Iraq war Army Special Operations veteran Hakim Isler retired from the military in 2008 and decided to use his experience to open a fitness and martial arts career. From the time the doors opened the center grew, even during the recession. Eventually a 24-hour gym was added to the center to support the growing numbers of students. Over time the school outgrew its location, forcing Isler to find a much larger space.
Unfortunately, Isler was unable to find a traditional small business loan because banks were leery of financing that type of business and he didn't have a lot of collateral.
Fortunately for Isler, a local community development organization referred the deal to Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF), the non-profit behind Connect2Capital. When they looked at the story behind the numbers, it became apparent that Isler had a good credit history and 10+ years of industry experience, plus the business projections were positive.
Isler received a 25 year SBA 7(a) loan, which allowed him to purchase and renovate a new facility and buy the equipment needed for expansion.