The idea to create Business Plans Across Borders came from the two founders, Tamar and Paul.
Tamar Azous, MBA
Tamar had been working in microfinance for several years. She had seen firsthand how some of the poorest people – and their families – lived. Visiting villages around the world, including in Mongolia, Bangladesh and India, Tamar was pleasantly surprised to see the loans from microfinance institutions working on the ground. She visited and met with many “microentrepreneurs” and learned how microloans and the business advising and support that often come with them have helped change their businesses, earning more money for their families. Tamar left microfinance to become a stay-at-home mom when her first child was born. After a few years of being home with the children, Tamar started a small business selling children’s clothing. Becoming a “momtrepreneur” gave Tamar firsthand experience on the small business side of things, not just from the microfinance consulting side. She learned what it took to establish and grow a small business. She was fortunate to have her business degree and her entrepreneur husband to help her through the process. Realizing those from disadvantaged communities do not have those same resources, Tamar and Paul want to help give small businesses started by veterans, immigrants, refugees, and low income community members the same chance at success.
Paul Azous, MA
For the past 15 years, Paul had been writing business plans and acted as a consultant to hundreds of companies. He has seen firsthand how low income families were literally priced out of many entrepreneurial requisites to start a business, such as obtaining business license or hiring an attorney for legal work or even paying fees to networking events. Since they could not pay out-of-pocket for consulting services, many immigrants and low income individuals had approached Paul with an offer to take stock in their company in return for getting their businesses off the ground (which he did not take). Paul happily volunteered his time to assist in writing business plans, knowing very well he would never see any payment for his services. But there were thousands of such entrepreneurs that needed assistance with virtually no place to turn for serious help.