Microbusiness Advancement Center, largely underwritten by The Small Business Administration, gives grant to local businesswoman
Tucson, AZ -- (ReleaseWire) -- 06/05/2006 --Inside Tucson Business Special Section reports that Deborah Rodriguez-Baggesen recognized a need in her community -students were having trouble grasping math concepts. She also saw an opportunity. There weren’t enough resources within the school system to help many students succeed.
Rodriguez-Baggesen’s entrepreneurial spirit led to the creation of a business that is now helping kids make the grade.Tutoring Solutions, LLC started in 2003 with one employee and revenues of $5,000. However, it really came together at the Tucson Women’s Business Center, known locally as the Microbusiness Advancement Center (MAC). Rodriguez-Baggesen enrolled in MAC’s business planning course, which is largely underwritten by the Small Business Administration (SBA). She now has 30 contract employees and revenues in 2005 reached $50,000.
At MAC she learned how to analyze her industry, identify her target market and how to promote her business. At the end of the 14-week course, Rodriguez-Baggesen had developed a business plan that was both the blueprint of her organization and a roadmap for the future. In addition, fellow classmates became friends and formed the foundation of a business network.
According to Rodriguez-Baggesen, “I was blessed by the opportunity to go through MAC’s training. MAC provided the support, encouragement, organization and structure I needed.”
In addition to offering training and technical assistance, much of which is available in Spanish, MAC offers small loans made available through the SBA’s Microloan Program. Rodriguez-Baggesen was the recipient of a $5,000 loan in 2004 that helped her accelerate the pace of her business. With it she was able to build a website, purchase business cards and create promotional materials.
The business planning course and microloan services are just two among many available to those seeking counsel at MAC. One-on-one counseling services, topical seminars and a mentor-protégé program are among others. The course also offers other benefits than simply education. It provides access to a network of graduates and other businesses in the community who support MAC’s mission. Heightened self-esteem and new economic power are other benefits.
New skills and added self-esteem sum up two key benefits that Rodriguez-Baggesen’s students gain as a result of their exposure to Tutoring Solutions, and both are fundamental to a student’s success going forward.
Rodrigez-Baggesen’s advice: “Building a business is not a one person show. Realize you can’t do it on your own and get the support you need from others. Build a team.”
Her secret of success: “Have passion in what you’re doing and enjoy it. It’s easy to get stalled and just give up. Be patient and persistent. You’ll need drive and ambition to succeed.”