WACO, Texas – It’s no secret that the city of Waco has grown significantly over the past few years,
Adding to this growth, Waco start-up helps entrepreneurs launch and support their small businesses through financial advice and mentoring. The organization recently began using an interest-free loan program to help raise thousands of dollars for Waco entrepreneurs.
Chic Waffle Food truck owner Shamica Evans was able to raise just over $ 4,000 for her business in less than three days, all thanks to the non-profit organization Startup Waco.
Growing up, Evans remembers his grandmother and mother making chicken and waffles.
“So I wanted to create this family recipe and distribute it to the community that I also consider my family,” Evans explained.
With no loans or grants, just advice from local experts, Evans started Waffle Chic with what she had. The single mom says she did it to show her kids that anything is possible, no matter what you have to overcome.
“I took all of my funds to work at Mission Waco here in Waco, and that’s how I started Waffle Chic,” Evans explained.
After the grand opening of Waffle Chic, Evans joined forces with the Startup Waco team. The non-profit organization helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses with the goal of making central Texas a hub for business no middle man.
In February, Startup Waco connected Evans with Kiva, a nonprofit that uses a crowdfunding concept to enable the community to fund loans for local businesses.
“At first I was hesitant, you know, but once I applied and saw so many wonderful people start to believe in my dream by donating, I was like ‘Okay, God. thank you very much, ”said Evans.
Gib Reynolds, head of access at start-up Waco Capital, introduced Kiva to Evans. The tool helped her raise over $ 4,000 for Waffle Chic in just one weekend.
“You are responsible for raising funds from your friends, family, and the community to achieve a private fundraising goal,” Reynolds explained. “And once you’ve done that, you can go live on the Kiva public platform. There are approximately 2 million people around the world who actively fund deals. The idea is that you get loans from people in $ 25 increments to earn up to $ 15,000 in cash to grow and scale your business. ”
Evans hopes his story will inspire other entrepreneurs to achieve their goals.
“Add to the economic growth within the community that we are now building here in Waco, Texas,” she said.
Start Up Waco’s first handful of fully funded deals raised over $ 25,000 in just a few months thanks to Kiva.