The Sedler Family Center, with funding provided by the Coleman Foundation, offers a micro-loan program as part of our mission to encourage and support entrepreneurial activity. Entrepreneurs can apply for a micro-loan to be used to meet current demand or customer orders.
On Friday, February 4, 2010, Chris Head, a junior entrepreneurship major, presented a formal business plan to professors Rashmi Assudani, Becky Luce, and Joe Carter. Chris is applying for a Coleman Micro-Loan to enable him to profitably grow his business, HeadsUp! Inflatables, LLC, an entertainment rental company with two locations located in Louisville, Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio. His company focuses on the daily rental of inflatable units as well as tents, tables, and chairs.
Criteria for Approval
To be approved for a micro-loan, the entrepreneur must do the following (click here for an Excel Spreadsheet of more detailed micro-loan criteria):
- Provide a complete business plan for the venture.
- Have a member of the center’s advisory board serving as a mentor throughout the approval process and duration of the loan.
- Provide financial statements, contracts from clients/customers or other evidence of sales/revenues that will be used to repay the loan.
- Provide a viable repayment schedule.
- Get approval of business plan by entrepreneurial center director, faculty and an entrepreneurial center advisory board member.
- Sign a standard loan agreement.
Chris Head's request for a Coleman Micro-Loan was approved. The three-person faculty panel utilized the micro-loan criteria (posted on the website) to assess Chris' overall business plan. Once the panel completed their evaluation they discussed it with him to share their perspective as to the strengths and weaknesses of his plan.
On Friday, May 21, 2010, Chris completed the Coleman Micro-Loan Agreement with Joe Carter, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The next step is to process the agreement and issue the funds to Chris as requested. After that is when the real work begins. Chris will need to generate cash from his investment so he can re-pay the loan on time.
- Applicant receives micro-loan, continues to work with advisory board mentor, and repays loan on time.
- Applicant is considered in default of loan for missed payments or failure to meet regularly (monthly) with mentor.
On Tuesday, September 28, Chris Head repaid the $8000 Coleman Foundation Micro-Loan to Cheryl McElroy, Assistant Director of Grant Services. Once again, Chris proves that he has what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. He identifies a problem that needs to be solved for a specific target market segment. He identifies the potential causes of the problem and focuses on a solution to solve the problem. He develops a business idea and tests his proposed solution. After making adjustments to his he completes his business plan and secures the required funding. But, most importantly, he implements and achieves the goals of his business, all while remaining flexible to adapt to the needs of his customers.
This is the second micro-loan that was awarded to Chris. On both occasions he repaid the micro-loan ahead of time. Look for Chris to launch more businesses in the future. He does an excellent job of moving concepts to reality.