Originally from Vietnam, Anh moved to the United States with her husband 18 years ago. After working for years in nail salons throughout northern California, Anh made a bold decision to pursue her dream and became her own boss. Anna Kim Chi Beauty Salon has now been in business in downtown Redwood City, California for six years.
Her parents doubted her decision to go into business for herself. “My mother and father were worried and tried to convince me to give this up. I’m glad I didn’t listen. I was confident and determined to make my salon a success. The more effort you put in, and the braver you are in your life, the more success you will have.”
In addition to haircuts, Anh’s salon also provides nails, waxing, and skin-care services. Her salon attracts foot traffic from around the neighborhood, and with her low priced quality services, customers keep coming back. It’s a simple formula, explains Anh. “Good haircuts, good service, and low prices!” On a recent day, Anh proudly wore her “I Voted” sticker from the November 2nd elections as she cut her client’s hair and she proudly boasts, “This country has been so good for my family. I love to vote!”
When Anh needed financing to make improvements to her salon, she turned to Opportunity Fund - her local microfinance institution (MFI) - for a small business loan. Anh learned about Opportunity Fund years ago when her eldest daughter opened a savings account through the non-profit MFI. With a $3,500 loan she will be able to make electrical renovations and bring her salon into compliance with fire codes. Anh is also excited to have the chance to use a microloan to build her credit. “I don’t need a lot of money at once, so this is very good. Then, once Opportunity Fund knows me and that I can repay, I’ll be able to get another loan to help with a bigger remodeling job.”
Kiva realizes that access to credit is a challenge for entrepreneurs everywhere. Kiva started out as a website focused on developing-world entrepreneurs. In June 2009, Kiva began experimenting with allowing entrepreneurs in the United States to raise money on its website. If this is something you support, please feel free to fund this loan. If you have questions, including how an entrepreneur in your neighborhood might get a loan, please visit our Help Center and click on "Loans in the United States."