Elena Nebreda received a $2,000 loan through a vote by her peers.
Elena Nebreda started her business, Kisses From, in 2017. It is a custom-to-location organic souvenir lip balm that supports charities in the cities it represents. In 2018, she came to Ventures and a few months later graduated from our cornerstone Business Basics Course.
Following graduation, she joined a Peer Loan cohort with five of her classmates.
Unlike like a traditional business loan, Ventures’ Peer Loans do not require physical collateral or good credit to apply. Instead, participants present their loan request to their cohort of peers for approval. Elena attended regular meetings to evaluate her peer’s loan proposals. Concurrently, she prepared for her own loan proposal. By working with Ventures’ business coaches, she created her cash flow projections and presentation. Elena presented her loan proposal in July, received approval and had a check in her hand within a short time.
This loan allowed her to exhibit her products at two major gift shows where she landed new accounts.
With the capital, she was able to purchase inventory to showcase her custom destination lip balms at the Seattle Gift Show where she gained new accounts for her business with three international airports and other accounts in Alaska, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and Hawaii. The loan also helped fund her exhibit space at the Las Vegas Gift Show to find bigger accounts, stock up on inventory and marketing materials.
Elena shared, “I had to start with very little money, sometimes all I had for a certain week was $50, so growth was steady but slow. Now with Ventures’ loan, I have been able to accelerate my success to a healthy rhythm. It would have taken me months to get to where I am without all the financing, help, know-how, contacts and support from Ventures.”
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