In 1996, I applied to be a student in the LAEDA Entrepreneur Training Program, at which time I had the hopes of opening a group home for developmentally disabled persons.
After careful consideration, I was chosen to participate in the LAEDA program. I would never have guessed all the things I learned were not only instrumental in becoming a successful business owner, but also I acquired skills that I considered essential for life, especially since at the time I was a single parent.
Five years later, I found myself unemployed from a successful steamship company. Immediately my first thought was to pull out my EDTP training tapes. Yes, while in the EDTP course, I taped all of my instructors because I knew this information was invaluable. Little did I know that in 2001 1 would again try to be an entrepreneur — only this time it was in child daycare. To my surprise, this did not come easy. However, with every stumble and with every road block, I turned to LAEDA. My teachers remembered me and stepped right in to assist me.
Because of LAEDA, I have been able to open not only one (1) but three (3) child development centers from 2002 to 2008. The centers ranged from 4500 sq. ft to 11, 000 sq. ft. Today, the company is worth just under $1,000,000 and is about to sell at the top of a local brokers Top 10 list after being on the market for only seven (7) days. So far, we have had 15 inquiries and three (3) offers.
I was the 2005 Campbell Soup Entrepreneur of the Year and am on to my original passion — a business that involves developmentally disabled persons.
For inter-city individuals who are disadvantaged, in so much that they don’t carry a degree or any other formal training, LAEDA is a viable link in making impossible dreams an unbelievable reality. They are the reason for my success, and others like myself.
My first order of business after the sale of the Daycare is to contact LAEDA to assist me in the transition.