Originally from India, Chattar found his calling as an educator and entrepreneur after moving to El Paso to obtain his master of business administration degree from the University of Texas - El Paso. He started teaching math at a local middle school and discovered his calling. Eventually he opened a tutoring business that rapidly grew by word of mouth.
“I enjoy teaching,” Chattar said. “And the students I had learned a lot with my background and my patience and my teaching style.”
Chattar started teaching at a high school and saw that there was a strong need for one-on-one tutoring in math. So he started tutoring his high school students. Eventually, he used his business training background to start a tutoring business. Originally he called the business MathMobile, because math was his specialty.
“But thereafter it just grew,” Chattar said. “The parents we had started referring us to other clientele and we just grew. And now we have 25 tutors and we just run the business and make sure we hire the right type of people to work as tutors.”
Chattar changed the name of the business to Texas Mobile Tutorials to better reflect the broad range of subjects the company tutors: math, English/reading, social studies, biology, chemistry, physics, history, test preparation, computer programs, and other topics.
Recently, Texas Mobile Tutorials became an approved provider under the Texas Education Agency’s Supplemental Educational Services program, enabling Chattar’s company to serve low-income students in schools at risk of failing to meet state education standards.
The contract might seem like a boon for Chattar’s tutorial business. But Chattar said he has to pay his tutors and buy the books and other material up front. He is guaranteed payment by the state, but weeks after services have already been delivered.
So Chattar applied for a working capital loan with Accion Texas Inc. after learning about the nonprofit organization through the Small Business Administration in El Paso. Using his $5,450 loan to buy materials and to pay tutors immediately after rendering services, Chattar said he was able to pick up 10 students from the state program.
Chattar said he hopes to serve more students through the program as he builds his capital, pays off his loan, and eventually obtains revolving credit for his business.
“We would have had to let go of those students if we didn’t get the Accion Texas loan,” Chattar said.
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.