Shop Talk reporter Virginia Bridges asked small-business owners where they found their startup capital, and how long it took to get it. This is what they said.
▪ “I started my first retail store in 1992 with money that I earned the old fashioned way: (from) hard work,” said Julie Jennings, owner of Uniquities, a women’s clothing store with four locations in the Triangle. “I sold books for the Southwestern Company (in Nashville, Tenn.) for three summers all over the U.S. and saved $14,000 my first summer, $18,000 my second summer and $34,000 my last summer. I saved my money and worked really hard for many years to expand and grow my business.”
▪ “Third Degree was founded with $2,000 from personal savings, a computer from Best Buy and $175 per month in executive office share space,” said Roy Page, CEO of Third Degree, an advertising and communications firm that provides consulting and marketing services to credit unions. “Today, Third Degree is a multimillion-dollar company with offices in ... Durham ... and Oklahoma City, Okla.”
▪ “My original startup capital came from a family member,” said Nanci Appleman-Vassil, president of APLS Group, a Raleigh training and consulting firm that specializes in career development and corporate training opportunities. “The bulk was used to pay for launch operating expenses for the first four months before landing my first two gigs as a trainer and consultant. The second infusion of capital was acquired through the SBA process, which allowed for hiring additional staff and supporting APLS Group’s growth to new markets.”