Candace Klein of Bad Girl Ventures
When and why did you start your business?
I launched Bad Girl Ventures in March, 2010 because I had a number of female legal clients who could not get bank financing and who were forced to close their doors. I had become obsessed with alternative forms of finance in 2008 and 2009, and launched Bad Girl Ventures to fill a hole in the financing space. BGV was formed to provide training, education, and financial resources to women-owned startups.Did you consider yourself an entrepreneur before that?
Nope. I always considered myself a leader of social causes, but didn't adopt the title of entrepreneur until recently.Where did you find your first employee?
All of my employees started out as unpaid interns. This gave me the chance to work with them and understand their style before committing them to a paid position.What state or local resources did you take advantage of and how did they help?
BGV has a formal partnership with SCORE, a semi-governmental agency. Other than that, however, we have taken no money or incentives from state or local government.What's the most difficult thing about running your own business?
It is extremely difficult to maintain balance and to ensure that I am always able to pay my employees. There is much pressure tied to feeding other people's families.What's the best thing?
I get to wake up every morning on fire about the people and projects I love the most. I don't have a boss, and I get to choose how to best make a difference in the world. There is something extremely liberating about that!What has contributed most to your growth?
Honestly, our volunteers, clients and earned media have all played a huge role in our growth. If not for them, we would not exist.What companies or founders do you admire and why?
While I do admire Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg, I honestly admire founders like Patty Brisben with Pure Romance the most. She started her own company as a female in Ohio and has grown it successfully on her own. I hope to do what she has done in the not so distant future.