Nade Coulibaly-Doucoure, who is an immigrant from the Ivory Coast, started working with us in the summer of 2018. She wanted to build and grow a business - Baly Cleaning Services, Inc. - that her children could run one day. After working for a nonprofit organization, she found that the cleaning that she did on the side could become a successful business that could be more profitable than her career and would allow her to be her own boss. Nade founded her company over three years ago and stresses the importance of taking care of her client's needs and making sure that her employees are taken care of too. She feels very strongly about providing customers with outstanding cleaning service in an environmentally responsible manner and to being completely trustworthy and professional.
Over the past year we tapped volunteers from two financial services companies to set up systems to manage sales tax payments and to generate timely and accurate financial statements. We matched her with pro bono attorneys from two law firms and a corporate legal department to work on contracts, employment law, and doing business online. We've also helped her with brand identity and online marketing,
We were thrilled to find out recently that her annual income has grown by 150% and her profits have gone up by $30K, and she's hired five more employees.
Janie Deegan started Janie’s Life Changing Baked Goods after struggling with addiction and homelessness in her early 20s. For Janie, Janie’s was an act of self care. At the time she was trying to reconstruct her life and stay sober. She had large gaps on her resume and not a whole lot of work experience. She had no idea what sort of career she wanted. She never intended to be a small business owner, had no idea what being an entrepreneur meant. She likes to say that this path chose her.
She’s told us that when she first started working with us she felt like she was playing dress up as an entrepreneur. Her business was very ad hoc and had no legal or financial structure, and this was getting in the way of her business's growth.
We helped her with financial management, marketing her bakery and finding new clients, building her brand, and taking some steps to minimize her liabilities and protect her business.
Janie is a remarkable personal and professional success story, an example of someone who’s overcome great odds to build a successful small business. The bakery grew and continues to thrive because of Janie's incredible drive and commitment to building a future for herself. Her business has doubled in size each year since 2016 .