Posted at: 03/19/2013 9:04 PM
Updated at: 03/21/2013 10:56 AM
By: Amber LaVail, KOB Eyewitness News 4
There’s a better chance these days a small business is being opened by a woman, not a man, and Bernalillo County is focusing on getting more women in the business this week.
Molly Luethi and Kei Tsuzuki are partners. They’ll be talking to other women about starting a small business at Wednesday’s summit hosted by Country Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins.
The women will also learn about the New Mexico Community Development Loan Fund started by private businesses and Bernalillo County three years ago.
The two friends, mothers, and printers are creating success one textile at a time.
Luethi said, "This is the second time I have been a small business owner and I love it. I also have a great business partner, we work well together."
Kei Tsuzuki, business partner and longtime friend of Leuthi said, “We have come together to do something creative in the community, but also to create a business that will help hire women in the southeast heights."
Commissioner Stebbins said that at the summit, "We want to see if there are things that the county can offer in terms of capital, and expertise. There will be advice from other entrepreneurs to help new businesses grow, succeed, and add new employees."
A total of one million dollars was originally put into the fund, the program has granted twenty-three loans, and thirteen of those have gone to women to start businesses.
Commissioner Stebbins knows, "One of the messages we heard repeatedly when we were out in the community asking what small businesses need, it was access to capital."
So far, every loan granted to a small business is being paid back.