FermiTron, Inc. (FermiTron), is a full-service electronics products design corporation. The company, established in 2012, is owned and operated by black veteran entrepreneur Guilford Cantave.  The corporation provides support to companies ranging from promising entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms. FermiTron has a reputation for excellence and is proficient at transforming customers’ innovative concepts into high quality products.

Despite FermiTron being a well-known player in its industry, Guilford could not secure the capital he needed to grow his business. Like many minority entrepreneurs, Guilford was forced to turn to the only entity that would give him a loan: a predatory lender.

 The predatory loan resulted in a substantial loss of available capital each month. This capital was vital for reinvestment back into his business. Unfortunately, the high loan interest rate absorbed the capital required for growth.

As business continued, FermiTron’s cash flow shortages continued to grow. Despite many obstacles, Guilford knew he would need the right support to break through the barriers and grow his business. The first step to improving his financial position would be finding a fair and responsible small business loan.  That’s when he turned to BBIF Florida (BBIF).

BBIF is Florida’s leading non-traditional small business lender. BBIF is a non-profit, community development financial institution (CDFI), which specializes in growing black & minority owned businesses through access to capital and management coaching. 

When Guilford started at the BBIF Management Consulting CEO Roundtable (CEO Roundtable) in June of 2018, BBIF’s team of expert business consultants held his hand through the process of financial stabilization & growth. The CEO Roundtable provided Guilford with financial training, mentorship and accountability.

Despite the impact of the predatory loan, he was able to improve FermiTron’s cash flow, increase its customer base, and increase sales by over 40% in just a few short months. With the help of BBIF Florida, FermiTron became eligible for a small business loan. Guilford was able to refinance his predatory loans, which improved his available capital by reducing his monthly loan expense by 86%.This new available capital will help him create several full-time jobs, buy much needed equipment, and pursue higher value contract opportunities.

His story demonstrates that minority entrepreneurs thrive when provided the capital and management coaching they need to succeed.