Jane got her start-up money from Kiva.org and didn’t even have to submit her business plan. All she needed to do was prove her strength of character and creditworthiness. She did this by raising $5,000 from her network of friends and family.
Jane had worked in the beauty industry for many years, gaining professional experience at different spas, and wanted to go out on her own. She discovered that celebrities in Europe and Ireland practice High Definition Eyebrows – eyebrows that match facial shape and skin. Despite its popularity overseas, this eyebrow-shaping treatment was not yet widely available in New York. Jane wanted to be among the first to offer it.
She began coming to SCORE for marketing and sales advice, working with Alvin Roselin and Robert Serabin. Charlie Sobel helped with her business plan. She determined that she needed $10,000 to rent space in an existing spa and to purchase products and equipment.
Bob Moses encouraged her to attempt to raise the funds by applying to Kiva Zip, which facilitates person-to-person lending. She registered, submitted a profile, and provided a professional photo. Kiva set up a Web page for her start-up and a link that could be sent to friends and family. She raised $5,000, half of what she needed, very quickly, from only 15 people. Kiva matched it, and she had the $10,000 she sought.
She continues to be astonished by how easy it was, and how little paperwork it took.