To pay for the business, Irene used her own money and credit cards. “I didn’t have money to take care of myself,” reflects Irene. “I spent everything to follow my passion.”
“It takes more than your in-house team to be successful. We love that everyone who works with us is really part of the business.”
Dominick reflects, “After two years, we’re realizing the full vision that we started with. It’s incredibly rewarding to see it all come together.”
Spice Monkey brings mouth-watering, globally inspired cuisine together with a warm-hearted service staff. “Seeing the joy when someone relaxes around a table with the people they love is the real benefit I get from my business,” says Kanitha.
Jaime offers advice to other entrepreneurs considering opening a bar or restaurant: “You need patience and persistence. We spoke to other bar and restaurant owners as we were starting out. They all gave great advice. Our biggest takeaway was that you should expect it to take twice as long and cost twice as much as you originally thought—and they were right—so plan accordingly.”
Terry shares how happy he is to have come across Veteran Launch: “You are doing an enormously valuable service for veterans. It was a pleasure to find Veteran Launch and receive the loan that helped me acquire Fair Game.”
“When we found the location, we knew we had to jump on this perfect opportunity to expand the business. We couldn’t have done it without the second loan from Main Street Launch,” says Lancy. “The loan allowed us to revamp the new place, set aside money we’d need to grow this new investment, purchase equipment, and help us expand our staff.”
Sean Sullivan has been an advocate for the LGBTQ community and the Oakland small business community for 15 years. He and his partner Richard Fuentes saw an opportunity to create a gathering place open seven days per week, specifically focused on serving LGBTQ people and Uptown.
Civil Labs is a social enterprise with a mission to empower young people to make change in their community, and to give them the resources to do so. The Oakland-based business is developing a food community center that provides space for after-school youth programming and commercial kitchens for area food entrepreneurs.
HauteButch opened in April 2012, offering their customers a line of masculine and gender-neutral clothing and footwear designed for women’s bodies.