The Right Help at the Right Time


An Action Steps session is a 90-minute meeting with an experienced business coach.

For only $39 per session, we’ll help you create a marketing plan, set up a bookkeeping system, register your business*, or accomplish any one of the tasks covered in the sessions below.

Here’s how it works: click below on the session you’d like to sign up for. Then select a staff member to work with, select a time, and make your payment via PayPal.

If you have any questions, click here to select a time to speak with Joe Shure, who runs this program. He’ll be glad to tell you all about it.

We look forward to working with you soon!

Sessions












The Fine Print

*If you select the “Making it Official” session—the one in which we register your business as an LLC—please be prepared to make a $125 payment during your session via credit card to the State of New Jersey to cover your LLC filing fee.

Photo courtesy of Digital Desktop Wallpaper


Disaster Loans - The Intersect Fund

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The Intersect Fund is offering disaster relief loans to New Jersey small businesses that have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. These loans are targeted at businesses that will not qualify for SBA Disaster Loans.

Apply online below or call 1-800-840-1900 to speak with an Intersect Fund loan officer.

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Loan terms and amounts

                                   
Maximum Loan Size$15,000
Interest Rate1%
TermUp to 36 months
Interest-only (reduced) payments for up to 6 months
Prepayment PenaltyNone
Loan can be paid off by lump sum using insurance settlement or disaster assistance payment
Decision Time3 business days after all documents are submitted
Application FeeNone

Eligibility Requirements

In order to qualify, your business must be located in the State of NJ and sustained physical damage during the storm and its aftermath. Eligible uses of funds include:

The minimum requirements for the loan are:

Lend for America - Exhibitors' Table - The Intersect Fund


Event



 

Lend for America 2012 Conference - Exhibitors' Table - The Intersect Fund


Thanks for buying a table!


 

Thanks for Choosing Action Steps - The Intersect Fund

Payment

We’re looking forward to helping you grow your business with Action Steps!


Please select the rate you qualify for, then click "Buy Now."



Any questions? Give Joe Shure a call at (732) 917-0813, or send him an e-mail.

 

Staff - The Intersect Fund

Rohan Mathew
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President and CEO

Luis De La Hoz
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Vice President, Lending Team

Nancy Finn
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Director of Local Partnerships

Vanessa Carter
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Executive Director, Lend for America

Jill Emerson
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Controller

Karina Ojeda
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Loan Officer

Kevin Foushee
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Loan Officer

Dennis Elwell
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Sandy Recovery Program Associate

Jeffrey Jimenez
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Sandy Recovery Program Associate

Andrew Huzar
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Development Program Associate

Charity Yoro
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Lend for America Program Associate

Pankaj Amin
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Business Trainer and Coach

Mitch Greene
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Business Coach

Jorge Cabrera
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Business Coach

Oscar Aguayo
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Lend for America fellow

Faria Mardhani
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Lend for America fellow

Staff Application - The Intersect Fund

Contact Us - The Intersect Fund

Talk to us about how we can help you start or grow your business. Call (800) 840-1900 or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Update Contact Information Form - The Intersect Fund

Entrepreneur Directory - The Intersect Fund

2012 Entrepreneur Directory

Click here for up-to-date stories of the entrepreneurs we have served.

2011 Entrepreneur Directory

2010 Entrepreneur Directory

Teach a Center Lesson - The Intersect Fund

At biweekly Center meetings clients repay outstanding loans, network with other entrepreneurs, and participate in expert seminars. We invite individuals from diverse fields to conduct a Center lesson lasting an hour and a half about some topic related to running a small business. Speakers get to work closely with our clients and share valuable knowledge that entrepreneurs can immediately apply to their own businesses.

Some sample topics include:

    Accounting and tax preparation

    Insurance
    Hiring
    Bookkeeping
    Maintaining a healthy work/life balance

Please contact us if you have experience in the fields of finance, insurance, or accounting, or think that you have something helpful to teach at a Center meeting. We look forward to working with you as we strive to empower entrepreneurs.

Apply for a Staff Position - The Intersect Fund

Joining the staff of the Intersect Fund is a unique opportunity for university students. Working with us, you will deal with real people, real businesses and real money. You will use the skills you have acquired in class and in life to make a substantive difference in the community. You will help change people’s lives.

It is a valuable and extremely rewarding pursuit, but it requires a significant commitment of time and effort. We expect a lot from our staff, and we hold them accountable to their responsibilities. At the end of the day, we work for our clients. And we owe them the best service we can provide.

If you’re not scared away yet, you might be a great fit for our staff.

Before we proceed, you should know about our prerequisites. To join our staff, you must:

  • Possess excellent interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrate confidence in interacting with clients significantly older than you
  • Be able to commit at least 10 hours per week working for the Intersect Fund

We would prefer that you possess at least one of the following:

  • Excellent writing skills
  • Fluency in Spanish
  • Proficiency in accounting
  • Experience running or helping to run a small business
  • Have a car on campus

Feel free to look at the job descriptions on the website to get a taste of what our staff members do. If you feel you have what it takes to join the ranks of the Intersect Fund, please fill out an application (make sure your pop-up blocker is disabled).

Once you submit your application, we will review it and contact you.

Good luck!

What our Staff Members Say - The Intersect Fund

The key to the Intersect Fund’s mission is working at the crossroads of campus and community: we provide valuable business services to low-income entrepreneurs through a dedicated staff of student volunteers. Helping our clients succeed in business is our primary goal, but we have noticed a welcome side effect: Students find their work with the Intersect Fund to be enriching and valuable. They say it broadens their horizons and builds on their skills in a way that they expect will yield a valuable return down the road.

In June, we conducted a survey of our staff, and the results were encouraging:

  • Student staff members commit a significant amount of time to working with us, devoting an average of 11 hours per week to the Intersect Fund
  • Our staff is dedicated to service, with 90% saying they plan to volunteer in the future.
  • The Intersect Fund’s value proposition to students is strong: 86% say working with us will help them in their careers.
  • Our staff members’ commitment to helping others is strong: 81% say they would consider a career in public service.
  • The students who dedicate the most time and effort to the Intersect Fund get a great deal out of it: 52% of our staff say working with us has been one of the most impactful experiences of their lives.

Staff Openings - The Intersect Fund

The Intersect Fund offers a wide range of services to our clients.  In order to effectively serve them, the specific positions and responsibilities for our staff are outlined below:

Program Director, Graduate Services
(Approx. 10 hrs per week)

The Graduate Services Program Director is responsible for our post-graduation services. The job will involve finding expert speakers and occasionally teaching advanced business topics to entrepreneurs.

  • Organizing expert speakers for seminars/center meetings
  • Preparing materials for center when there is no expert seminar (Due 1 week prior to center meeting)
  • Event Planning for events paid through Rutgers Budget
  • Event Planning for Entrepreneur Showcase
  • Newsletter


Program Director, Build Your Business
(Approx. 10 hrs per week)

The Build Your Business Program Director is responsible for coordinating our primary service - the BYOB course. The job will involve securing locations to hold the class and finding clients to take it.

  • Secure Training Sites
  • Conduct Client Outreach for BYOB Sessions
  • Manage Client RSVPs and Registrations
  • Schedule Teachers for BYOB Cycles


Public Relations Director
(Approx.10 hrs per week)

The Public Relations Director is responsible for promoting The Intersect Fund on the Rutgers-New Brunswick campus to students and professors. The job will also include implementing strategies to achieve marketing goals.

  • Support the production and distribution of promotional materials
  • Develop media lists and pitch stories to appropriate outlets and journalists
  • Manages marketing budget


Tax Prep, Program Director
(Approx. 10 hrs per week)

The Tax Prep Program Director is responsible for launching our Tax Prep for the entrepreneurs program.  The job will involve finding student volunteers, securing a site, and marketing the service to entrepreneurs.

  • Manage Tax Prep Program
  • Coordinate with community partners to hold tax prep training for student volunteers
  • Organize Tax prep sites
  • Conduct client outreach for free Tax Prep


Creative Director
(Approx. 15 hrs per week)

The Creative Director will design Intersect Fund materials and materials for our clients as well as assist in updating out website.

  • Design all marketing materials
  • Design logos, brochures, etc for clients


Tax Preparer
(Approx. 5 hrs per week during tax season)

The Tax Preparer is a temporary position and involves doing Schedule C tax preparation.

  • Take tax prep course
  • Prepare tax returns for low income entrpreneurs
Intersect in Pictures - The Intersect Fund


A session from the Intersect Fund’s first training cycle, held at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church


The Intersect Fund’s table at Rutgers Day on April 25, 2009


Joe Shure, Rutgers President Richard L. McCormick, and Rohan Mathew at Rutgers Day


Zakiyia Forbes sells merchandise at the first annual Entrepreneur Showcase


Intersect Fund clients at the Entrepreneur Showcase


The Intersect Fund staff at the Entrepreneur Showcase


Guests browse client tables at the Entrepreneur Showcase


Rohan and Joe with Entrepreneur of the Year Pearl Thompson and Zakiyia Forbes, winner of the Social Impact Award

Board of Directors - The Intersect Fund

Board Chair

David Finegold is Chief Academic Officer at American Honors, a competitive national community college honors program. Finegold was formerly the Senior Vice President of Lifelong Learning and Strategic Growth Initiatives at Rutgers University. Before taking this role, he served as Dean of Rutgers’ School of Management and Labor Relations. Prior to joining Rutgers, Finegold was a professor at the Keck Graduate Institute in Claremont, CA and at USC’s Marshall School of Business. Finegold graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University and studied as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.

Directors

Alan Dolnick is a Vice President and Commercial Loan Fund Officer at Magyar Bank. During his time at the bank, he has earned titles such as IRA Specialist, Security Officer and Branch Administrator. Dolnick served as the Retail Branch Manager for the Magyar Bank’s Kendall Park Branch Office. The branch’s deposits doubled during his tenure. Dolnick serves on the board of South Brunswick Citizens for Independent Living and for the past 15 years has served as a trustee of the South Brunswick Family YMCA. Dolnick graduated from Rutgers University.

Fred Hoffman is Managing Director of Citi Credit Strategies, Citi Capital Advisors. Hoffman directs an alternative credit business consisting of both proprietary and third party assets totaling over $4.5 billion. Hoffman holds a B.A. in Computer Science and Economics from Rutgers University and a M.A. in Financial Economics from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Kim D. Osterhoudt is a specialty food entrepreneur and owner of Jams by Kim.  She was the 2010 winner of the National Association of Women Business Owners SEED Business Plan Competition.  Osterhoudt was also The Intersect Fund’s 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year.  Prior to starting her jam business, Osterhoudt was the Director of Community Resources for Prudential Financial in Newark.  He Holds an MBA from Rutgers School of Management and a B.A. from College of the Holy Cross, in Worcester, MA.

David Verderami is a Senior Manager at Ernst & Young, L.L.P. He joined the firm in 2000 as a staff accountant and has since acquired nine years of assurance and advisory business experience. He specializes in distribution and manufacturing companies, as well as a waste-to-energy company. In addition, Verderami has specialized in audits of S.E.C. registrants that have been acquisitive and completed initial public offerings. Verderami graduated from Rutgers University.

News and Media - The Intersect Fund

Stories About the Intersect Fund

Turning Point: Intersect Fund
BYU-TV

Entrepreneurship Education for the Jobless
Inc.com, August 3, 2012

Laid Off, She Got Herself In a Jam
New Jersey Monthly, July 23, 2012

The Jim Bohannon Show
July 18, 2012

Intersect Fund Helps People Launch their Own Businesses
ABC 7 Eyewitness News, June 27, 2012; Click here for permanent link.

N.J. Offering Scholarships to Unemployed Would-Be Entrepreneurs
Fox Business News, June 25, 2012

Entrepreneurial Training Programs for Unemployed on the Rise
Huffington Post Small Business, June 15, 2012

JumpStart Loan featuring Capital One Credit Card
Credit Builders Alliance

NerdWallet’s Top 10 Innovative Lenders
NerdWallet, May 31, 2012

Intersect Fund Provides Small Business Owners With Seed Money and Support
New Brunswick Patch, November 22, 2011

Interview with Intersect Fund Co-Founder Joseph Shure
Adam Bierman, November 14, 2011

New Brunswick-Based Intersect Fund Helps Low-Income Entrepreneurs
The Home News Trubine, Oct. 25, 2011

Getting On Track
Black Enterprise, Oct. 21, 2011

How to Buy Local
New Brunswick Patch, September 12, 2011

A Wealth of Options: Intersect Fund Intern Featured on Rutgers Homepage
Rutgers Today, March 4, 2011

College-based Programs Spark New Era in Microenterprise
The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, January 25, 2011

Intersect Fund Helps to Launch Business Ventures
The Daily Targum, October 4, 2010

Students Learn to Make a Difference and Make a LIving
Rutgers Focus, March 24, 2010

Crossroads of Commerce
Rutgers Today, March 6, 2010

Small Business Workshops Come To Carteret
NJ Today, January 27, 2010

Intersect Fund feeds the regional economy, from the roots up
Highland Park Mirror, January 2, 2010

Intersect Fund Helps Small Businesses
Rutgers Today, December 16, 2009

Where hope and opportunity intersect
Common Good, October/November 2009

Intersect Fund Grows Strong with New Classes
The Daily Targum, September 22, 2009

Market Harvests Sense of Community
The Daily Targum, September 10, 2009

Entrepreneurial Experts Help Train, Finance Small Start-Ups
NJBIZ, August 24, 2009

The Intersect Fund Helps Startups Get Off Their Feet
Business Opportunities Weblog Network, June 10, 2009

Winning student teams receive $25,000 to launch and grow new businesses
Rutgers Media Relations, June 8, 2009

A Look at the Educational Intersect Fund
The Home News Tribune,  June 2, 2009

Intersect Fund trains business owners at affordable prices
The Daily Targum,  March 30, 2009

A Student-Run Fund Based on Nobel-prize winning Concept
The Rutgers Focus, January 21, 2009

Group attempts to aid city economic climate
The Daily Targum, October 23, 2008

Get in Touch

If you are interested in covering the Intersect Fund, contact Joe Shure at (609) 558-7956 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). We would be glad to send you a press kit and put you in contact with our clients, donors and partners.

Our Story - The Intersect Fund


Photo by Nick Romanenko

The Intersect Fund grew out of a desire to bring the campus to the community. When Rohan Mathew and Joe Shure were editors at The Daily Targum — Rutgers University’s student-run newspaper — they saw two sides of New Brunswick, N.J. 

While new hotels, restaurants and high-rise apartments dot the skyline, there are also a lot of low-income residents struggling to make ends meet. These are often the busboys and dishwashers in the upscale businesses downtown, but they had little to show for the economic revitalization they helped bring about. They were immigrants working in factories through temp agencies, longtime residents left unemployed by recession, and a host of others who have the drive but lack the luck to succeed.

In thinking about how university students could help these people, Mathew and Shure found that many of them run small businesses on the side as a way to generate extra income. It became clear that although many of these low-income entrepreneurs have quality business ideas and a lot of motivation, they often lack the business knowledge and seed capital they to get the most out of their enterprises.

Assessing Our Impact - The Intersect Fund

Each year, we survey all of our clients to learn what affect our programs have had on their businesses and financial lives.

Our most recent survey data show that of all the clients we served in 2009,

  • 61 percent of those who entered the program without a business started one
  • 78 percent of existing businesses whose owners enrolled in the program survived
  • 96 percent of Fund graduates were employed or in business within 12 months
  • 15 jobs were created by Intersect Fund clients

The State of New Jersey requires charities of our size to undergo an audit each year. Click here to see our Fiscal Year 2011 audit.

To see our most recent tax return, click here.

Student Opportunities - The Intersect Fund

Creating opportunities for students

The key to the Intersect Fund’s mission is working at the crossroads of campus and community: we provide valuable business services to low-income entrepreneurs through a dedicated staff of student volunteers. Helping our clients succeed in business is our primary goal, but we have noticed a welcome side effect: Students find their work with the Intersect Fund to be enriching and valuable. They say it broadens their horizons and builds on their skills in a way that they expect will yield a valuable return down the road.

In June, we conducted a survey of our staff, and the results were encouraging:

    Student staff members commit a significant amount of time to working with us, devoting an average of 11 hours per week to the Intersect Fund
    Our staff is dedicated to service, with 90% saying they plan to volunteer in the future.
    The Intersect Fund’s value proposition to students is strong: 86% say working with us will help them in their careers.
    Our staff members’ commitment to helping others is strong: 81% say they would consider a career in public service.
    The students who dedicate the most time and effort to the Intersect Fund get a great deal out of it: 52% of our staff say working with us has been the most impactful experience of their lives.

 

Donors - The Intersect Fund

Donors

The Intersect Fund depends on support from a variety of corporate, foundation and government partners. Below are some of the institutions that help us fulfill our mission:

  • The Profeta Urban Investment Foundation
  • The Retired Sales Executives Club of Northern New Jersey
  • The Henry E. Niles Foundation
  • Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark
  • The Charles Engelhard Foundation
  • The Association for Enterprise Opportunity
  • The Credit Builders Alliance
Client Testimonials - The Intersect Fund

What our current clients have to say

On the last day of our Build Your Business course, we have clients complete a survey to tell us what they thought of the program. To ensure unbiased responses, we tell them to leave their surveys anonymous. Here is what some clients had to say about the course:

    “I was thrilled with the level of support and genuine interest the staff displayed. It always felt like staff members were thinking of ways to help us succeed – even when class was over.”

    “There was a very high level of comfort established throughout the training course which led to an increased amount of interest in the course as well as the course material. It also made it very easy to learn.”

    “Me ayudó a tener una idea major para desarrollar un negocio. Ahora tengo muy en claro qué hacer para empezar.”

In May, we held our 1st Annual Entrepreneur Showcase at New Brunswick’s Heldrich Hotel. At the event, clients mingled with some of the Intersect Fund’s friends and partners. We asked some of our clients to give speeches telling us about the Intersect Fund has made a difference in their businesses and their lives.

    Alexandra Medina, who took our first Build Your Business course at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in November, had this to say: Intersect impacts our life, our community, and I really, really expect that we’ll all grow with this.”

    Zakiyia Forbes, who enrolled in the course we held at the New Brunswick Free Public Library in March, remarked on the program’s larger impact, saying: You guys are really changing lives, one community, one person, one idea at a time, and there are no words that could ever really encompass how grateful we are for that.”

    Pearl Thompson, who took our course at Elijah’s Promise Culinary Arts School,  values the opportunity to put her ideas to paper, saying, “I’m so glad that they have given me the tools I need to begin to formalize [my business], to put he structure in place to create a real solid business in this community.”

 

Our Strategic Vision - The Intersect Fund

Over the past two years, the Intersect Fund has grown from an idea into fully functioning microenterprise development group. Our corps of student volunteers has helped over 30 low-income entrepreneurs in New Brunswick come closer to making their dreams of financial self-sufficiency a reality.

Thanks to the generous support from a variety of donors, word of the Intersect Fund is spreading throughout the New Brunswick community. Our business development course is booked weeks in advance and our most promising clients are working toward creating successful, self-sustaining community businesses.

 

It is now time to plan for our next big steps: Expanding the services we offer in New Brunswick while fostering a network of student-run microfinance groups based in urban campuses throughout the region. We seek to raise $200,000 over the next eight months to accomplish these goals. This support will help us remain a source of valuable and innovative services to New Brunswick entrepreneurs while expanding the reach of microenterprise development throughout the nation.

Branching Out

Students at nearly a dozen colleges in the U.S. have started microenterprise development groups on their respective campuses. Like the Intersect Fund, these groups leverage the resources of universities — from borrowed office space to students’ technical savvy — to help low-income entrepreneurs. All of them do good work, but they face pervasive challenges. Raising funds, developing a working knowledge of a community, and training staff members are constant roadblocks to groups that could otherwise achieve success and scale.

We believe a formal, centralized network is the key to unlocking the potential of student-run microenterprise development. Through such an arrangement, students at various campuses could learn from one another, compare performance metrics, and receive standardized training in both adult education and business fundamentals.

Strengthening the relationship between these groups would carry tremendous benefits for both staff and clients, and the Intersect Fund is in the process of convening a summit of the highest performing student micro groups in an effort to forge a national network. We envision our national office becoming the nexus — appropriately located in the “Hub City” — of student-run social enterprise, coordinating the distribution of resources and providing necessary training and consulting services to student groups.

Strengthening Our Roots

Though we have hatched a formidable plan for expanding our influence, we are also beefing up our presence here in New Brunswick. We have embarked on a number of projects that will expand the suite of services we offer our clients while becoming a partner in their success.

In July of 2009, we began work on our first Entrepreneur Directory. This publication will feature two-dozen entrepreneurs in the New Brunswick area. It will detail not only the name and location of their businesses, but will illuminate the city’s small business landscape by offering insight into what motivates these entrepreneurs — where they came from, why they opened their businesses, and what motivates them to open up every morning. The Directory is a crucial step in connecting qualified entrepreneurs to the markets they seek to serve.

The needs of our clients grow as they expand their businesses, and we will continue to adapt by expanding our services. The Intersect Fund was conceived as an organization that would offer small loans to low-income entrepreneurs. We soon added business training to our roster of services to respond to a growing demand among the clients we served. As we began to serve more experienced business owners, we introduced one-on-one consulting services as well as assistance with graphic and web design. To increase the scope of our training while enhancing networking opportunities for our clients, we created business development centers, which function as mini-chambers of commerce. Entrepreneurs who have graduated from our training program gather for lessons from experts in fields such as accounting, insurance and tax law.

 

For clients who have completed our course and are ready to launch or grow their businesses, we offer small loans to cover the costs of expansion and working capital. Our one-one-one consulting and graphic design services help our entrepreneurs strategize and spread the word about their businesses.

Meeting the needs of the Market

To ensure the Intersect Fund remains a valuable resource to local entrepreneurs, we will continue to expand our services to meet our clients’ needs. We are exploring ways to help our clients acquire health insurance (which half of them lack at the moment). We also plan to develop a mobile system that will allow those of our clients who sell merchandise at a variety of locations to process credit card orders on the go.

We are also looking to increase our physical presence in the community.  In 2010, we plant to acquire a retail space in downtown New Brunswick that will provide low-income entrepreneurs a point of access to markets while providing an enhanced training experience for our clients.

Mission and Values - The Intersect Fund

Mission Statement

The Intersect Fund is a student-run non-profit organization that empowers entrepreneurs to start businesses, generate income, build assets and spark dramatic social change.

Our Founding Principles

  • TRANSPARENCY—We believe donors and clients alike want to work with well-managed, financially stable organizations. To inspire confidence with our partners, we are transparent with our programs, operating procedures, results, and finances.
  • ACCOUNTABILITY—We think nonprofits should be held accountable for demonstrating measurable results. All of our programs have mechanisms to measure their impact toward our mission and our organization proactively evaluates their effectiveness
  • PARTNERSHIP—The nation has too many nonprofits to consider duplicating services that already exist. We seek partnerships with other organizations to add leverage to our services and serve our clients better.
  • MUTUAL RESPECT—We provide critical training and seed capital to our clients, who are not charity cases. In all aspects of the organization, from publications to staff meetings, we treat them with commensurate respect.


The State of New Jersey requires charities of our size to undergo an audit each year. Click here to see our Fiscal Year 2011 audit.

To see our most recent tax return, click here.

 

Get a Loan - The Intersect Fund

Starting a strong business takes a big investment of time, patience, and money. The Intersect Fund offers small loans (from $500 to $20,000) to help you start or grow your business.

To learn more about our loan program or apply for a loan, call Luis De La Hoz at (732) 917-0814, or e-mail him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Below are interviews with three of the more than 200 entrepreneurs who have received Intersect Fund loans since 2011. Our clients use their loan dollars for things like equipment, insurance, and supplies.

In March of this year, Virginia Sanchez received an Intersect Fund loan to buy a new refrigerator for Danny’s Grocery and Deli, her store. The business is located at 240 Somerset Street, New Brunswick, NJ.

 

Maximino Rodriguez is a barber looking to open his own shop.

 

Fernando Gutierrez, also a barber, owners Ferdy’s Barber Shop, located at 412 Kearny Ave., Kearny, NJ.