Simple Export, Inc.

Tamuning, GU

Personal Story

My birth mother was a 16-year-old Mexican immigrant. My birth father was a married high school teacher with three children in Oakland, California. I was born in the state hospital and left at an orphanage for 10 months as my birth mother returned to Mexico and my father did not claim my existence.

At 10 months old, I was adopted into the Crawford family as an only child. I went to school in California. I met and married my wife, Linda. We have been married for 29 years and have two wonderful children, Amanda and Blake.

I might be considered the story of “what happened to the American Dream." My wife and I built a very successful land development and home building company in Washington State from December 2000 through September 2010. We had an office in Western Washington and another office in Eastern Washington. We developed large plats of land and then built subdivisions of homes on those finished plats. We employed 10 full time employees and more than 40 subcontractors. We were one of the engines that made the American economy healthy. We bought products from sewer pipes to roofs. We kept manufacturers busy, delivery people working, and subcontractors feeding their families.

In the summer of 2007, the big banks knew there was trouble with their mortgage loans and said nothing. In September of 2008, TARP silently happened. In 2010, every builder in America was out of business, banks were no longer lending to homebuyers and acquisition and development loans were a thing of the past. I was forced to claim business bankruptcy.

I had one child in out-of-state college, one child in high school and a wife I love. I applied for job after job. I was told I was "over qualified”. We lived by depleting our savings and retirement money. I sent out more than 200 resumes. Finally, I made a difficult decision and decided to leave the USA to look for work. I left my family in Seattle from May 2010 until March 2011 (eleven months), went to Guam with a suitcase, my lifetime of knowledge and skills, and my resume.

Why Guam? I had never been there and didn’t even know where it was. My next-door neighbor was the Regional Director for the US Economic Development Agency. He told me of a "big military build-up happening on Guam" and they needed experienced, smart people like me. The Marine Base in Okinawa Japan was being moved to Guam which would bring 60,000 new people to an island with a population of 176,000. My wife did not blink an eye and said, get on an airplane and go. I flew halfway around the world (just 4 hours S.E. of Japan) and started a great new adventure. I knew no one on Guam when I landed. I had nowhere to live, no vehicle, and $200 in my pocket. Those first few months were tough as I looked for work.

Unfortunately, it became clear that the big military build-up was not going to happen as the U.S.A.'s economy continued to plunge. Cutbacks in defense spending stopped the build-up. I had to reinvent myself with the job skills I possessed. I knew how to run a big complicated company really well. I had great negotiating skills. What could I do on Guam?

I landed a job with the University of Guam working for the Small Business Development Center with a mandate to create manufacturing jobs and export revenues on Guam. I became the first, and only, Federally Certified Export Counselor in our Pacific Island Chain (30 islands). I began consulting with companies who wanted to export products from Guam. I was paid by the Federal Government with Obama's Small Business Mandate to get the U.S. economy back on its feet. I learned everything you could imagine about running a business on Guam from GovGuam's unique set of Rules, Regulations, and Laws to Federal Government Rules, Regulations, and Laws as they pertain to the U.S. Territory of Guam. I have also learned all about export and import into many Asian countries from Guam including Hong Kong/China, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and the Philippines. I wrote the 186 page "Guam Export Resource Guide" for the University of Guam Small Business Development Center.

I moved my whole family to Guam.My 19-year-old son works here on Guam as a plumber's apprentice. Our lovely daughter graduated from San Diego State with honors and now lives on Guam and works with the mentally challenged community. My wife loves Guam and has been busy working on the opening of our tuna business. We are ready to revive our American Dream.

Business Description

I uncovered this business opportunity when I noticed a large volume of fish waste being tossed into the land fill. I met the business owner who accepts and processes all the Tuna caught by the Japanese fishing fleets in our Pacific Island waters. By law, they must unload on Guam. The owner currently takes in the tuna, preps it for sashimi and air freights it to Japan the same day. Anything less than AAA grade sashimi tuna is then frozen to go by container ship to a cannery on Japan. This less than grade AAA tuna is between 5,000 and 10,000 pounds per month.

The owner told me I could buy the tuna, completely prepped by his company, for a low price as he was frustrated by increased shipping fees for a container ship and would much rather see it go towards the local economy of Guam. I started researching what I could do with this amount of tuna every month. It soon became clear that Tuna Jerky would be a great choice.

He gave me 20 pounds of tuna and after weeks of effort I prepared test samples of Tuna Jerky.

I talked to the manager of our Duty Free Shops and she said she would definitely put the product in the airport Duty Free Shops. I then talked to a large chain of ABC stores who said they were willing to put the product in their stores. I then talked to several Karaoke/ Bar/ Restaurant owners who said they are willing to put the product in their establishments to improve beer sales. Our most prestigious restaurant would like us to do a private label for them to sell under their name at their restaurants. It became evident that I had a great demand for the product before I even consider exporting to other countries.

Next, the tuna business owner told me the Japanese tuna fishing fleet was increasing their amount of fishing boats and I could have even more tuna at any time. The supply would consistently meet the demand if I wished to expand quickly.

1.6 million Japanese tourists visit Guam each year. They love tuna and tuna jerky. Our island population also loves tuna and tuna jerky. There is no competition for tuna jerky on Guam. We will be the only manufacturer and distributor. I am most proud to be creating a manufacturing plant with jobs for the Guam economy and keeping the profits from this company circulating on Guam.

What is the purpose of this loan?

My current job allows me to pay my family expenses and we remain on a tight budget.This business needs a small amount of start up capital to get the first product packaged to sell in retail stores. We have used a few hundred dollars of savings to get things going. We have purchased the initial tuna and ingrediants to create a receipe for test marketing. We have used small ovens to process the tuna and ziplock bags with stick on labels for packaging to test the market. Now we are able to share an existing restaurant kitchen to prepare the "Tuna Jerky". We need to buy "food packaging bags" $1200, we need proper nutrition labels and marketing labels $1400, we need shipping boxes $600, we need licenses and legal trademarks $1800. This loan allows us to start production for the retailer. We can use the profits to pay back the loan and demonstrate the viability of the business for the next round of capital requests. This loan will put us back in business where we belong. I can begin again improving the lives of the people who will work for me and inspire them to be all they desire.

Jerry's loan is endorsed by Pacific Islands Small Business Development Center Network (PISBDCN). The information below explains why his trustee thinks Jerry is a great candidate for a Kiva Zip loan.
How long have you known this person?

1 year - 3 years

Tell us about your relationship with this borrower.

I first met Jerry Crawford when when he came to Guam in April of 2010 to research business opportunities. I was very impressed by his knowledge and he now is working as a part time consultant for the Guam Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and I have contact with him on weekly basis.

Tell us about this borrower's personality and character, and why you are endorsing him or her for a Kiva Zip loan.

Mr. Jerry Crawford is very outgoing, energetic, persistent and optimistic which helps make him successful in anything he does. Mr. Crawford is also very honest with very strong ethics making him trustworthy.

Tell us about this borrower's business, and why you believe a Kiva Zip loan will contribute to his or her success.

Mr. Jerry Crawford and his wife Linda Crawford are starting a fish jerky business here on Guam, with the Japanese tourists and locals being the target market. I believe that his product could become a very successful hand carried export product. The Kiva Zip loan will help him get some of the start up capital needed to start the business on a small scale to test the market and then seek additional capital with local lenders to expand as demand increases.

28 Total , 2 invited by Jerry , 1 invited by Trustee
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
Oxford, United Kingdom
Santa Cruz
West Hills, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
Marietta, GA
San Francisco, CA
Streamwood, IL
Laramie, WY
Oakland, CA
Milan, Italy
Tamuning, GU
Redmond, WA
Elk Grove, Sacramento, CA
Vancouver, Canada
London, Canada
Austin, TX
Loading comments...

A loan of $5,000 helps me to buy the beginning inventory of bags, labels, and boxes to begin shipping my tuna jerky.

Disbursed Dec 7, 2012
Repayment Term:
12 monthly payments
Grace Period:
Nov 5, 2012
Dec 7, 2012
Paying Back:
Dec 7, 2012
Oct 5, 2013

About Simple Export, Inc.

Food production
Years in Operation:
New Business

What are Borrower Badges?

Borrower Badges are a system designed to recognize and reward borrowers’ engagement with the Kiva Zip website.

There are two types of badges that are tiered like medals: Gold, Silver and Bronze.

  1. 'Repayment badges' are awarded for the on-time repayment of loans.
  2. 'Connectedness badges' are awarded for engagement with the Kiva Zip website.

This loan is endorsed by

Trustee Type:
First Tier trustee
Mangilao, GU
On Zip Since:
Nov 5, 2012
(28 months)
Loans Endorsed:
Total Value:
Paying on Time:
Paying Back Late:
Repaid in Full:
Repayment Rate:
Why are you endorsing Jerry?

Mr. Jerry Crawford is very outgoing, energetic, persistent and optimistic which helps make him successful in anything he does. Mr. Crawford is also very honest with very strong ethics making him trustworthy.

What are Trustee Badges?

Trustee Badges are a system designed to recognize and reward trustees’ engagement with the Kiva Zip website.

There are two types of badges that are tiered like medals: Gold, Silver and Bronze.

  1. 'Repayment badges' are awarded for the on-time repayment of loans.
  2. 'Connectedness badges' are awarded for engagement with the Kiva Zip website.