Local attorney Candace Klein launched Bad Girl Ventures
in the Spring of 2010 to help fill
the gap between small startups looking for loans, and funders who want
to invest in local job creation.
She first pitched the
well-received idea publically at Ignite Cincinnati
, a fast-paced, five-minute pitch
"It's really difficult for
women-owned startups right now. And Cincinnati is really a philanthropic
area. Personally, I've given to so many charities, political causes and
organizations. I thought, 'If there was a way I could give just a
portion of that to a startup company that would create jobs, I would,'"
said OTR resident Klein during the launch. "I think we're really missing
the boat on supporting women-owned startups."
Bad Girl Ventures
is based on the micro-financing model of international organizations
like Kiva where small loans from individuals are bundled together. Bad
Girls is a registered 501(c)3, housed in the Over-the-Rhine Chamber
Revitalization Corporation, so contributions are tax deductible.
Businesses will soon apply for loans in a competitive application
process that will allow them to get their businesses off the ground.
believes BGV is the first of its kind in the nation because it pairs
the micro-lending model with a curriculum and a focus on women. Five
chosen startups will undergo a six-week entrepreneur curriculum, where
they will learn the building blocks to starting a business and be
responsible for submitting a business plan, WBE application, etc. While
one of the five entrepreneurs will receive a $25,000 low interest loan
from Bad Girl Ventures, other partner banks will be approached to
finance the other participants. Another round of financing will follow
every six weeks or so.
BGV has nearly met that $25,000 milestone,
raising funds from local business people and entrepreneurs (donation
levels start at $25). Eligible businesses must be at least 51 percent
women-owned and in the sectors of retail, restaurant or professional
1220 Vine Street, Suite 5
Writer: Feoshia Henderson
Source: Candace Klein,
founder Bad Girl Ventures
You can follow Feoshia on twitter @feoshiasoapbox