CBA wouldn’t give Victoria Kluth a $500 credit card, now Araza is a $30 million business

“I started Araza four years ago and I could not get a $500 credit card let alone a loan,” says Victoria Kluth. “It was very demoralising. Four years later, Araza is a $30 million business.”

Problems with accessing capital for small business and start-ups are likely to be one of the focus areas of the banking royal commission announced by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Thursday.

Small business and family enterprise ombudsman Kate Carnell expects the SME space to be where a “very large percentage” of the cases considered by the royal commission come from.

“Because they are not protected by consumer law on the whole a lot of the cases that have had nowhere to go are small businesses,” she says. “I know that there will be a lot of people that will be very keen to tell their story and they should be given an opportunity to.”

A proven background and a good story

Kluth had 24 years experience in the sector when she decided to start technology consultancy Araza providing systems integration and testing to businesses.

“I felt I had a good proven background and a good story,” she says.

Kluth and her business partner both banked with the Commonwealth Bank and so approached CBA for a loan.

“What we really wanted was a payroll loan if we couldn’t get payroll one month they would back us up,” she says. “I thought even if we could get $50,000, I mean it was so little. The banker I went and talked to was very kind and nice and told me they would not loan to us without putting up my house. He said ‘Feel free to talk to any other banks it will be the same every where else’.” Read more

Cara Waters – Brisbane Times – 30 Nov 2017