Life is a journey, not a destination.
Nobody tells the story of WWBIC’s impact better than the clients we have worked with over the years. Please enjoy their journeys and learn from their experiences.
Business Lending Successes
Adelaida Alvarez | Coquettish Nail Salon
“I’m so thankful to have found WWBIC. You allow us to dream big and make your dreams come true. Thank you for believing in my vision, my dream.”
Adelaida Alvarez loves to work with people and was always very interested in the beauty industry. She decided to follow this passion and open her own nail salon. At first, Adelaida didn’t know where to start. Eventually she approached WWBIC, which she calls her “light at the end of the tunnel.” WWBIC gave her a loan to help start her business and continues to provide business technical assistance.
Coquettish Nail Salon opened in 2013 and has created three new jobs. Adelaida hopes to create 10 to 15 more jobs within two years, expanding her business and giving back to the community.
Coquettish Nail Salon
4518 W Forest Home Ave
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53219
Alex Toole | Alex Toole Insurance Agency
“WWBIC and its services are critical to the perpetuation of the entrepreneurial ideal for women and minorities.”
Alex Toole always had a desire to serve the community, which led to his decision to open a branch of State Farm Insurance in 2004 in West Allis.
Years later, Alex faced many challenges. His wife lost her job just after he purchased a building for his business. He was forced to make deep cuts, and faced the threat of having to close his doors. Then Alex discovered WWBIC’s services, and received a loan and business assistance. He was able to stabilize his business, retain his position and that of an employee, and continue serving the community.
Alex Toole Insurance Agency
7343 W Greenfield Avenue
West Allis, WI 53214
Laura Connor | Connor Human Restoration
“WWBIC provided me not only with funds, but the support to keep our lending relationship healthy. Overall, it has been a great experience working with WWBIC.”
After finishing school, Laura Connor decided to follow her dream of running her own practice. However, she needed funds to start her business and was unable to obtain a loan from banks. WWBIC provided Laura with a small business loan, enabling her to start Connor Human Restoration.
The business has grown rapidly, already expanding twice within the first three years of existence. Laura has continued to receive one-on-one business technical assistance from WWBIC on a variety of topics. She hopes to soon expand the scope of what her business offers to include other modalities and expects to create jobs in the future!
Connor Human Restoration
107 N. Lake Avenue Ste 1
Crandon, WI 54520
A Place to Grow, Play & Education Center, Inc.
Lannan and Mary Christensen decided to open their business, A Place to Grow, because they felt there was a need for high quality childcare programs in their Paddock Lake community. They knew that the endeavor would be challenging, but decided it was one that they could meet. Lannan and Mary utilized WWBIC for business training.
The two opened their business in February of 2012, creating three full-time jobs and four part-time jobs! Lannan and Mary say that they value their clients above all and will always strive to be a leader in the childcare industry. They believe that childhood should be a journey, not a race!
“We learned invaluable tools and produced the business plan that lays the foundation of our exceptional center and keeps our future goals in sight. Thank you for the jump start to our dreams!”
Lannan Christensen & Mary Christensen
24929 75 Street
Paddock Lake, WI 53168
Elizabeth Handle | Milwaukee Kayak Company
“Enrolling in the WWBIC Start Smart series was a very important step in developing my business goals and objectives. Thank goodness for WWBIC!”
Elizabeth Handle decided to launch her business, Milwaukee Kayak Company, to introduce people to the sport of paddling on Milwaukee’s unique waterways while providing a healthy, fun, and safe recreational opportunity for the community.
While preparing to open her business, Elizabeth attended WWBIC’s Start Smart Business Planning Series and received one-on-one assistance. This helped her make specific business decisions, learn about marketing and financial planning, and create a business plan! Milwaukee Kayak Company opened in June 2013, creating one full-time job. Within the next year, Elizabeth plans to double the size of her fleet and hire two additional employees.
Milwaukee Kayak Company
318 South Water Street
Milwaukee, WI 53204
Leslie & Alex Olano | Olano's Empanadas
“WWBIC helped us build confidence in our ideas. Attending the Small Biz Planning Series was critical in our business development. The series helped us put our ideas on paper and gave us a great support system. It was a fantastic way to network and to present our business idea to others. The course and WWBIC helped us to take our dream and make it a reality!”
In 2013, Leslie and Victor Olano decided to do something they were passionate about and control their own destiny. Utilizing Victor's background in the culinary world, they wanted to introduce a different cuisine to Southeast Wisconsin.
The couple took WWBIC’s 10-week Small Biz Planning Series, where they wrote their business plan and networked with other entrepreneurs. They opened Olano's Empanadas, a catering business specializing in Peruvian baked empanadas, in November 2013. Leslie and Victor rent a kitchen in the incubator at HALO (Homeless Assistance Leadership Organization) with a long-term goal of a cafe or food truck.
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Financial Awareness Successes
Amada Morales | Returning Student
“I want to change my own cycle of poverty by becoming a doctor, and I really want to represent the underprivileged in the field of medicine. The IDA program has made pursuing my dream a reality.”
Amada Morales successfully completed WWBIC’s Make Your Money Talk financial awaress series in May, 2012. She subsequently opened an Individual Development Account (IDA) with a goal of using her savings and the matching funds toward education - specifically, eight natural science courses which would qualify her by 2014 for entry into the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana, Cuba.
The IDA has helped her pay for tuition, textbooks and other supplies needed to complete the courses.
Chakoia Gregory Morehouse | First Time Homeowners
“Our family is very appreciate and grateful to have the opportunity to use the assistance of WWBIC and the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee. Thanks to everyone who makes these programs effective and available to those in need, like myself.”
Chakoia and Gregory were both residents of the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee until recently when they moved into their first home! After graduating from WWBIC’s Make Your Money Talk financial awareness empowerment series, they each opened an Individual Development Account (IDA), combined their savings and match dollars, and together reached their goal of becoming first-time homeowners!
WWBIC’s financial awareness programming has allowed the Hardin’s and more than 150 other lower-income individuals build assets – including first-time homeownership, starting or expanding a small business, or returning to school for post-secondary education.
NiQuanna Edwards | First Time Homeowner
"The IDA program has provided me with the opportunity to save and reach my goal of becoming a first time homebuyer. It feels great to be able to establish a foundation for my children.”
Niquanna, a paraprofessional with Milwaukee Public Schools, graduated from WWBIC’s Make Your Money Talk financial education series in 2012. She opened an Individual Development Account, met her savings goal, and used her savings plus the WWBIC match toward the purchase of her first home in July 2013. Becoming a home owner is providing a firm foundation for her next goal: a degree in business.
Individual Development Accounts (IDA’s) allowed Niquanna and more than 150 other lower-income individuals truly build assets... they are now owning their own homes, starting or expanding their business or attending a local college.