Text to borrow
EXPERIENCE is said to teach wisdom, and Royan Campbell, owner of Sure Financial Services, certainly found this to be true.
"I was out of work and decided to start up (my business) as I used to be employed in micro-financing and have more than 10 years in the sector," said Campbell.
Sure Financial is a micro-finance institution that gives personal loans to small clients. The company, based in St Thomas, started last July and is the twentieth nominee in the Observer's Mogul in the Making start-up programme.
The company began business out of his home and only recently got offices to "satisfy the demand of customers. We wanted them to know where to find us and not just on the telephone".
Funding proved to be the only major issue faced "because the structure and plans were already in place", he said.
Sure Financial uses text marketing to get to possible clients. "We market to our existing clients and new ones this way," he said. Experience in the field as a loan officer had also left him with some contacts he used to build his new venture.
Sure Financial also goes into the streets and to meet people.
"It's really about trying to find them and telling them about our products," said Campbell, adding, "The response is phenomenal." The company has more than 130 clients, a figure which Campbell said keeps growing.
He wants to broaden the reach of his office and eventually expand the business. "We want to increase our presence in St Thomas significantly before we do anything else. Then we plan to branch out," he said.
Despite the difficulties new businesses face, Campbell encourages Jamaicans to start them. "Any business is a challenge, regardless of the area. Once you have the tenacity to go in and do it, you will manage," he said.