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What’s in a business loan, really? Kettie Belance, account manager at RBC― also an entrepreneur, professional singer, mother and all-around passionate person― gets to the nitty-gritty. Her role, she explains, is to provide guidance, backed by over 20 years of experience working at RBC and her own entrepreneurial journey.
“We need to make sure that our dreams come true”, said the account manager, after quoting Harriet Tubman, who famously said, “every great dream begins with a dreamer” . “Then, we must make it happen, and a great way to begin is to get help, and information on how to go about it.”
Lending a hand
A loan can open so many impactful possibilities for Black entrepreneurs. However, stigma lingers around borrowing money, credit, and the lack of financial literacy. “Knowledge is power” , declared Belance, who is committed to changing the mentality. “With that, you can make better choices, see for yourself, your family, and everybody around then you become an ambassador », she said.
And you don’t have to go through it alone. The account manager recommends getting the bank involved in the process as early as possible. « The earliest you get your banker involved, the earliest we can help you plan », she explains. Your financial partner can explain what is needed to get approval for a loan and how to go about it.
That’s not the only thing they can do for you. The advice comes in many forms. « Maybe I could advise you with an accountant, with somebody who does specialize in financial planning or investing, there are there are so many partners that can be part that could like surround your project the most of the people are not aware », she details.
Go and get it
Do you need money to make money? What you actually need is financing, explains Belance. « The business owner needs to have money that they s going to inject into the business », she explains, comparing it to a baby. That is where the loan comes in handy. « if someone else is going to give you additional capital you have to also show them how much you’re willing to put into your baby, your business, your dream. »
A loan is money you borrow from a financial institution. Your counsellor can advise you on the type and the terms if can take, and what is best for your situation. And there are so many options available. « That’s why I always refer back entrepreneurs to their bank because that’s where you get all the information for the multiple products that you can have access to », recommends Belance.
To apply for financing, there is a process. And it can take longer than expected, so to not let discouragement settle. « You have to be patient, and you have to make sure that the person that’s doing the loan for you, keeps you aware of what’s going on where we’re at », she says.
As you might expect, one important element to consider is your credit history. But that isn’t the full story. « It’s very important because you decide to do financing in the financial institution and they don’t know you, the only thing that they have is your credit bureau. », she explains.
But this alone should never stop you from applying. « it’s not because you have a credit bureau that is less credible that it means that it amplifies that you’re going to be rejected », Belance underlines. « It can be explained if we can do some research we can make it look better ». Things such as your experience as a business owner will also be considered — a key element that is not known to everyone.
In all cases, the thing to do is to make the step and get the information. if you do face rejection, it does not stop there. An account manager can give you advice about how to remedy.« So, therefore, the next time you apply, we’re gonna get it », encourages Belance. The most important thing is to ask why, then not settled in discouragement, and try again. And for entrepreneurs, rejection is part of the process. And there are options. «you’re an entrepreneur, you’re gonna go through stuff, you know, I feel like just build character. But it’s easier said than done.
RBC also recently launched a new financing solution called the RBC Black intrapreneur business loans. « RBC is committed to enabling growth and wealth creation for black entrepreneurs», states Belance. « The way that we want to do that is by giving access to capital, access to experts and access to engagement in the community. », The program has no age limit and offers up to $250,000 with advantageous rates.
To know more about how RBC empowers Black Entrepreneurs, you can visit the website , and listen to the podcast episode Demystifying business loans: Why would I need them? on Spotify and Youtube.