Tony takes great pride in being a business owner. Like many little boys dream, Tony wanted to be a race car driver. Instead, he joined the military to defend his country and pursued a career in aviation. Tony was a crew chief in the Air Force for four years. He took advantage of all the Air Force had to offer and teach him. Now a veteran of aviation, he currently works as a helicopter inspector. With the support of his wife and family, he decided to also pursue his dream of being the first African-American supercar manufacturer.
When Tony’s 6’ 6” body could not fit in the traditional supercars, he built his own in 1990. Tony says, “If one door closes I just look for another opening; I don’t give up.” With much patience and hard work he continues to expand his business and hopes to make it a full-time job. With his ACCION USA microloan he has hired two designers to work with him part-time and has purchased a laptop. He is proud to set an example of entrepreneurship for his four children and is determined to continue fulfilling his vision.
About U.S. Microfinance and ACCION USA
Have you ever thought about how the new café on your corner and the delivery service that brings the fresh baked goods acquired the financial resources to start their business? Chances are, they drummed up support from their friends and family, dipped into their personal savings, used a high-interest credit card, or all of the above. An estimated 10 million small businesses in the U.S. face difficulty obtaining loans from traditional banks, even prior to the current “credit crisis.” Microfinance institutions, like ACCION USA, support these “unbanked” small businesses by giving them access to fairly-priced capital and business education.
Small businesses also help stabilize low- to moderate-income neighborhoods and rebuild the economy through income growth and job creation. Self-employment provides workers with a way to increase their incomes, support their families, and strengthen their communities. As unemployment rises in the U.S., more and more people are turning to self-employment and start-up enterprises as a way to take control of their economic futures and provide employment opportunities in their communities. The need for support of small businesses in the U.S. is great, and it is one that ACCION USA has been striving to meet since 1991.