Bad Girl Ventures
, a micro-finance organization focused on educating and financing women-owned startup companies, graduated its first Cleveland class on January 3 and announced the winner of a $25,000 low interest loan. Out of 70 applicants, 10 start-up companies participated in an eight-week program to learn the ins and outs of successfully running a business.
Kimberly McCune Gibson and Ann Marie Larrance of Grass Roots LLC, the parent company for ReHive Ale, The 1815 House, and Hungry Bee Catering won the grand prize. Three other prizes were awarded. The Business of Good
foundation awarded a $1,000 grant to Michael's Mobile Oil, and the City of Cleveland gave two $1,000 grants to The Brunch Project and Tonja's Tranquility Inn.
Of Gibson and Larrance, Candace Klein, Bad Girl Ventures founder and CEO says, “These women have the biggest fire in the belly that I’ve seen. It was a very close vote, but I haven’t seen two people who work harder ever.”
About 150 people came to the graduation event, which was held at Rosetta
in Cleveland. Food Network filmed the event because Gibson and Larrance are also participating in a reality show for the network. “It was great coverage,” Klein says.
Bad Girl Ventures has educated more than 250 business owners in Cleveland and Cincinnati and funded 24 companies with $650,000. Klein is now accepting applications for spring classes in Cleveland.
Source: Candace Klein
Writer: Karin Connelly