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Opening Doors

A new SBIC targets Latino entrepreneurs.

The golden rule for creating a successful business is to find a niche and then fill it. That's exactly what Manuel Iglesias and Terry Jaramillo are doing. The two are members of the management team behind Capital International SBIC LP, the first Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) to target Latino businesses. (The company gives some loans to non-Latino businesses, too.) Specialized SBICs typically serve niche markets, but Iglesias and Jaramillo saw an unmet need.

"With the consolidation of the banking system, local banks that served small, homegrown Latino businesses have disappeared," says Iglesias, whose company targets businesses primarily in Florida, New York and Puerto Rico. "Now these businesses are [dealing with] national banks not in touch with the community."

Capital International SBIC is a $5 million fund with the potential to access another $15 million. It targets companies two to four years old, with positive cash flows and proven track records, that are seeking $500,000 to $1 million. The loan process takes about two to six weeks.

According to Jaramillo, loan terms start at a minimum of five years; the company takes a 2 ½ to 15 percent stake in the company, depending on its value and size. Capital International SBIC typically expects a seat on a company's board of directors and will recommend and monitor solutions to any deficiencies.

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This article was originally published in the August 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Opening Doors.

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