Brian definitely has an entrepreneurial streak - after converting a city bus to run on vegetable oil, he launched his own alternative fuel retail company at the tender age of 23, right after getting his engineering degree. Brian recognizes that alternative fuel methods, while in demand, are costly for the average consumer, and his idea was to sell affordable products to meet this demand.
Brian started his business on Ebay (an online buying and selling organization), where it was very successful. In the summer of 2008, shortly after he began selling, world oil prices took off and Brian's business became wildly profitable. He now has three very busy employees and keeps costs down by ordering in bulk, so that he can keep shipping costs affordable for his customers. He's going to use this loan to purchase inventory so that he can stay ahead of the curve in meeting his customers’ demands - as he says, "if I run out, it's an emergency!"
Aware of his participation in the "green" movement, Brian is convinced that renewable energy is "the fuel of the future" because "unlike everything else, it won't run out at some point." Though Brian wants to stay on the cutting edge in terms of designing innovative renewable energy products, he always keeps an eye towards his customers and makes sure to continue offering the products they want. Brian hopes that one day, he can run a biodiesel station on the highway that will be affordable enough to entice the average driver away from the gas station.
About U.S. Microfinance and ACCION USA:
Have you ever thought about how the cute new café on your corner or the salon you frequent every month got the financial resources to start their business? Chances are, they drummed up support from their friends and family, dipped into their personal savings, used a high-interest credit card, or all of the above. An estimated ten million small businesses in the U.S. face difficulty obtaining loans from traditional banks, even prior to the current “credit crisis”. Microfinance institutions, like ACCION USA, support these “unbanked” small businesses by giving them access to fairly-priced capital and business education.
Small businesses also help stabilize low- to moderate-income neighborhoods and rebuild our economy through income growth and job creation. Self-employment provides workers with a way to increase their incomes, support their families, and strengthen their communities. As unemployment rises in the U.S., more and more people are turning to self-employment and start-up enterprises as a way to take control of their economic futures and provide employment opportunities in their communities. The need for support of small businesses in the U.S. is great, and it is one that ACCION USA has been striving to meet since 1991.