Elsa Gloria C. enjoyed her job at a daycare enough to want her own. So she started studying and earned her Associate’s degree in child development. At the same time, she started up her day care out of her own home, serving children under 13. It was successful enough that she expanded in 2007 from a space for 12 children to one for 33. Now she and her seven employees provide care, a curriculum of classes year-round, and a food program.
In the last few years, Elsa has been struggling financially due to the economic downturn. Unemployed parents had to pull their children from daycare, so her enrollment dropped. Thankfully, this past year enrollment has started to improve again. Elsa took out this loan to improve her building, so that the children would be better cared for and safer. For example, she plans to do some maintenance on the building and add air conditioning, security cameras, and a small roof over the patio for the children.
Elsa dedicates her life to her three children and four grandchildren. Her daycare has enabled her to provide for them through the years. Now, her two older sons help her out with the daycare as she needs it, and her 19-year old daughter is employed there as a caregiver.
Elsa’s greatest success is achieving her Associate’s degree, despite difficulty understanding English. Not to mention raising her children and starting her business.
After Elsa’s divorce, she found it easy to think negatively. It caused her financial difficulties. Now, with the loan, her faith and confidence to move forward have returned. Elsa plans to continually improve her daycare and the service she offers. She would like to add classes in more topics, such as music. She is also working to improve her English.
Her suggestion to other small business owners is to “get advice. It makes a difference. You never know if you don’t ask.”
LiftFund. (www.liftfund.com) is an award-winning nonprofit organization (previously known as Accion Texas) with a mission to provide credit and loans to small and start-up businesses that have limited or no access to credit from commercial sources. Established in 1994 in San Antonio, LiftFund has helped Texas and Louisiana entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses, stabilize and increase their incomes, create employment, and contribute to the economic revitalization of their communities. Learn more at www.liftfund.com.