Client Highlight: APSCO & It's Cleaning Time!

For the month of February, we are highlighting two of our clients APSCO (Alva Property Services Companies) and It’s Cleaning Time!
Last year, both of them were selected for the FastForward Progam, a small business growth initiative powered by the City of Austin and the University of Texas at Austin’s IC2 Institute. We are proud to share that out of the 13 businesses that were accepted and completed the program, two of them were EGBI clients.
APSCO provides property maintenance and general contracting services to individuals and companies in the Greater Austin Area needing services fitting any of their business units:
*Pro Lawn Cut – Landscape maintenance and installation services
*Pro Maid Clean – Cleaning and janitorial services
*Pro Handy Home – Remodeling and general contracting services
Mynor Its cleaning time
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It’s Cleaning Time! LLC is a residential cleaning service company serving the Austin and surrounding areas since 2003. They also offer some commercial cleaning services: janitorial cleaning for small offices and after construction cleaning.
We look forward to continue encouraging our clients to apply for future FastFoward Program opportunities, as we believe this program provides great exposure and valuable training for our small business community.
You can find APSCO and It’s Cleaning Time! contact information along with all of our graduates who are in business by visiting our web directory.

Client Highlight: Smiley's Junk Removal and Recycling

With the beginning of the New Year, you might be thinking about getting more organized and decluttering your home or your office. If that is the case, we have the perfect ally for you: Smiley’s Junk Removal & Recycling.
Spencer Costley is the Owner of Smiley’s Junk Removal and Recycling, who has been serving the community for over five years. They were ranked one of the Top Junk Removal Companies in Austin in 2016 by
If you have any junk laying around, a garage full of stuff filling up the space, any trash or unwanted items that need to be removed, Smiley’s Junk Removal and Recycling can assist you. They serve both residential and business locations… always with a smile!
Not only that, but Spencer will try to save and recycle your items in various creative ways.
Spencer graduated from the EGBI entrepreneurial program in 2011, he continues to attend workshops, participates in our BizCoaching groups, is actively involved with EGBI and is one of our most loyal clients when we need volunteers.
“The EGBI classes give me an outlet to bounce my ideas off of and experts that will answer any questions that I have about my business, and to me that is priceless… I’ve grown quite a bit since taking the class; I have more clients that I serve now on a regular basis. I’m their go-to person when they need junk that needs to be removed, and that’s a great feeling.”
Smiley’s Junk Removal and Recycling is insured under the State of Texas. Please consider using Smiley’s if you are in the process of decluttering your home or office. Click here to visit their website and support them by following them on social media!
You can find Smiley’s contact information along with all of our graduates who are in business by visiting our web directory.

Client Highlight: Selina's Manq'a

As we approach the holiday season, please consider Selina’s Manq’a for your catering needs. Selina’s Manq’a creates an exquisite and elegant experience, taking into consideration even the smallest detail, and always adjusting to your budget.
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Selina’s Manq’a shares the Peruvian heritage of sisters Selina and Patricia Ortiz, who with dedication, devotion and professionalism introduce the best of Peruvian and international cuisine.
With an interest in starting a business, Selina enrolled in EGBI’s Curso Empresarial in 2012. She realized that in order to be successful, she needed to take the challenge very seriously. She learned the requirements to starting her own business and went on to work on herself.
Following her dreams, she enrolled in the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu of Culinary Arts in Austin, where she graduated with honors. She began her career with Mi Peru Catering in 2012, preparing her favorite Peruvian foods.
She came back to EGBI to take some of the entrepreneurial classes again. With broader culinary experience, she decided to include international cuisine into her menu, which led to the relaunch of her business, naming it Selina’s Manq’a (meaning Selina’s Food in the the Quechua language). With a new name and logo, she recently launched her website and is working on growing her blog and social media presence.
EGBI has provided Selina with education, motivation, resources, exposure and constant support. Selina and her sister regularly attend EGBI workshops, and Selina is currently participating in EGBI’s BizCoaching program. Selina is also very involved in the community and participates in other organizations’ programs for small businesses.
EGBI is proud to say that Selina has provided her catering services for many EGBI events, and her food is always fantastic.
Please visit her site and keep her in mind next time you need catering services.
You can find Selina’s contact information along with all of our graduates who are in business by visiting our web directory.

My Granny's Kitchen

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.

My Granny’s Kitchen was inspired by Vann’s grandmother, who had a passion for cooking and providing healthy meals to her family. Vann shares the same passion, and she understands that spending time in the kitchen preparing healthy meals can reduce the quality time with the family, so her goal is to provide a solution to those of us with busy lifestyles.

“We at My Granny’s Kitchen strive to provide a healthy affordable fast food alternative to the everyday family that is available when you need it and revive the traditions of southern style cooking” said Vann.

We applaud Vann’s perseverance and wish her all the success in her new business. We invite you to please take the time to stop by My Granny’s Kitchen and try one of the delicious meals on her menu “There is no reason why nutritious meals cannot be sold as fast food!”.

Vann is one of many EGBI clients who have accomplished their goal of starting a business. We are proud of her and look forward to many more celebrations to come.


My Granny’s Kitchen


EGBI Helps Client Obtain a Start-Up Loan

By Nayeli Gallegos, EGBI Market Analyst, July 16, 2012

Carlos Fernandez is an example of perseverance and hard work. A native of Mexico, he moved to the United States in 1998 in search of better opportunities for his family. 10 years ago, Carlos began working in the screen printing industry, where he had the opportunity to master different parts of the business as he held various positions, starting from Helper and working up to becoming Production Manager.

As many hard-working men, he had a dream of owning his own shop; and acknowledging the fact that he needed to develop business skills, he approached EGBI. Towards the end of 2011, he took our business training and graduated from our Building Success Program.

“I always wanted to open my own business, but I didn’t have the correct information about how to do it, until I came to EGBI,” Fernandez said.

Early this year, he began to work on the business plan for what would be “Tex-Mex Printing,” his own screen printing shop. With a draft of his business plan, he came back to EGBI for assistance with obtaining a start-up loan that would allow him to buy equipment and take care of his working capital needs.

Program Director, Barbra Boeta invested her time working with him on his financial projections and helping him improve and finalize his business plan. With a complete loan package, EGBI introduced him to the staff at PeopleFund, who in less than a month successfully approved his startup loan.

“Tex-Mex Printing is a great example of how EGBI and PeopleFund worked as a team to help a client. Barbra Boeta helped with training and the business plan. Then Ivette Benitez and Allie Cook at PeopleFund made sure that Tex-Mex received the necessary capital to help the business succeed…The bilingual capabilities of both EGBI and PeopleFund were essential to a successful outcome” said Gary Linder, PeopleFund President & CEO.

This start-up loan will allow Carlos Fernandez to open his business by the end of the summer.
“Barbra…we are in business! Thank you very much, without your help, my dream would have never come true, thank you, thank you very much…I will be in touch.”

For more information about Tex-Mex Printing, please email

This is only one of many examples of how EGBI helps clients achieve their entrepreneurial dreams. Do you want to start or grow your small business? Please come to us. We want to help you succeed!


EGBI Assists Brenda Carrera Obtain a Capital to Purchase a Business

By Nayeli Gallegos, EGBI Market Analyst, April 16, 2012

A hairstylist since 1990, Brenda Carrera graduated from our Building Success Program in 2007 and began working on a business plan. She had to put her plans on hold, but her entrepreneurial spirit did not allow her to give up on her dream. At the end of 2010, she was offered the opportunity of taking over the hair salon where she was working.

In a time where small businesses have trouble getting financing, Carrera turned to EGBI for assistance. Through our loan packaging service, she received help on updating her business plan and financial projections.

With a strong loan package, she was  approved by A+FCU for a term loan that allowed her to buy the business assets, remodel the location and support her business operations for the first three months.

 Carrera’s own Hair Central Salon began operations in May 2011 and she currently has five full time employees.

“…Thank you for the time you dedicated to enhancing my business plan and cost projections. I sincerely appreciate the key role you played in this process and I am extremely grateful for the service provided by EGBI,” said Carrera.

EGBI continues to be a service for Brenda Carrera. We were glad to see her attend our March workshop on WordPress, and we  hope to continue seeing her at future workshops and events.