2013 Blog Posts

2013 Blog Posts

What We Are Thankful for

Al Lopez, December 16, 2013

Thanksgiving may have just passed, but I have not stopped being thankful for another great year here at EGBI!

Just before the holiday, we celebrated our last graduation for clients who completed our entrepreneurship training.  In all, this year we had 80 individuals complete at least 30 hours of business training and present their business plan to their class and the EGBI staff.  The graduation celebrated a wonderful blend of new and developing partnerships, including Las Comadres para las Americas, University of Texas Pan Am Veteran’s Center, El Buen Samaritano, and FuturoFund. Read more…

Mother and Daughter Business Kicks Off at EGBI

By Nayeli Gallegos, December 13, 2013

Bea Baylor worked as a full time nurse for 20 years. At the same time, for the last seven years, she had been informally running her business from home… providing her services for free most of the time. As a 13 year cancer survivor, Bea has been an advocate for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, helping them create a journey to healing. She wrote the book “My Tribulations Made Me Fabulous” which will be published in 2014, and she was featured in the latest issue of Renewed Magazine. Read more…

EGBI Client Opens Food Trailer on Rainey Street

By Al Lopez, July 30, 2013

About two thirds of EGBI graduates wind up starting a business. In most cases, taking into account their learning, they decide to delay the start to do it in a better prepared way. This is the case of Vann Brown, who graduated from Building Success Program in August 2011. All of last year, she worked on developing her plan, continued to getting business training, attended a couple of our workshops, networked at our Annual Reunion, and kept EGBI in the loop of her progress.

On May 26th, we were thrilled to attend the grand opening of My Granny’s Kitchen food trailer on the fairly exclusive Rainey Street downtown. Read more…

Support EGBI’s First e-Raiser!

Our first online and social media fundraiser, April 16-May 16, 2013

By Al Lopez, April 17, 2013

Last October, I wrote about why I support EGBI, hoping to stimulate some additional support for our organization.  Well, needless to say, I was pretty gratified by the results we experienced last fall…

…In an effort to continue to broaden our outreach and diversify our supporters—folks who know about and are willing to invest in EGBI—we’re holding our first ever online and social media fundraiser over the next four weeks.  What we would like to do is have as many of our connections (and their connections) commit to a $25 donation to EGBIRead more…

Is Collaborating Really Beneficial?

By Al Lopez, March 28, 2013

In the last couple of years, as I have navigated around the nonprofit/public sector, I’ve observed very different levels of organizations that are willing to work together when it may be in the very best interest of the clients they serve and the mission they purport to have. Read more…

I know we’ve talked about this, but ARE YOU FINANCIALLY FIT?

By Al Lopez, March 19, 2013

Our initial session for EGBI’s small business startup training is Boot Camp. Many of you have taken it, and I know that many wonder why we are starting our “how to start a business” program with a class on personal finances and credit. However, it is surprising to me how many of the clients who begin our program have very little idea when it comes to their financial obligations, book-keeping and overall financial fitness. So we start with the basics and build on that. Read more…

What kind of clients come to EGBI? Client feature: Teresa Valenzuela-Basa

By Al Lopez, February, 2013

The diversity of our clients is an element that makes our experience here at EGBI especially interesting and rewarding. At one end of the spectrum, we have folks who don’t yet have a specific business but feel that sometime in the future they will start a business. At the other end, we have clients who already have a business developing, but have reached a point where they realize they really need and want to have a more formal business plan, such was the case of Teresa Valenzuela-Basa. Read more…

EGBI Client Highlight: Home Help Services by Verobran

By Nayeli Gallegos, January, 2013

Veronica Trevisan is the Co-Owner of Home Help Services by Verobran along with Branbilia Mendoza. They offer home support services, a combination of residential cleaning and home health care. Veronica, a native from Argentina and Branbilia (Bran), a native from Mexico, met each other in 2006 while working for a Mexican Taqueria. Read more…

Happy Holidays from EGBI

By Al Lopez, December 2012

As we approach the holiday season, we reflect on the great year we had. We are thankful to be in a place that nurtures the entrepreneurial spirit and contributes to the development of our community; we are thankful for our growing list of clients and supporters; and we are thankful for everything we accomplished in 2012.  Read more…



Is Your Skillset Current?

Is Your Skillset Current?

Al Lopez, January 16, 2014

It’s interesting to me how often I get a call where someone says, “I’m starting a business, and I have just one question.” In our sense of urgency to hurry and get started or stay on task with the job we have, we often neglect the value of taking the time to equip ourselves so that over the long run we can enjoy more success. I am a firm believer in the importance of education for our youth, but it can’t end there. Education needs to be a priority and not just one more thing you add to your to-do list. Everything we know, including our professional skills, is rapidly becoming obsolete. This means that it’s not enough to work hard. We must be constantly updating our knowledge and acquiring new skills. I hope that when the day comes I stop learning someone is calling the mortician.

As entrepreneurs, we sometimes think that keeping our skills current doesn’t matter for us. You can benefit from staying up-to-date no matter what kind of work you do. With better knowledge you’ll make better decisions, and you’ll see threats and opportunities sooner, which can give you a cutting edge and help you adjust your plans. Also, learning how to effectively and efficiently run your business and staying abreast of the latest industry enhancements will earn you the respect of your customers, suppliers, and supporters/investors.

We have never been faced with so much change, and that is also true for businesses. I heard recently that more information has been produced in the last 30 years than was produced in the previous 5000 years, and that the “total body of knowledge” will continue to double every five years. We must keep our skills and knowledge current in order to keep up with required changes to how we run our businesses and how we must update our products or services to keep solving our customers’ new problems.

Small business owners cannot neglect the need to learn. Continuous learning is connected to better business performance and higher likelihood of surviving the wall that all small businesses hit at some point in their life cycle – 50% of the time in the first five years.

With today’s technology, there are many ways to stay current or to learn more about your industry. Stay up to date by reading articles, listening to podcasts of experts in areas you want to develop, and networking. You don’t have to know everything, from every source about your industry, but you need to stay current to learn how to skim for relevant and important information.

The benefits are pretty obvious. New knowledge and skills help prevent repeating mistakes, identify and implement best practices, and contribute to business success.

That’s what EGBI is about… creating an opportunity for small business owners to get equipped to start and manage their business, on-going mentoring/counseling, continuing education through workshops, and incubation if their business requires it.

If you are looking to challenge yourself in learning how to better run a business, there is still time to join our current cohorts of Building Success Program (English evening class) and Curso Empresarial (bi-lingual morning class). Sign up now!