On Thursday, March 13th, Carol Hewitt of Slow Money NC visited Elon Microfinance Initiative for a discussion on microfinance and social business in North Carolina. Hewitt is the founder and principal matchmaker for Slow Money NC, an organization started in 2010 that provides loans to businesses in the food and farming industries.
Hewitt started Slow Money after years of work in social justice. She was captivated by the idea that many small businesses can succeed with very small amounts of capital. Of the 90% of small businesses that fail, Hewitt believes many of them could have been saved with microfinance loans. “One of the reasons we find microfinance so compelling is that it’s hopeful,” Hewitt mentioned. “There’s just a natural way of looking for things that are hopeful.”
Since founding Slow Money, Carol has facilitated more than 55 loans to local businesses, including a major loan to help refinance a company shops market near Pittsboro, NC. In addition to her work with microfinance, Ms. Hewitt is also an accomplished author. She wrote Financing Our Foodshed: Growing Local Food with Slow Money, which chronicles the stories of more than 20 Slow Money businesses.
Elon Microfinance Initiative is very grateful to Carol for making a trip to Elon and we look forward to working with her company this semester!