Trail blazing

Candace Klein, founder and CEO, Bad Girl Ventures Inc.

Candace Klein, founder and CEO of Bad Girl Ventures Inc., has been through a number of hardships in her life. From living on welfare as a young girl to being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2003, these hardships are what have made her who she is today and have pushed her to become the person she wants to be.

Through the president of her undergrad university, Klein was introduced to a woman named Alice Sparks. Alice asked Klein what she planned to do in life to which Klein responded, “I intend to change the world.” When asked how she said, “I would learn the law, run a successful business and run for governor in 2027.”

While she is still a ways away from hitting the campaign trail, Klein has a law degree and started a business, Bad Girl Ventures Inc., a micro-finance organization (501c3) focused on educating and financing woman-owned start-up companies. The company provides $25,000 low-interest loans, but in order to be eligible for financing, the women must first complete an eight-week curriculum of understanding personal credit, the components of a business plan, legal structuring, marketing, social media, pricing, accounting and financing options.

To date, the company has received 200 applicants for its program in Cincinnati and has educated roughly 100 women. Bad Girl Ventures has financed 18 women for a total of $310,000. Klein started very local, but recently expanded to Oxford this past spring and to Cleveland in the fall of 2011. Her next expansion will put the company in Columbus in early 2012.

Klein didn’t forget about the other 182 women who didn’t get funding. She launched SoMoLend in March 2011, which is a highly localized Web and mobile-based peer-to-peer lending technology allowing individuals to borrow from and lend to other individuals.

Klein is changing the world one woman at a time with financial help and a lifelong education.

HOW TO REACH: Bad Girl Ventures Inc.,