全球视野 | 退休的“阿姨叔叔”们是如何帮助创业者获得他们过去没有的资金和机会?

 
 
 
 

 

在费城,这些退休的“阿姨叔叔”资助年轻的企业家们

通过与当地的社区金融发展机构/CDFI的合作,“阿姨叔叔圈”正在帮助那些可能没有资格获得传统贷款的当地创业者开始起步。

 

来源:

NextCity

作者:

CONNIE AITCHESON

 

 
 
 

文章《In Philly, These Retired “Aunts And Uncles” Fund Young Entrepreneurs/在费城,这些退休的“阿姨叔叔”资助年轻的企业家们》发布在一家名为Next City的美国杂志上。这是一家关注城市事物和非营利组织的杂志。文章介绍了一个位于名为“阿姨叔叔圈/CAU”的组织。这家组织的大部分成员都是退休了的“阿姨”和“叔叔”。在与当地的社区发展金融机构的合作和帮助下,阿姨叔叔们一起结成圈子,为当地年轻的小企业家们提供贷款,同时也提供自己的知识和时间来帮助指导企业家们。

 
 

 

 

When Judy Wicks retired from running her restaurant, the White Dog Café, she wanted to find a way to help young, under-resourced entrepreneurs develop their own businesses. She had an idea but wasn’t sure it would work. 

 

当朱迪·威克斯从经营她的白狗Café餐馆退休时,她想找到一种方法来帮助年轻的、资源不足的企业家发展他们自己的企业。她有一个想法,但不确定它是否可行。 

 

Like many other retired baby boomers, she had money, knowledge and time to offer young entrepreneurs. “How can I connect these two potentials?” she recalls asking. And crucially, how could she do so in a way that did not just create transactions, but built relationships and a sense of “co-creating the economy and the community that we all want to live in”? 

 

像其他许多退休的婴儿潮一代一样,她有金钱、知识和时间可以提供给年轻的企业家。她回忆问道说:“我怎样才能把这两种潜力联系起来?”最关键的是,她怎样才能做到这一点?不仅仅是创造交易,而是建立关系和一种“共同创造我们都想要生活的经济和社区”的意识? 

 

At a party of retired friends, Wicks asked if they would be willing to join her in putting together a few thousand dollars to lend to young entrepreneurs. Immediately a few signed on and, in 2015, the Circle of Aunts and Uncles (CAU) was started. 

 

在一次退休朋友的聚会上,威克斯问他们是否愿意和她一起凑出几千美元借给年轻的企业家。马上就有几个人加入。2015年,“阿姨叔叔圈/CAU”成立了。 

 

Based in Philadelphia, the CAU is now seven years old and includes 45 “aunts” and “uncles.” Together, they have loaned $358,000 to 26 local businesses, with some being repeated borrowers and others just receiving technical assistance. The organization’s loans go up to $15,000, though it offers up to $20,000 for repeated borrowers. Companies have to be in business for at least six months generating revenue, as the CAU doesn’t fund start-ups. The loans must be for a specific purpose and are for one to three years. 

 

总部设在费城的CAU至今已有7年历史,成员包括45位“阿姨”和“叔叔”。他们总共向26家当地企业提供了35.8万美元的贷款。其中一些企业是重复借款人,另一些只是接受技术援助。该组织的贷款额度最高为15000美元,不过它为重复借款者提供的贷款额度最高为20000美元。由于CAU不为初创企业提供资金,企业必须产生收入并开业至少六个月。且贷款必须有特定用途,期限为1至3年。 

 

Wicks, 75, says banks are unwilling to lend money to small businesses who haven’t proven themselves. She, too, had to borrow from her family and friends to start her restaurant before she was able to secure loans from a bank. However, many entrepreneurs don’t have family and friends they can ask for loans. That’s the gap this group aims to fill. 

 

现年75岁的威克斯说,银行不愿向尚未证明自己的小企业提供贷款。她也有类似经历,在她能够从银行获得贷款之前,她不得不向她的家人和朋友借钱来开办她的餐馆。然而,许多企业家没有家人和朋友可以来申请贷款。这就是CAU这个团体想要填补的空白。 

 

“It’s a substitute for family and friends stage capital,” Wicks said. “That’s why we call it the Circle of Aunts and Uncles.” 

 

威克斯说:“这是家庭和朋友舞台资本的替代品。这就是为什么我们称它为阿姨叔叔圈。” 

 

一位企业家在会员的后院向“阿姨叔叔圈”做介绍(图片由“阿姨叔叔圈/CAU”提供)。

 

In 2018, Thane Wright took over a café in Philadelphia. But after a year, he was sinking fast. He had recently moved back to Philadelphia, where he, his pregnant wife and his dog were living in a rented room. He had no capital of his own, and his financial partner had bailed on him. 

 

2018年,泰恩·赖特接手了费城的一家咖啡馆。但一年后,他迅速沉沦。他最近搬回了费城,他和他怀孕的妻子以及他的狗住在一个租来的房间里。他没有自己的资本,他的财务伙伴也放弃了他。 

 

“It was so bad,” Wright, the owner of the Bower Café, remembers. “I was so stressed out I caught psoriasis on my skin.” 

 

鲍尔咖啡馆的老板赖特回忆说:“当时情况太糟糕了。我的压力很大,以致我的皮肤感染了牛皮癣。” 

 

Still, he didn’t think he could approach a bank for a loan: “Banks don’t want to work with you if you don’t have anything to show them that you are creating revenue,” Wright says. 

 

尽管如此,他并不认为自己能够向银行申请贷款。赖特说:“如果你没有任何证据证明你在创造收入,银行就不会愿意与你合作。” 

 

When a friend introduced him to Wicks and the CAU in 2019 and he received a $10,000 loan which he used for marketing, it literally saved his business. 

 

2019年,当一个朋友把他介绍给威克斯和CAU,赖特获得了1万美元的贷款,并将其用于市场营销。这确实是拯救了他的生意。 

 

Immediately, he became connected to the CAU’s extensive network. Once an entrepreneur has been issued a loan, they are assigned to an Aunt or Uncle. Although the Aunts and Uncles don’t necessarily have in-depth business expertise, they become light-bearers pointing entrepreneurs in the right direction. Wright says his Aunt, Marsha Levell, has been “amazing,” connecting him to accountants and industry leaders. 

 

很快,他就与CAU广泛的网络建立了联系。一旦企业家获得了贷款,他们就会被分配到一个阿姨或叔叔那里。虽然阿姨和叔叔们不一定有深入的商业专业知识,但他们成为了为企业家指明正确方向的灯塔。赖特说,他的阿姨玛莎·利威尔一直是“了不起的人”,为他连接了会计师和行业领袖。 

 

“As an entrepreneur, you don’t always know what your needs are,” says Wright. “You know you’re failing in multiple areas, and then they can help you to figure out in which area to start on first to get you back on your feet.” 

 

赖特说:“作为一个企业家,你并不总是知道你的需求是什么。你只知道你在多个领域都失败了,然后他们(CAU)可以帮助你找到从哪个领域开始,让你重新站稳脚跟。” 

 

The Aunts and Uncles’ own journey was not all smooth sailing, either. 

 

叔叔阿姨们自己的旅程也并非一帆风顺。 

 

At first, Wicks thought she could simply collect checks from the retirees, deposit them in a bank and disperse them to qualified applicants. “I had no idea what I was doing,” she says. “If I had tried to do that myself, I would have gone nuts — having a mechanism for the loans repaid, all that bookkeeping and so on. I could never have done that.” 

 

起初,威克斯认为她可以简单地从退休人员那里收集支票,把它们存入银行,然后再把它们分配给合格的申请人。她说:“我不知道我在做什么。如果我自己亲力亲为,我会疯掉的——有一个偿还贷款的机制,所有的簿记等等。我永远不可能做到这一点。” 

 

Now the group’s loan fund is housed and managed by The Enterprise Center, a Philadelphia-based community development financial institution (CDFI) which also provides the Circle with a part-time loan manager. “That’s a big part of our success, working with a CDFI,” says Wicks. 

 

目前,该组织的贷款基金由Enterprise Center托管和管理,这是一家位于费城的社区发展金融机构(CDFI)。该机构还为CAU提供一名兼职贷款经理。威克斯说:“与CDFI合作,是我们成功的一个重要部分。” 

 

The CAU charges a 3% interest rate that goes back into the loan fund. So far, they have never had a borrower default on a loan, Wicks says. 

 

CAU收取3%的利息,并将其归入贷款基金。威克斯表示,到目前为止,他们还没有一个借款人拖欠贷款。 

 

Inja Coates, the loan manager for the CAU at the Enterprise Center, says the group evaluates deals differently than most lending institutions. 

 

Enterprise Center的CAU贷款经理伊尼亚·科茨说,该组织评估交易的方式与大多数贷款机构不同。 

 

“It’s about the relationship the CAU forms with the borrowers,” Coates said. “There are no credit checks, fees, collateral requirements, etc, so the barrier to access the funds is pretty low.” 

 

科茨说:“这关系到CAU与借款人之间的关系。没有信用审查、费用、抵押品要求等等,因此获得资金的门槛相当低。” 

 

They require prospective borrowers to provide some financial statements but avoid asking for extensive documentation. “We’re basically making a bet on character and quality of the product,” Wicks says. 

 

CAU要求潜在的借款人提供一些财务报表,但会避免要求提供大量文件。威克斯说:“我们基本上是把赌注押在产品的特性和品质上。” 

 

The Enterprise Center also informs the entrepreneurs of other funding resources, and free professional coaching or classes offered, among other areas. 

 

Enterprise Center还会告知创业者其他资金资源,以及提供免费专业辅导或课程等。 

 

During the coronavirus pandemic, the CAU issued grants of $1,500 to many of the businesses to help them stay afloat. A few declined, saying the funds should go to companies that more urgently needed the support. For Wright, receiving the grant helped his business survive. 

 

在新冠疫情流行期间,CAU向许多企业发放了1500美元的补助金,以帮助他们维持生计。有几个企业拒绝了补助金,说这些资金应该给那些更迫切需要支持的公司。对赖特来说,收到补助金有助于他企业的生存。 

 

Last year, he received another loan of $10,000 for opening a second location. This past April, the new Bower Café was launched on the ground floor of the newly opened Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania–Pavilion. Wright is also working with a developer to open a third café. 

 

去年,赖特又获得了1万美元的贷款,用于开设第二个分店。今年4月,新的鲍尔咖啡馆在新开业的宾夕法尼亚大学附属医院展馆的底层启动。赖特还在与一个开发商合作,准备开设第三家咖啡馆。 

 

Wicks believes the CAU’s premise can be implemented in other communities. A CDFI partnership would smooth the way, but all they need is trustworthy mentors — as well as finding Aunts and Uncles who are willing to contribute. 

 

威克斯相信CAU的前提可以在其他社区实施CDFI的合作关系将使道路更加顺畅,但他们所需要的是值得信赖的导师,以及找到愿意作出贡献的阿姨叔叔们。 

 

“The Aunts and Uncles are all people that want to do something to create a more just and sustainable economy, but in normal life it’s hard to know how to do that,” Wicks says. Through the CAU, seniors can apply their values of economic justice and environmental sustainability while developing personal relationships with young entrepreneurs to build a new economy. 

 

威克斯说:“阿姨和叔叔们都想做些什么,来创造一个更公正、更可持续的经济。但在正常生活中,很难知道如何做到这一点。”通过CAU,老年人可以应用他们的经济正义和环境可持续发展的价值观,同时发展与年轻企业家的个人关系,来建立一个新的经济。 

 

Jane Peppers, 76, has been a member of the group since it started and has known Wicks from the 1970s. 

 

76岁的简·佩珀斯自CAU成立以来一直是其成员,并从20世纪70年代就认识威克斯。 

 

“Small businesses are integral to the life of America,” said Peppers, a 76-year-old retired not-for-profit executive. “I believe strongly and firmly in the people who are brave enough to tackle these problems. I find that very inspirational.” 

 

76岁的退休非营利组织高管佩珀斯说:“小企业是美国生活不可或缺的一部分。我强烈而坚定地相信那些人有足够勇气去解决这些问题。我觉得这非常鼓舞人心。” 

 

Like her, Bernadine Hawes, has also known Wicks since the 1970s. An Aunt of five years and a 72-year-old retired economic development specialist, Hawes used to work at a high-end incubator of information technology and biotech companies. Now, she says, she hopes to “be in this group forever.” 

 

和佩珀斯一样,伯纳丁·霍斯也从20世纪70年代就认识威克斯。霍斯是一位加入了CAU五年的阿姨,也是一位72岁退休了的经济发展专家,她曾经在一家高端信息技术和生物技术公司的孵化器工作。她说,现在她希望“永远在这个组织里”。 

 

“These small businesses are where the growth really is going to be for this country,” Hawes predicted. “Because their lens [is] about sustainability, not about profit necessarily. It’s about a circular economy and it’s about looking for opportunities that they’ve not had in the past.” 

 

霍斯预测说:“这些小企业是这个国家真正的增长点。因为他们的视角[是]关于可持续发展的,而不一定是关于利润的。这是关于循环经济,这是关于寻找他们过去没有的机会。”

 

关键句翻译

 

10月12日,在联合国安理会“非洲气候与安全”公开辩论会上,中方敦促发达国家尽快落实对非气候融资承诺。那么发达国家的英文怎么说?

 

Developed Country

adj.发达的;先进的

n.国家

翻译、撰稿:丁适于(杭州市基金会发展促进会)

 

 

 

 

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