I am starting a business with no money.

My first business taught me how to finance my business ideas as a first-gen Latina. And right away, I knew it would take more than money – it would take believing in myself and that I would make enough money in my business to pay any debts any investments, and make a profit. If you are a first-gen Latina or first-time business owner struggling with investing in your business, this post is for you.

When I started my first business, I had no money to start that particular business. The party rental business I was looking at cost $10,000—the thought of having no money but needing money to start making money. I had to buy my business in cash, so there was no way I could use a credit card to buy the business. I had to figure out how to come up with $10,000 to buy the business.

Financing your business as a first-gen Latina
Latina thinking how to finance her business

Do we ask for money from our “Machista” family?

I did not want to ask my family for money. I knew my parents did not have the money to let me borrow. I did have some extended family I could ask for money from. I had a few uncles in mind that would allow me to borrow that amount. One thing about me is I had never been prideful, but that day I was. I told myself I couldn’t, and here is why.

I knew that if my uncles lent me the money, the word would spread around my extended family. I didn’t want my family to think that the only way I could start a business was thanks to my uncles. Or, much worst that if my business was successful that it was all thanks to my uncles. I know how machista (sexist) my family is. I also knew starting a business would be difficult and wanted to take the credit.

So how did I finance my business as a first-gen Latina?

Long story short – I went to my local credit union – SchoolsFirst Credit Union and got a personal loan. (recommend this credit union for any school staff members in California). They could lend me a loan at a 7% APR, which is a good APR for a personal loan. I had good credit, and that was the lowest they could go. The APR would have been about 15% if it weren’t for my credit score.

For the $10,000, I had to pay about $200 per month for five years. The total amount I would have paid with interest was almost $12,000. I did not want to pay interest, so I paid the loan in 18 months. I do have to say that $2,000 in interest rates for five years is not a bad deal if we compare it to the interest one can rack up with credit cards, which have anywhere between (20%-29.99%)

Financing my businesses with my own money or personal loans has worked for me. Though there are many grants based on your business, city, background, etc, that you can look out for.

What have been my struggles to finance my businesses as a first-gen Latina?

One of my main struggles has been feeling alone when financing my business. I appreciate my parents for coming to this country. Thanks to them, I have the privilege and access to credit. As a gen-z/millenial, I am tech-savvy enough to learn about resources to help my businesses. But I have wondered how different things would be if my family had more financial resources.

How amazing would it be to ask Daddy for a small loan?

Another thing, I don’t always have conversations with my parents about how I have invested in my businesses because they won’t understand. They would probably tell me, “Why don’t you just do it yourself.” But as someone who has been in business for five years, I can tell you that you need to do outsourcing.

Approaching the financing of your own business from a different perspective

I see financing my businesses as an investment. If we are investing in the stock market, we believe in a particular business, so why not believe in your business idea? Many first-gens are scared to start their own businesses because they fear losing their money. This is why earlier I said, “It’s more about money. It’s about believing in yourself and your business.

The party rental business was my first business investment, but I have financed many more business investments since. I have invested in business programs, coaching, branding, VAs, marketing, etc. Some of these investments have allowed me to expand my personal development and business.

Conclusion

Financing your business as a first-gen Latina might come with its challenges. The purpose of this post is to tell you that if you feel frustrated about funding your own business while trying to be financially stable – you are not alone. But this doesn’t mean you should not give your business a shot or an opportunity to expand.

It would have taken me about one year to save the $10,000 for my party rental business, but because I chose to believe in my business idea, one year into my business, I had generated $20,000 in revenue. Imagine if I would have waited one year to save for my business.

This is your sign to invest in your business dream. I hope now you are more motivated to finance your business as a first-gen Latina!

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