Marie C. and her husband Offie own 3rd Eye Surveillance, through which they sell, design, and service surveillance equipment. Now in its seventh year of operations, 3rd Eye Surveillance has grown beyond its founders to include an additional full-time employee and four independent contractors. Besides selling surveillance systems, 3rd eye surveillance also sells pepper spray and other violence-deterring products.
At first, the majority of 3rd Eye Surveillance’s business came from installing security systems at apartment complexes. Offie ran the business, while Marie had another full-time job that helped support themselves and their two children. When Marie quit her job to help run 3rd Eye Surveillance, she helped make their business HUB-certified (Historically Underutilized Businesses). She says this certification makes them eligible for government contracts, and makes them more attractive to large corporations.
Marie and Offie want to start selling security systems wholesale to other independent contractors and have the contacts in place to begin importing. They need financing to help them with the high start-up costs. Because Marie and Offie had been paying cash for their purchases, their credit score kept them from getting a loan from commercial banks. Marie is using this loan from ACCION Texas-Louisiana to build her credit score, so that she can qualify for a larger loan this summer. She and Offie ultimately want to receive financing so that they can begin importing surveillance systems to sell wholesale.
Marie and Offie donate and install free surveillance systems for organizations that need added security but lack the resources to pay. For example, they donated and installed a surveillance system for the Genesis Women’s Shelter. They have also donated surveillance systems to churches and retirement homes.
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.