Housing Authority of Bowling Green (HABG) EnVision Center recently kicked off in a big way a new business opportunity program for underserved entrepreneurs known as People's Opportunity Program for Underserved Populations, or POP-UP. POP-UP was born out of the vision of local business leader Don Vitale's desire to help the local minority small business community. Abraham Williams, HABG Executive Director, lead the effort and helped secure funding from local banks and community partners to include the hiring of a small business consultant to help set the program up for long term success.
Two local women were recently awarded loans for their businesses from POP-UP. Tieraney McFadden started Chopped By T, a salad business, and Kira Bolling began A Taste of Sunshine, which offers cupcakes.
McFadden credits her children, who she needed to provide for after her work hours were drastically cut due to the pandemic, for her motivation.
"Without them I wouldn't fight as hard as I do every day. I want them to understand that it starts with a dream ā DREAM BIG!," said McFadden.
Bolling believes Oprah's Know what sparks a light in you, then use that light to illuminate the world sums up how she feels about her cupcake business. Her business name, A Taste of Sunshine, comes from the nickname of her mother, Sunshine, who passed in 2016. Baking was something that the two always did together. Kira will use the loan to expand to a physical location, outside of her home, for her baking.
Small business consultant for POP-UP, Dawn Bolton, can't emphasize enough how much work and effort both Tieraney and Kira put in before going in front of the POP-UP Board.
"Over the course of many weeks, these women went from being simply passionate about their businesses, to being knowledgeable about their cost of goods sold, operating expenses, profit margins, competitive advantages, sales forecasts, and industry standards," said Bolton. "And they still maintained their passion! I am very proud of them."
"The HUD Kentucky Office is proud of the Housing Authority of Bowling Green EnVision Center for continuing to help its residents pursue their dreams in order to become self-sufficient," said HUD Kentucky Field Office Director Peter Jackson.