Freedom Rings for Maleknaser

Meet Maleknaser: Immigrant, Father, Entrepreneur

As we celebrate July 4th, we take pride in the diverse, resilient and independent clients we serve. Their stories are those of our families, neighbors, and community members that make our nation great. Maleknaser, an Iranian refugee who escaped Iran in 1999 for political dissent, reminds us that the path to independence and success remains strong in the U.S.

Maleknaser immigrated to El Paso, Texas in 1999 and tried to leverage his previous experience owning a construction business to find construction jobs, but his inability to speak Spanish and different regulations in the U.S. made it difficult to succeed. While his family and children settled in El Paso, he was forced to take a construction job in California if they wanted to survive.

It wasn't until 2007 that Maleknaser had enough resources to move back to El Paso, take a risk, and launch his own business: Caspian Construction. A fellow small business owner recommended LiftFund where he received a loan to purchase tools and equipment to get his business off the ground.

The loan I got from LiftFund was really helpful. I’ll never forget that. I wasn’t asking for a million dollars, but at that moment for me, it was a lot. They helped me when I needed it."

-Maleknaser Akhtari

After a decade in business, Maleknaser is proud of the success he has achieved, but he is most proud of the life he has been able to provide for his children, Mani and Mitra. His financial independence allowed him to send his children through college; today, Mani is a successful oncologist and Mitra has recently obtained her PhD from Harvard.

“I changed the future for my kids,” Maleknaser said. “There are lots of opportunities in this society. Maybe on the first attempt it looks impossible or too hard, but you can do it.”

Are you seeking to expand your business into contracting? 

With the 4th of July upon us, we know there are many options to expand and diversify your business through contracting. The SBA shares some simple, yet important insights about preparing for contracting. You should consider: 

  • Teaming with other firms;
  • Finding a mentor;
  • Ensure you have a strong performance record;
  • Clearly articulate your value to be a preferred contractor; and 
  • Prepare to become certified. 

These steps not only ensure a good foundation at the federal level, but are applicable at the local level too. Consider preparing you and your team for growth through contracting today!

Federal Reserve Small Business Credit Report Released

In 2017 the Federal Reserve surveyed 8,000 small business owners about their credit needs. Highlights include:

  • Businesses are more optimistic about their performance than last year;
  • Wages and refinancing were major reasons for accessing capital; and
  • Financing for micro-businesses had more gaps than larger firms. 

LiftFund is a non-profit financial and business consultation organization that helps diverse entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses, stabilize and increase their incomes and assets, create employment and contribute to the economic revitalization of their communities. 

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