100%

funded

Total loan: $10,000

Inoussa

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Brooklyn, NY, United States / Food

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A loan helped me to buy my initial inventory and support a grand opening to make sure people in the neighborhood know I'm here!


Inoussa's story

I came to the U.S. from Burkina Faso, West Africa when I was 26 years old. My friend Abdel Ouedraogo, who owns of Yatenga Bistro and the Shrine music venue in Harlem, introduced me to another Burkinabé ,Noufou Ouedraogo," introduced me to Thierry Cabigeos who was hiring for a dishwasher in his new Clinton Hill (Brooklyn) eatery, Choice Market. That was 10 years ago. Over the past 10 years, I have put in long hours to learn all parts of the job under Thierry’s guidance and mentorship. He says I'm one of his most loyal and hard working employees. I come from an enterprising family of basket weavers in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. I attended College Protestant de Ouagadougou to pursue a Liberal Arts degree but could not finish because my family could no longer afford tuition. Instead of school, I worked with my family's business to sell its products. I met many French tourists who offered to buy some of our baskets to sell in France. I also met someone that got me summer jobs at Le Palmier Resort in St. Tropez France, a popular summer vacation destination for affluent travelers. Between summers, I continued to sell my family's wares and developed trade relationships in both the U.S. and France. In 2007, I came to the U.S. and received his citizenship in 2016. Today, I have an opportunity to open my own cafe called Zaca Cafe. I like surrounding myself with people to make my dream happen. Thierry (my current boss at Choice Market) wants to support me in my own venture. CAMBA (a non-profit small business development org) connected me to attorneys at Kramer Levin who helped me negotiate a good lease. I have a good accountant to help me with my books, and a good business advisor that, with Thierry, is helping me outline all my costs, break even point, and employee payroll schedule. Theirry at Choice Market has give me so much guidance and mentorship to make sure I open Zaca Café on the right foot and create a healthy business in the neighborhood where I live, Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.