As a mother, Manasi Gangan knows all about sleepless nights—they’re what inspired her to start her business.
After months of fighting the bedtime battle with her infant son, she used her background as an engineer to develop a swaddling blanket that calmed her new baby and finally allowed her to get some much-needed rest. That small victory led her to start Nested Bean, which became an independent seller on Amazon in 2015 and now offers a full line of self-soothing sleepwear for infants and toddlers.
But as a small-business owner, Gangan soon discovered the sleepless nights didn’t stop. Only now, it wasn’t a fussy baby keeping her awake, it was the constant worry of having the funds to cover inventory, satisfy suppliers, develop new products and purchase equipment.
“As a young company, you’re always in need [of] cash,” she said. “Because cash is oxygen.”
That sentiment is shared by small-business owners everywhere. Yet, in most cases, getting another gulp of oxygen often requires them to hold their breath. The approval process for a loan or line of credit can be complex and take time. So Gangan took a different route, securing business financing through Amazon Lending. In less time, and with less paperwork, she had the funds to develop new products, hire staff and, most importantly, help Nested Bean grow.
With Amazon Lending, eligible small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S. can borrow up to $2 million in business funding, and secure highly competitive rates and financing options. The application process takes minutes—depending on the type of loan and approvals occur within days, not weeks. Plus, the costs are transparent; applicants can use a loan calculator to see the total cost of borrowing before they submit. Working with third-party financing providers, Amazon lent $2.1 billion to independent sellers last year alone, allowing businesses like Nested Bean, and Blue Henry, a specialty cocktail-garnish company, to thrive.
“When you’re growing, cash is always a concern, and that’s where Amazon Lending came into play,” said Adrienne Walker, Blue Henry’s CEO and owner. “We were able to purchase three large dehydrators; when you move from a machine that takes 24 hours down to a machine that only takes four, I mean, it’s life-changing.”
The impact of successful independent sellers extends far beyond Amazon or the business owners themselves. There’s a palpable, positive effect on their communities, too. Blue Henry now employs 15 people in Capitol Heights, Maryland, attained a Women Business Enterprise certification through the Women’s Business Development Center and recently relocated to a larger facility. And Blue Henry’s success is not unique. To date, thousands of independent sellers have taken advantage of Amazon Lending program, and, in the video above, you can hear some of their stories.