Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Calculated Risks

Sara Glaz

Have a business idea but not sure what the next step is? Looking for a small business loan but getting rejected by all the local banks? Imagine being able to call up a nonprofit and getting the support necessary to create successful business — including the cash to make it thrive.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

After the economic downturn in 2008, community leaders and rabbis saw members losing their jobs one after the other, with few viable opportunities on the horizon. This was the backdrop for Emergency Parnassa Initiative (EPI) under the leadership of Zisha Novoseller. The New York City–based organization implemented an extensive job recruiting effort, instituted programs for men and women to improve their work skills, and set up a small business division that provides mentorship and no-interest loans. To date, EPI has placed 1,800 unemployed men and women in jobs in the New York–New Jersey area and funded more than 150 start-ups, which, in turn, employ an additional 1,000 people. The companies span a range of industries from high-tech and e-commerce to beauty aids and clothing sales and food production, in addition to the education and services sectors. The loans offered by EPI are interest-free and are paid back over three years. “When we first meet with an entrepreneur, we ask for the profit-and-loss projection for the first year,” says Mr. Novoseller. He explains that these numbers include anticipated revenue and expenses, which tell EPI if the business is expected to bring in a profit. More importantly, EPI uses those numbers to gauge the plan as a whole and to determine how knowledgeable the entrepreneur is about the details: the ins and outs of how the business will function, what type of clientele he expects, how he’ll market himself, how much he’s researched his competition, and what challenges he anticipates. “This is where we’re able to dig in, to really figure out how solid the business plan is, as well as what holes exist.” In the five years since its inception, EPI has seen all types of business plans and pitches: the good, the okay-but-needs-tweaking, and the not-so-good. Mishpacha approached three recipients of EPI’s loans to see what it takes to bring an idea to EPI — and ultimately to fruition.

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"