The story of Gabriela’s business is intertwined with a heartbreaking personal experience. One night in 1988, while living in Mexico City, her 6-month-old son stopped breathing. Years later in the U.S., Gabriela was working as a childcare provider and enrolled in a CPR course. While helping the instructor to translate the class into Spanish, she realized that with CPR knowledge she might have been able to save her son.
Over the next few years, Gabriela worked hard to become certified as a CPR instructor and an EMT and began volunteering with the Red Cross to teach in her community. Most importantly, she taught bilingual classes to make sure her students really understood the information.
One year ago, Gabriela officially founded ACC Safety Education. The business is based out of an office and classroom in Redwood City, California, but she and her children, who are both EMTs, also travel to neighboring cities to teach classes.
Gabriela is proud of what she has accomplished and credits her success to the role models in her community. “In this country, we are blessed to have the example of other women who are successful and strong. We don’t have to listen to traditions that tell us ‘we can’t do this.’ I don’t care about those traditions anymore. The most people can tell me is ‘no.’ And then I’ll go and knock on the next door.”
Gabriela received business coaching from a community partner, who then referred her to Opportunity Fund. A $2,600 loan will help her buy supplies, fix her computer and go to an American Medical Association conference. This small loan will also build her credit and allow her to take out a larger loan in the future to make more extensive business improvements.
Looking forward, Gabriela says, “I am concentrating on my business – it’s my passion. I’d like to have more classes, more clients, and hire more teachers.”
Kiva realizes that access to credit is a challenge for entrepreneurs everywhere. Kiva started out as a website focused on developing-world entrepreneurs. In June 2009, Kiva began experimenting with allowing entrepreneurs in the United States to raise money on its website. If this is something you support, please feel free to fund this loan. If you have questions, including how an entrepreneur in your neighborhood might get a loan, please visit our Help Center and click on "Loans in the United States."