Intersect Fund helps people launch their own business

June 27, 2012 3:06:30 PM PDT
Virginia Sanchez wanted to be her own boss, so after 30 years of working odd jobs, the Mexican immigrant bought Danny's Deli in New Brunswick.

Virginia says getting a small business loan was impossible, so she learned how to run a business and where to borrow money at the intersect fund.

She borrowed 35-hundred dollars to buy these much needed refrigerators. They're almost paid off and now she's looking to get another loan to expand her business again.

Rohan Mathew runs a not-for-profit organization to help people like Virginia. Here's why: Labor Department numbers show New Jersey's unemployment stands at 9.1 percent. That's higher than the national average.

"Being able to make your own money without having to worry about what salary someone is going to pay you or how many hours they're going to give you this week. It's about freedom. It's about economic independce. And that's invaluable."

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development is offering Entrepreneur University at the Intersect Fund for free. It's normally $900.

In 60 hours, instructors show unemployed people how to find customers, keep track of cash, and crank up profits. Clients can borrow up to 10-thousand dollars when they complete the course.

Frank Schlesinger opened up Frank's Pickled Peppers" when he finished his training. "It's extremely scary (owning your own business), but if it was easy everybody would be doing it," Schlesinger said.

Virginia say after two years of hard work the risk was well worth the reward.

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