Opened EGBI Toastmasters Officer Roles

by Shamitha Ramanan

A Toastmasters club’s ability to function effectively depends on its members’ commitment to serving in various officer capacities. Officer roles are the club’s core and significantly contribute to its growth and success. Volunteers willing to take on these tasks are crucial to the club. Getting more involved by assuming an officer role within the club benefits the club and the individual taking on the role. It’s a rewarding experience that offers numerous opportunities for growth, development, and meaningful connections.

EGBI’s chapter of Toastmasters will have David Fuentes as the President, Monica Peña as the VP of Membership, and Wendy Murphy as the VP of Public Relations. 

We seek the club’s VP of Education, Secretary, and Treasurer.  

The Vice President of Education oversees scheduling and is the club’s expert on education awards, speech contests, and mentoring. They welcome and guide new members, assign mentors, emphasize the significance of quality evaluations and the Toastmasters Education Program, and promote participation in activities.    

The Treasurer is the club’s primary accountant, writes authorized checks, deposits dues and earnings, and handles bank transactions. Their accurate and timely work dramatically impacts the club’s overall success. In addition, the Treasurer oversees tax filings, notifies members on due dates, and sends payments to World Headquarters. They manage the budget in coordination with the club’s leadership and actively participate in executive committee sessions.

The Secretary records minutes of meetings and keeps track of club records. They ensure the World Headquarters data are accurate by updating and distributing the member roster. In addition, they maintain club files, record executive committee meetings, and keep copies of the Club Constitution and Standard Bylaws.

Serving as an officer provides an invaluable opportunity to hone leadership skills in a supportive environment. We hope you consider taking on an officer role in addition to joining the Toastmasters.

Find the Spanish version click here.

Navigating Grants for Small Businesses

By Shamitha Ramanan

One valuable resource that can significantly impact the trajectory of a small business are grants. They offer the financial support required to fuel the growth of your business. In this article, we delve into various grants and grant platforms that could suit your business and the application process.

FedEx Small Business Grant Contest

Each year, this competition grants $30,000 to 10 deserving business owners, with an added $20,000 grant awarded to a veteran entrepreneur selected from the pool of grand prize winners. To qualify, your business must be for-profit, employ fewer than 99 individuals, and possess a valid FedEx business shipping account number. This application opens on March 1, 2024, at 12pm ET and closes on April 1, 2024, at 12pm ET. Grant recipients will be announced on May 16, 2024. This grant application requires a short company bio with high-quality images that best represent your business and a two-minute video pitch.

National Association for Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grants

Through the NASE Growth Grants program, your small business could secure up to $4,000 in funding. Grant applications undergo quarterly review according to the schedule posted on the NASE website. To qualify, membership in NASE is required, and applicants are asked to submit a business plan. Evaluation criteria for grant allocation include an assessment of the identifiable business need, a detailed plan for the use of grant funds, the potential for the grant to address the identified need, and the expected impact of the grant on the business.

This database offers a broad spectrum of opportunities customized for small businesses and contains more than 1,000 federal grant programs. These grants are from a variety of government agencies and cater to a diverse range of entrepreneurial pursuits. With eligibility criteria and monetary value varying widely, these grants provide support across a broad spectrum of business endeavors.


This database is similar to the one listed above and is an expansive online platform dedicated to listing hundreds of small-business grants sourced from across the United States. However, compared to the one above this is not through a variety of government agencies.


“FedEx Small Business Grants.” FedEx, Accessed 1 Feb. 2024.

“$4,000 Business Grant #nase.” $4,000 Business Grant, Accessed 1 Feb. 2024.

“Search Grants.” Grants.Gov, Accessed 1 Feb. 2024.

“Grants for Nonprofits, Businesses and Individuals-Grantwatch.”, Accessed 1 Feb. 2024.

Find the Spanish version here.

Happy Employees Mean Better Business

By Audrey Stanton

From company-paid health care coverage to onsite child care, research shows that family-friendly
policies lead to higher employee attraction, retention, satisfaction, and productivity.

Are you curious to learn how you can make your company more attractive to working parents
and increase your revenue at the same time?

The newly launched Best Place for Working Parents® Greater Austin initiative from Early Matters
Greater Austin (EMGA) offers a free and confidential survey that you can complete online in under 5

After completing the assessment, you will gain a real-time snapshot of how your business fares in
relation to other local companies. Businesses that qualify for the designation will have an immediate
opportunity to promote themselves as a designated Best Place for Working Parents®.

To learn more about the initiative and take the free assessment, click here to visit Early Matters.

Happier employees? More profitable business? It’s a win-win.

Find the Spanish version here.

The Economic Growth Business Incubator receives the Platinum Seal of Transparency for 2024 by Candid.

We are honored to receive Platinum Seal of Transparency for 2024 by Candid. The Platinum Transparency Rating is the highest level a nonprofit can achieve, signifying an exceptional commitment to transparency in sharing, our goals, strategies, financial data, capabilities, achievements, and progress. 

Learn more about EGBI and this award:


 EGBI   |   Austin, TX   |

Learn how to support this organization

SummaryPrograms + ResultsFinancialsOperations



The Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) provides training, coaching, and support to aspiring and existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business. Barriers include education, finance, and language. We believe that all businesses should be profitable, sustainable, and an asset to the community.

Notes from the nonprofit

Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) is a non-profit organization which provides training, coaching, and support to aspiring and existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business. EGBI believes that all businesses should be profitable, sustainable and an asset to the community. To that end, we offer a comprehensive package of business coaching, group workshops, and support services for aspiring and existing businesses. We frequently work with micro and small business owners and a lot of the businesses that we work with are still in the design state and are not active yet; or they have been in business for less than five years. Some of the businesses who partner with E.G.B.I. could be considered informal businesses and the owners are ready to transition into a more structured business entity. Typical businesses that partner with E.G.B.I. are mom & pop businesses and lifestyle businesses.

Executive Director: Larissa Davila

Main address

1144 Airport Blvd Ste 260

Austin, TX 78702 USA

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

The Economic Growth Business Incubator aims to be a better organization and increase our impact in the community while moving towards a more self-sustainable model for funding because we want to… Read more

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization’s current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Training, Coaching and Support

EGBI is industry-agnostic, in that we work with aspiring and existing business owners who bring the expertise around their idea; and we bring business practices, strategic thinking, and other resources.
Many of our clients come with years of industry experience; but lacking opportunities to advance in their place of employment, choose to start their own business. Their knowledge of the industry gives them the competitive advantage to be successful. However, they often lack the business acumen to manage a successful business. Through our training, coaching, and support services, we assist our clients to understand how to run and manage their business effectively and efficiently.

EGBI’s signature program is a two-part, foundational workshop series: Build Your Business PLAN and MANAGE the ABCs of Business. These workshops are geared to help participants focus on their business idea, develop a useful plan, and learn the tools to manage their business.

EGBI offers private coaching sessions: one-on-one time for clients to explore deeply their business idea and strategy. Coaches help clients develop their business model, create financial projections using spreadsheets, identify specific strategies for marketing their business, and work through next-step action plans with an accountability partner in EGBI. Private coaching often uncovers life issues and barriers in the way of moving forward; and the opportunity to identify experts, resources, tools, and opportunities to resolve these issues.

EGBI offers bookkeeping support, helping our clients set up manual systems for very young businesses, and moving to QuickBooks Online as soon as it makes sense. EGBI can offer an hour of questions and answers, set up services, support for payroll through an online partner, and monthly reconciliation services. As part of our monthly service, we review financial statements with our clients, practicing how to use these statements to manage and grow.

Find the Spanish Version here.

Difference between LLC and a DBA with Larissa Davila

En este episodio abordamos las diferencias entre LLC (Compañía de Responsabilidad Limitada) y DBA (Haciendo Negocios Como). Un LLC ofrece una entidad legal separada que protege los activos personales del propietario de las responsabilidades comerciales, mientras que un DBA es un nombre comercial registrado que a menudo está vinculado al nombre y activos personales del propietario. Registrar un DBA en Texas implica acudir a la oficina del condado local, mientras que un LLC se puede registrar a nivel estatal a través de una base de datos.

Ambas opciones tienen ventajas y desventajas. Un LLC ofrece una mejor protección de los activos personales, pero puede ser más costoso de establecer, mientras que un DBA es más flexible pero deja al propietario personalmente responsable. Larissa aconseja consultar con profesionales para elegir la opción correcta y destaca la importancia de los contratos y el seguro, independientemente de la elección. Un LLC permite la transferencia del negocio, mientras que un DBA no. Además, presentar un negocio con un DBA a inversores puede ser menos atractivo debido al aumento de los riesgos de responsabilidad. La consideración cuidadosa y la investigación son esenciales antes de decidir entre LLC y DBA para un negocio.

Recordemos que es importante contar con buenos contratos y seguros, sin importar si el negocio es un LLC o un DBA. Es fundamental llevar un control de las finanzas y evitar mezclar los fondos comerciales y personales, ya que esto puede conducir a complicaciones legales y poner en riesgo el negocio.