Mompreneurs receive microloans from Pasco EDC | Business
Two mom entrepreneurs have received microloans from Pasco Economic Development Council. Each with their own unique story, and each a small business owner in Pasco County, Florida.
First to receive a microloan was Rocio "Rosie" Paulsen the owner of Good Faith Insurance Services in Wesley Chapel which educates retirees on their Medicare choices and benefits. Rosie has been in business since 2005, but to keep up with the growing demand of services, the company needs to hire at least one additional full-time staff member. When she heard about the microloan from Pasco EDC she knew she should apply.
Rosie Paulsen, an Ecuadorian who came to the United States in 1988, is an energetic, all-smiles entrepreneur with a can-do attitude. In December 2009, she founded the Pasco Hernando Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and is also a founding member and community liaison of “La Liga Latina” a group of Hispanic professionals that educates the community.
In addition to financing, Paulsen receives technical training from the USF Small Business Development Center, which she says has been especially helpful. “I am so happy because this will allow me to hire the full-time help that we need. I am also proud to be the first Hispanic- and woman-owned business to receive a microloan from Pasco EDC,” said Paulsen.
The second entrepreneur to receive a microloan is Vicki Forster, a mom turn inventor of the The Go Caddy™, a product of her company BVT Products, LLC.
Forster’s idea for her company, BVT Products, LLC, began in 2003 when she headed to work out at the Trinity YMCA. While getting out of her car with her water bottle, towel, purse, keys, and cell phone, she dropped everything on the pavement. “I got a workout just bending and picking up everything!” She said. after looking in vain for a carrier that wouldn’t be clunky, she decided to make one herself. Forster took her new invention to her next aerobics class where it was a big hit with her classmates. And so the Go Caddy™ was born. The Go Caddy™ is a compact tote that holds a water bottle, identification, money and more when you are on the go.
“Victoria is what the microloan fund is all about,” said Hakes, Pasco EDC Economic Development Manager. “Being a working mom myself, I have a lot of respect for her drive to get to where she is today. I’m personally excited that we are helping her business grow. Who knows, she could be Tampa Bay’s next Sara Blakely!” (To find out more about the Go Caddy™ visit www.thegocaddy.com).
The microloan fund was established to help local entrepreneurs who cannot obtain traditional financing, to be able to grow, expand, and create jobs in the future. Pasco EDC is urging companies who need help obtaining non-traditional financing and are headquartered in Pasco County, or planning to locate in Pasco County, to consider applying for a microloan.
Borrowers must show they have the experience and resources to be successful business operators. Proceeds may be used for working capital, inventory, supplies, furniture, fixtures, machinery and equipment, but not to purchase real estate or to refinance existing debt. Please visit www.pascoedc.com for more information on how to apply, or call Pasco EDC at 813-926-0827 to consider donating to the fund.