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Minority/Veteran/Woman...need advice!

ChefTracyChefTracy subscriber Posts: 1
edited April 2007 in Startup Funding
I am a veteran of the US Army, African-American and a woman.  I find it extremely heartbreaking when I`m turned down for a 25K- 50K loan for a small size Southern Cooking buffet here in Atlanta.  Although, I can understand, my credit scores are crap!  I find myself saying "If I knew back then, what I know now, I would have never....."  Currently, I make really good money, am paying my bills on time and am the best chef in the area (I cater weddings, business meetings, etc. with lots of referrals) and I can`t seem to find any funding for a location that is perfect for me, and will bring in plenty of people for my down home cooking!  I tried Prosper, didn`t get funded.  I tried SBA, credit scores weren`t good enough.  I figured since I have learned my lesson about credit, a minority veteran woman, someone would take pity on me and give me a break.  Anyone know of ANY agencies that help people like me succeed?  I`m also in self credit repair, I want my credit report looking good!  Plus, I have the best menu in town!


  • ChefTracyChefTracy subscriber Posts: 1
    Hi John,
    Thanks for the good advice!!  I don`t have the listing for Prosper.  When I tried to get funding, it was for something different.  But I will be creating a listing this weekend!!  My intentions are to pay off the collections next month, there are currently 4 of them that are easy to pay.  I am continuing with my current position...I have been with them for 8 years, so I`m very stable, thank goodness.  To host dinners for investors, where do I find them??
    Again, thank you so much for your advice.  I will have that proposal this weekend!  I`m also using Business Plan Pro 2007 to expand on my business plan, it`s almost complete.
  • ChefTracyChefTracy subscriber Posts: 1
    It has alot to do with business and what I`m trying to do because there are organizations out there who help, I have come across a few, but I know there are more.  I`m currently looking into The Women`s Business Assoc., SCORE, and VA that have certain programs for African American women who are veterans.
  • ChefTracyChefTracy subscriber Posts: 1
    I never said anyone "owes" me anything.  I just know there are programs to assist us, like the ones I mentioned.   I`m trying to get a loan so I can open up a small size restaurant, not catering-I do that on the side.
  • ChefTracyChefTracy subscriber Posts: 1
    I do have restaurant experience, catering experience, was also Food Service Supervisor in the military and currently getting my credit straight.  I realize the failure rates of restaurants, but I try to think positively and let no one steal my joy.  If it can`t/won`t happen for me right now, I have to accept it--God knows best......thanks
  • robertjrobertj subscriber Posts: 0 Member
    As you talk with potential lenders, it`s good to remember that they are mostly interested in getting paid back and their perception of the risk associated with that. Credit history (including credit score) is one item that affects their perception of risk. The amount of assets available - is another. So is experience and the plan (perhaps not as much as the credit history -but important).
    Lenders need to lend money, but because of the relatively low return - they can`t stand many losses. The better you can do at reducing the perceived risk - the better your chance to get the loan.
    Good luck.
  • ChefTracyChefTracy subscriber Posts: 1
    Thank you Robert.
    I really do plan on reducing the risk.  I want to be successful.
  • ChefTracyChefTracy subscriber Posts: 1
    Thank you Marshall!
    I definitely will be looking into these organizations!  I think the entire problem I`m having is my credit.
    Thanks for the good luck wishes!
  • ChefTracyChefTracy subscriber Posts: 1
    Thank you Marshall.  I have been checking this new thing out for the past week!  I spoke with a Veteran Rep, and he said I could get $25k loan with no collateral, it just has to be under 25k.  My only question would be:  Do they still go by your credit scores, like the SBA, to determine eligibility?  The only elig requirements that I have read was about being a vet, serv member etc.
    I am sooooooo ready to get started!!
  • LByNLByN subscriber Posts: 0
    I think Chef Tracy was stating her status (veteran, minority and a woman) because there are loan and grant programs available to us, that are not available to other segments of the entreprenurial population. And it`s a shame that your tone is so discouraging, I thought this was a place for ENcouragement? If you don`t have anything nice to say...
    I am also a veteran, woman and minority, congratulations to you for coming this far!! I read a great article in Inc. magazine. Talked about people like you and I. Small business owners who don`t have good credit, but who do have solid business practices and a mission. There is help. www.cdfifund.gov</A> Community Development Financial Instituions. This is a government program that awards money to banks and non-profit organizations and these banks and non-profits in turn loan and grant money to individuals for business startup and expansion. A few of the qualifications are:
    You must have a community mission
    You must want to bring your business to high risk urban areas and neighborhoods
    They specialize in high-risk microenterprise loan programs. Go to the website. Click on WHAT WE DO, Click on INDIVIDUALS SEEKING GRANT LOAN, Click on SEARCHABLE AWARD DATABASE. You can search for your state and city. Look at the institutions that were awarded that money and contact the person listed.
    Best of Luck! See you at the top.
  • ChefTracyChefTracy subscriber Posts: 1
    Good morning LByN!!
    Thank you for responding and having my back.  Yes, those remarks from Alchemy were discouraging...more than you think.  But yes, I will check out that website.  Just to give you another outlet, there is an agency I have been working with and they assist minorities only.  The website is www.accion.com</A>.  Whoever you speak with, tell them you were referred by me, Tracy Francis!  They will be very happy to help you...GOOD LUCK!
  • LByNLByN subscriber Posts: 0
    I`ll be sure to check out that resource! Let me know if the CDFI info helps.
    The article was in the June 2007 issue of Inc. Here`s the link to the online version idebar.html , let me know if that helps.
    Peace and Prosperity to all!!
  • ChefTracyChefTracy subscriber Posts: 1
    Unfortunately, I`m not one of them.  Although the new program seems to help some people, the credit criteria is still the same (scores need to be in the high 600`s).  I`m still paying things off on my credit report in order to get what I want/need.  Maybe someone will give me a chance to prove myself.
  • txbassguytxbassguy subscriber Posts: 0
    good luck in your startup. what i`ve learned is regardless of most other factors what really helps is good credit scores, second is experience in the field you`re trying to go into. it`ll take some time - but you`ll get your credit scores up. if only i knew a few years ago what i know now - i never would`ve tried to start a restaurant franchise.25-50k sounds a bit low for a restaurant in atlanta.
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