What is the benefit or value you're creating for your business?
I bring 18 years of experience in financial services consulting, marketing and communications. Prior to founding Ethix, I ran a strategic communications firm focused on delivering brand and business strategy to purpose driven organizations. I am the main interface between Ethix and our local and broader community. I am operating on a skinny budget so I get creative and leverage relationships and my own skills at networking to build and grow our brand. Our brand and messaging is critical to our success. It looks great and is getting results.
How are you leveraging internal resources (funds, time, knowledge, etc.) to support this initiative?
We have a small team of skilled entrepreneurs who are vested in the business and our angel investor is also a strategic partner with a strong interest in our success. I have access to deep skills in technology, this industry, operations, accounting and we have full administrative support. We are all on skinny start-up pay:) I have secured opportunities through networking such as the Oakland wide merchant initiative and a 45 second television commercial that we were selected for by SFDFS. My partners are awesome and committed and brilliant and we build of one another's energy and drive every day in the office. It's pretty great!
Expand on your answer, explaining the long-term funding and support plan.
Current invested funds are budgeted until the end of December. At that point we become eligible for $50 in debt capital from FTS, our acquiring partner, for every $5k increase in our monthly revenues. We have completed an application for an SBA loan and are in conversations with a couple of early stage investors and venture funds. We are expecting to go cash flow positive in month 13 of plan and are building a contingency around that will carry us through another year of capital supported growth.
Tell us about your partnerships across your company and externally that are key to your project's success.
The partnerships at the core of the company, those that exist between the founding partners are at the heart of what we are doing and are central to our success. The values of shared commitment, social impact, interpersonal respect, health and well being and open communications are very much in evidence in our working relationships and in the environment that we create in the office. This is probably the aspect of the company of which I feel the most proud at this point.
What internal support have you gotten for your project? What kind of push-back have you received?
I have the full support of my partners in this venture. They have consistently shown a great degree of confidence in my work. We are very collaborative so most outcomes involve a conversation but there is little in the way of push back. I have been able to clearly express my skills and my experience in the creation of the brand and messaging and in the development of the partnership programs but in the context of the ongoing input and support of my colleagues.