Down economy opens doors for entrepreneurs

Down economy opens doors for entrepreneurs

EUGENE, Ore. -- When the economy goes south, there's often renewed interest by people to start their own business.

While there are opportunities, the pitfalls can be many.

Owning your own business can be a very rewarding experience, but in a down economy, it's often hard to get it going.  One business owner said if you want to put in the homework and the sweat, it can be done.

"It's hard all around, to be honest with you," says Eugene small business owner Mira Fannin.  She's the voice of experience.  She's also the owner of a business called Sweet Skins.

Fannin makes and sells women's clothing made from organic fibers and sustainable materials like fleece wraps made from recycled pop bottles.

"So if you drank a Coke or something like that, you might have to buy one of these," jokes Mira.  

Loan officer Martin Desmond of Lane MicroBusiness says, "One of the things I'm really impressed with Mira is that she really does pay attention to who her clients are."

Lane MicroBusiness holds free classes for people like Fannin... to give micro-enterprise companies a chance to make it.  Desmond stresses a new business is not a 9 to 5 job; it's hard.  He adds, "But if you know what you're doing and if you're focused on it and if you talk and you do the planning, I mean, now is a good time to set up a business."

For Mira Fannin, five years of hard work and savvy planning are paying off.


"It's super rewarding and it's very much a passion, so I feel really blessed to be able to do what I love and actually make a living with it," explains Fannin.

On the flip side, Martin Desmond wonders if the entrepreneurial spirit is as strong as it used to be. He says just 7% of Americans have started a business in the past year or are thinking about it.