We read a great little story the other day, amount a businessman in the USA, Franson Nwaeze, who was looking to get finance in place to start up his own restaurant. He approached his bank and was turned away – despite his skillset, business plan and various other strengths in his proposal. Not it turned out, that even though the bank declined him for a loan for his restaurant, due to the market and lenders’ appetites at the time; they were able to get finance in place to buy a petrol station.
Seizing this opportunity, Franson was able to open up his restaurant, inside (and alongside) the petrol station. By installing seating and the necessary equipment, he was able to turn it into a successful restaurant, which has space for over 1,000 diners.
So why did we want to share this story? Firstly, it is quite a feel good tale, about an entrepreneur overcoming the hurdles which were in his way to reach his goal. But secondly, it does show that sometimes lenders would benefit from spending a bit more time with potential borrowers – by understanding their requirements and their background it might just enable them to better evaluate which proposals are worth supporting, and which ones, like Franson’s initial proposal, might be worth providing finance for in the first place.