Your Adventure Helps Others Find Theirs #liveBANGS

1756
Entrepreneurs
70
Countries
20%
of Our Profits
99%
reinvestment of loans

Our model is built to invest 20% of net profits in helping people start businesses.

Wayan, Indonesia - Photo by Brandon Smith | Images provided by Kiva.org to advance its mission of connecting people around the world through lending to alleviate poverty.

  • We hand-select entrepreneurs to invest in their business ideas.
  • All entrepreneurs are vetted + the loan dissemination and repayment is facilitated by our nonprofit partner, Kiva.org.
  • Entrepreneurs build their business and then repay their loan.
  • 99% of loans given through Kiva are repaid.
  • This high repayment rate indicates an extremely high rate of successfully growing businesses!
  • When a loan is repaid, we do not take the money back, but re-invest that SAME loan with a new, different entrepreneur.
  • This means that over time, one loan could cycle through innumerable entrepreneurs, growing many, many businesses.
  • Buy BANGS Shoes = Your Adventures Help Others Find Theirs.

SAVANT & SCHOLAR LLC, HARLEM, NY

Jamel's mission is to bring affordable yet stylish and high-quality eyewear to his community and to a broader market.

WHAT INSPIRED JAMEL TO START HIS BUSINESS?

“I grew up in Chicago, Illinois, in a small neighborhood called Hyde Park. A community full of Artist, Professionals, Small Business owners and immigrants. As someone who was a “Creative at young age, this setting was a huge influence of who I would become today. I would often visit a local shoe store in the community owned by a Man named Bruce. He was an African-American entrepreneur and Mentor, who taught me the importance of owning your own business. I come from a hard working family. My parents were very supportive, and often encouraged me to explore my creative abilities, and often enrolled me in local art classes, where I could expand my talent. After college I worked many years as an Optician learning the ins and outs of the optical industry. Later in life I migrated to Harlem to pursue my dream of becoming an Eyewear Designer. I chose Harlem because it was a reflection of where I grew up. A community of diversity, beautiful people, history, art, and energy. My dream is to open an “Optique”, here in Harlem that is full of full & eclectic eyewear that can accommodate any lens prescription. Another destination where the people of Harlem can call home. decided to establish Savant & Scholar LLC, and independent Eyewear company because I’ve always had a passion for Eyewear and I saw that there was a market in the eyewear industry that was not being catered to.“ — Jamel via Kiva.org

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF JAMEL'S LOAN?

“Research has shown that Eyewear is usually priced extremely high, or made of a really poor quality, and there doesn’t seem to be happy medium, demand. (That’s where Savant & Scholar LLC steps in.) My business creates unique & fun Eyewear that is intended for prescription and is sold at a price point that is accessible to everyday people. I’ve spent many hours perfecting my eyewear designs, and was overwhelmed with joy from the amount of support received and business I generated once my products were available for purchase. This lead to a desire to have a Brick & Mortar in Harlem where I can create an warm and welcoming experience for customers to be fitted for prescription lenses, and assist them with choosing eyewear that compliments their individually and personal taste. Uptown currently doesn’t have this type of “Optique” setting and I would love to be able to provide that for the community. My customers ranges from the millennial, the artist, the creative, and the adventurous. The biggest challenge I have right now is having a loyal online customer base, but not having a store front for customers to come in and try on eyewear before purchasing or the ability to properly fit them for lens prescription because at the moment I do not have proper equipment or the space to make this transaction. I am extremely proud of the receptivity and support I’ve received in such a short period of time and the love they have for my product. A loan of $8,000, along with other sources of funding, will greatly impact my ability to expand and grow my business by giving me the ability to provide my customers with a full optical service experience versus a partial one.” — Jamel via Kiva.org

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