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Ventura County, California - Microcredit Example
Category: Microcredit | By SDR, 25-Mar-2017 | Viewed 370  Comments 0 | Source Nick Frankle

Entrepreneur Reyna Chavez


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REYNA CHAVEZ

"Traditional banks were not an option for me as they only looked at numbers on paper, however, Women's Economic Venture's took the time to break things down and look at my finances on a personal level as well as get to know more about my business."

About Reyna

, she is a young Hispanic woman living in Ventura, California with two young children, one of whom exhibited developmental delays. She was the beneficiary of business support and a microcredit loan made possible by a Rotary Foundation Matching Grant, the first microfinance grant approved for a developed nation. Rotary, the partnership of Rotary clubs with Women's Economic Ventures (WEV), and Reyna's own creativity changed her life. 

This is Reyna's story.



Reyna, raised by a single mom from Mexico, is the youngest of five children.

In 2011 Reyna was working in the medical field. When she set out to buy new scrubs she found that shopping locally one store had prices too high, another had poor customer service, and the third had limited selection. This was a problem and other workers probably shared her problem. She believed hard-working medical professionals needed a convenient way to shop for unique and affordable uniforms. 

Then a lightbulb came on - an idea that would set the change in her life in motion. Reyna found that other workers did share her problem. She began dreaming of opening her own business.
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Store of REYNA CHAVEZ

Scrubs on the Run,

Reyna's business, started small as a mobile business. She began by traveling to local clinics and selling scrubs from her SUV. Her idea caught on. Her business was filling an unmet need in the community. Being a mother of two young children, one having special needs, working an 8-5 job was becoming more difficult. She was concerned she'd soon be unemployed due to her family needs.  As the business grew, she decided to open a retail location. She didn't have sufficient capital to do that so she downsized to her home, cut back on personal spending, and relied on credit cards for financing.  The need for additional inventory prompted her to apply for a bank loan. She was denied.

About the Grant



In 2014, Reyna came to WEV for a loan to replenish her inventory. She heard a radio ad about Women's Economic Ventures and their loan program. She got the loan and joined the

Thrive in Five

program which gave her the kind of support she needed to help her business expand.  The WEV loan funded by the Rotary Matching Grant, allowed Reyna to quit her full-time job so she could focus completely on her business and family. It also helped her hire her first part-time employee. Today she has three employees and continues to expand her product offerings.

Reyna's journey to fill a niche in the community started with her idea in 2011. When Women's Economic Ventures and the microfinance loan made possible from The Rotary Foundation joined with Reyna, all of the elements for success came together. On May 12, 2016 she was honored as the WEV Entrepreneur of the Year for 2015. 

Today, with the help of another WEV loan she has two locations, 3 employees, and the business continues to grow. And still, she's unable to secure traditional financing.

Nick Frankle can be reached at:

nfrankle@earthlink.net


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