Being Bad is Good PDF Print E-mail
Written by Eleni Snider   
Thursday, 24 June 2010 08:32

Being Bad is Good 
A local organization is helping out women in a huge way - with their pocketbooks and dreams. Learn how one woman hopes to increase women-owned businesses in the area.

Who says that being a bad girl is a bad thing? To Candace Klein and many other Cincinnatians, being a bad girl is a great thing and means really kicking off in the area as being a woman who is strong, powerful, bold, unique and willing to take risks — risks like starting new small businesses, perhaps?


Bad Girl Ventures came out of Founder Candace Klein's willingness and love to help women, and a presentation she gave last year at an Ignite Cincinnati meeting fueled the fire of her passion. Bad Girl Ventures is a localized micro-lending organization that provides loans to women starting small businesses.


"It's always been my passion to help other women," Klein says.


After reading Cameron Tuttle's The Bad Girl's Guide to Getting What You Want, Klein's idea of a bad girl formed into the presentation, which later turned into the inspiration for Bad Girl Ventures' name. The Bad Girl Ventures' slogan "Be bold. Join us." really aims at their main target: bold women willing to take risks.


Women have difficulties obtaining bank loans to start their small businesses for two major reasons. First, women need to prove two years of profitability, and secondly, women need to have five years of continuous work experience in the same field, Klein says. The problem is that many women want to start new businesses after staying at home with their children and being out of work for a few years, so they run into these roadblocks when applying for loans.061410VALLEYVIEW.GIF


Statistics also help put things in perspective, Klein says:

  • 40 percent of small businesses are owned by women in the United States.
  • Women only receive five percent of bank loans.
  • 60 percent of bachelor's degrees were awarded to women last year.
  • One in five multimillion-dollar businesses is owned by a woman.



"Women need to start taking an active role in closing the percentage gap … [And Bad Girl Ventures] is my effort in closing the gap," Klein says.


Bad Girl Ventures is a 501c3 under Over-the-Rhine Chamber Revitalization Corporation and is actively taking donations for its first class this fall. Klein welcomes any donations, and as an extra incentive, people who donate $500 or more become a member on the investment committee for the upcoming class. Therefore, they can help decide who gets the loan in the end. Another great part about this organization is that 100 percent of the donations made go straight toward the $25,000 loan.0110Fence_INSTORY.gif


Bad Girl Ventures recently kicked off their application process, which consists of a Twitter version of pitching their business idea in 200 words or less.


The next step in the process is a credit check and an interview with two family members per applicant who makes it to this round. The board of directors then chooses five women from the applicant pool to complete a six-week curriculum with Friday classes, projects and training. These classes also will be open to the public for a $25 fee. They will cover topics from how to write a business plan to strategies and weekly projects. At the end of the six weeks, the investment committee votes on which woman should receive the low-interest $25,000 loan to start up her small business.


After completing the course, the five finalists serve as mentors to the next class of ambitious women looking to start their own businesses. In the future, Klein hopes to find additional loans to help out the four women who complete the curriculum without receiving the $25,000 loan.

Editor's Note: This story has been edited from its original version to correct factual errors.


Photographer: Neysa Ruhl

Model: Candace Klein

Location: Lofts@4120

Eleni Snider -

Eleni Snider is Cincy Chic’s editorial intern. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>

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