,000 grant from Capital One to develop a credit-builder loan.
HMFI expanded its educational coaching module and began hosting large group sessions with the Empowered Women International and other partner organizations. Throughout the year, HMFI worked with over 70 individuals and found that 80% of clients saw an improvement in their credit score after six months.
The Client Services Team developed new financial literacy courses. The Monitoring Department created a more robust evaluation process to tailor loans to businesses in diverse sectors. HMFI saw continuous growth throughout the year, highlighted by a new style guide and $17,000 in donations during the Friends and Family Drive.
HMFI implemented new initiatives and services to support small business owners and underserved communities most affected by the COVID-19 virus. These included offering builder loans, reviewing credit applications, looking over loan terms, explaining forgivable loans, offering economic resources, and serving as a direct resource on coronavirus-related small business topics.
2021 – Present Day
Currently, HMFI reaches individuals across DC, Maryland, and Virginia with two main services: Small Business Loans and Group Financial Coaching. HMFI’s Group Financial Coaching department now offers financial coaching sessions in Spanish. HMFI disburses Builder Loans for small business owners who need less capital and prefer a shorter approval timeline. HMFI also offers its Builder Loans and General Small Business Loans at a 1% fixed interest rate.
Though HMFI continues to expand, we remain devoted to empowering our community while creating an environment of trust and respect along the way.
Interested in our mission? HMFI recruits members at the start of Georgetown University’s fall and spring semesters. Click here to learn more.