Low-Interest Loan Offers a Closet Full of Possibilities for Entrepreneur

Impact Loan-Amanda Hanson

Like many new entrepreneurs, Amanda Hanson initially had doubts about starting her own business. But, time has revealed it was the right decision.

“It is exciting, exhilarating, soul fulfilling and scary as hell on any given day. I never thought I was cut out or had the brain to be an entrepreneur. It took finding my passion to provide that clarity for me. Looking back, I think I was actually meant to be an entrepreneur,” says Hanson.

She is the owner of Simply Stylish, a personal styling business that aims to focus on women’s life goals, using clothing to build confidence and a style that reflects their personalities.  She offers wardrobe styling, consulting, closet purging and personal shopping. The concept came about when she initially helped a friend re-vamp her style and wardrobe. That’s when Hanson realized it could be more.

Hanson went through Enterprise Saint John’s 13-week strategic business course, Navigator’s Venture Validation Program. She also applied for an Impact Loan to get her business started. The 5-year loan administered by Enterprise Saint John offers people up to $25,000 to start or expand a business at 2% + prime and interest free for the first 12 months.  She received $5,000 and used it to get her business off the ground.

It allowed me to invest in myself and my business without being worried in how it would effect my personal finances. I hadn’t built up a clientele yet, so I needed money to invest in by business to market and grow it. I wouldn’t have been able to use my personal money, so the loan made my decision easier to invest in my business.”

The fact that the loan was at a lower interest rate also made things easier.

“I hate owing money, but the low interest gave me peace of mind and made this a very easy decision compared to so many hard ones I have to make as an entrepreneur. The loan allowed me to invest in some marketing pictures in order to gain attention and momentum with my target market. It allowed me to pay for courses to develop my skills as a personal stylist, as well as pay for a course to teach me how to scale my business and create online courses for my business in order to increase my reach and help more women find their confidence through their clothes.

Since starting last year, Hanson has worked with 46 women curate their closets and build confidence. Heading into 2019 she will be looking at developing an online course. It’s an opportunity to grow her business outside the New Brunswick market, but she  appreciates where she first started.

“I finally opened myself up to my passion and I chose to follow it. We have an amazing program through ESJ to support entrepreneurs and small businesses. The people in the community have been so supportive of my business and have embraced me and love sharing about what I do.”

Since then, doors kept opening up and her business continues to take shape.

“It has been a whirlwind, but I feel alive and happy. I still have my “bad days” full of self-doubt and “imposter syndrome”, but I have surrounded myself with a great support network to get me past those days,” adds Hanson.

To apply for the Impact Loan, go to www.impactatlantic.ca  and if you need help moving from a business idea to reality, check out our Venture Validation Program.