Cristina Acosta came to the Coachella Valley Women’s Business Center in 2014 to expand her Art and Design business. A gifted artist who had previously enjoyed much success as a tile designer, Cristina set her sights on building her business as an artist and colorist.
Cristina took part in the It’s Your Time program, which gave her the platform, tools and education she needed to grow her business. In researching her business plan, she narrowed down to a niche market and discovered how to grow her business to profitability. In writing a business plan, she gained focus; being surrounded by an environment of empowering and supportive women, she grew stronger in her resolve to succeed.
Cristina now produces artwork that is sold in the upscale market she sought, and was one of the winners of the IE Business Competition last fall. She continues to work with CVWBC, and to thrive in her business.
Heidi McArthur first contacted Coachella Valley Women’s Business Center in September of 2014, participating in the It’s Your Time program. As the mother of a small child, Heidi saw the need for a cloth diaper service here in the Coachella Valley and worked hard to bring her plans to fruition.
Through the IYT program, she was referred to an IYT alumnus who would become instrumental in her entrepreneurial career. Contacting Anna Geiger, owner of Jadabugs, on the advice of her counselor, Heidi found a woman who was both encouraging of her cloth diaper enterprise, and at a point where she was prepared to partner then sell Jadabugs to Heidi.
Using the focus provided by her business plan, and now the continued guidance of the LEAP (Local Entrepreneurs Attaining Profitability) program, Heidi has grown both businesses, and is on target for continued success.
Bethany Smith is a prime example of what can happen when a serial entrepreneur is inspired by need, creates a product to fill that need, then works hard to promote both the need and the solution. Bethany came to Coachella Valley Women’s Business Center in February of 2015. She and her husband owned a catering company and knew that the hours spent bending over and prep tables at awkward heights led to back injury and pain, and developed a revolutionary product that eliminates back pain and injury.
Bethany participated in the It’s Your Time program, wrote a business plan that proved to be a guide for management and growth, and continued to seek counsel from CVWBC. Through this long process, she has had much success: she was one of the winners of the IE Business Competition, a regional finalist for the SBA’s InnovateHer competition, and was awarded the CAMEO Faces of Entrepreneurship Award. In addition, her business has grown exponentially.
Lift Your Table ® is on target for a 200% increase in sales in 2016, and shows no sign of slowing down!
Lufta Mubarak started working with the Coachella Valley Women’s Business Center (CVWBC) in March 2013 after being referred by CDC Small Business Finance. The center helped Lufta write a business plan, develop financial projections, and complete the loan application. Thanks to the assistance she received from CVWBC, Lufta secured a $170,000 SBA loan to purchase “Palm Springs Fudge and Chocolates”.
Lufta will continue to work with the CVWBC to ensure sustainability and business success.