- How much money can I borrow?
If you’ve been in business for less than a year you can apply for a Start-Up Loan of up to $5,000
If you’ve been in business for more than a year you can apply for an Expansion Loan of up to $10,000.
- What are the terms of the loan?
The interest rate is 10% per annum. The term can be anywhere from 1 year to 5 years.
- How often would I have to make payments?
Payments are due on the 1st of every month.
- Can I pay off my loan early?
Yes. You can pay off your loan at any time without any penalty.
- How long will it take for my loan to be approved?
It largely depends on how long it takes for you to complete the application as well as respond to feedback. For someone who works quickly and completes all the application requirements promptly, the loan may be approved within 6 to 8 weeks.
- Who provides final approval for the loan?
Our loan committee provides final approval. The loan committee is composed of 3 to 4 members of our board with a range of professional experiences and backgrounds.
- If I complete all the application requirements, am I guaranteed to be approved for the loan?
No. Approval largely depends on whether your business plan is considered to be viable and whether you are passionate about, and capable of carrying it out. The Director of Training and Entrepreneur Support will work with you during the application process to determine whether your business is considered to be viable.
- Why do we ask for reference letters and who should write them?
While business viability is crucial, your character and personality are also an important factor in determining whether your loan is approved. In addition to meeting with you, another way of assessing your character and capacity is to hear from people who have known you for a few years and who might have worked with you. We usually ask for a personal reference (someone who has know you for a few years) and a professional reference (some you have worked for or with).
- Why do you ask for a credit report?
Your credit report gives us a clear picture of your financial situation. It not only helps us determine whether you can afford to take on this loan, but it also means we can work with you to develop a plan to start to pay off any existing debt once you have successfully launched your business.
- When will I be setup with my mentor?
The Director of Outreach and the Director of Training and Entrepreneur Support will match you with a mentor once your loan is approved.
- How will my loan be funded?
Your loan is funded by members of the local community who would like to lend to you. Soon after your loan is approved, we will post a profile (approved by you) of you and your business on our website. Prospective lenders will read through the profiles on the website and choose the person they wish to lend to.
- When do I get my loan?
You will get your loan once it is fully funded. This can take anywhere from a few days to a few months. We encourage all of our approved entrepreneurs to do whatever they can to get their businesses up and running while they wait for their loans.