Meet EGBI’s Volunteer- Bill Combes

By Diana Garcia

Meet Bill Combes, founder and CEO of No Time for Social – a digital marketing agency that has been in business since 2014. Bill is originally from Long Island, New York and came to Texas via the Air National Guard after spending 4 years in Lawrence, KS. Bill attended K.U. for meteorology and was a weather forecaster in the Air Force at the 127th weather flight in Topeka, KS. In 1995, Bill started his first business, AnythingWeather, a private Austin-based weather company. Bill fell into digital marketing after he left his first start up and a lot of his roofing company clients were asking about running Facebook ads for their businesses, thus the start of No Time for Social. Bill lives in Round Rock and when he is away from work, he enjoys spending time with his wife Ileana and two sons Billy and Alex.

Bill shares his experience as a volunteer of EGBI and how you can get involved too.

Hi Bill! To get started, would you mind telling us a fun fact about yourself?
With my background in weather, I love storm chasing and even ran a business taking people on storm chasing adventures across many states and thousands of miles over the years. I love anything and everything weather and if there is a weather event going on, I am most likely tracking it. The tornado that hit Round Rock was less than a mile from my house which was a little frightening!

How have you volunteered for EGBI?
I will be presenting at one of EGBI’s Digital Marketing workshops on June 23rd, 2022.

Why do you think it is important to volunteer?
I’ve been volunteering on many levels over the years and I love to give back – especially in learning spaces. The ability to take my wisdom and knowledge and pass it on to others to help them succeed is invaluable to me. In fact I usually get more out of it than the individuals I am working with. I really enjoy people and conversations so it just fits when I can speak to others and give back. I’ve volunteered over the years with the City of Round Rock, Round Rock ISD, United Way, the Round Rock Chamber, and a host of other organizations and I love it.

“Supporting EGBI means you are supporting others in their entrepreneurial journey. The more entrepreneurs succeed the better off we are as a society and community. Small businesses are the backbone of the community and just about all businesses start small so let’s help them become successful.” – Bill Combes, founder and CEO of No Time for SociaL


Why is it important to volunteer at EGBI?
Most entrepreneurs are out there on an island with all of the cards stacked against them so they need as much support as possible. They may have friends and family members questioning their path to success, so they need as many individuals on their team to provide guidance in the journey. If we can help develop these business owners and provide information for them to succeed, we have succeeded so it is a win win for all of us. I love seeing people succeed and that is what EGBI is all about!

What would you say to someone thinking of volunteering with EGBI?
If you are looking to give back and you have knowledge that will help others succeed then you should consider volunteering. As I have mentioned previously, I get a LOT out of the volunteering process so I love to do it.



Bill Combes will be sharing his knowledge about growing your business using social media in the upcoming Marketing series on June 23rd from 8:30 AM to 10 AM. To register be sure to register at this link.

Meet EGBI’s volunteer – Joe Arellano-Villegas

By Diana Garcia

Meet Joe Arellano-Villegas. He currently lives in Dallas but spends lots of time in Austin. He is the first in his family to graduate and attended St. Edward’s University in Austin where he got his Bachelor’s in Photo-Communication (2014). He later went back to school a bit before the pandemic to Dallas College to get an Associate’s in Applied Science in Graphic Design (2021). Joe has had a variety of careers, gigs, and volunteer opportunities from helping students on film sets, to retail, to school photography, photo editing, and now shifted towards a career in graphic design. He is currently freelancing and a volunteer at Dallas Fuse:  a HIV prevention treatment center and STI education safe space.

Joe shares his experience as a volunteer of EGBI and how you can get involved too.

Hi Joe! To get started, would you mind telling us a fun fact about yourself?

I was looking for clients to volunteer for on Catchafire and saw an Austin company called EGBI. And the former Austinite in me said, “Well I definitely have to apply.”

How have you volunteered for EGBI?

I helped design some information flyers for entrepreneurs in order to distribute information they might need to start and/or run their business.

Why do you think it is important to volunteer?

Nonprofits sometimes need help since the people who work for them do a lot for the communities they engage with. If I can help take a load off of them why not help.

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” -Charles Dickens

Why is it important to volunteer at EGBI?

Starting a business is hard, especially for communities of color, which have historically been disenfranchised in the process. EGBI helps those in Austin learn, incubate, and grow so that companies that are starting or struggling to find footing have an easier time navigating such a process.

What would you say to someone thinking of volunteering with EGBI?

Volunteering in any capacity is an act of love because you are willing to go into a space and offer help to those who might need it. Be open to communication and always listen to what the needs of those who are asking for help. Everyone at EGBI is really nice and wonderful to work with.

In 2020, EGBI volunteers put in more than 130 hours to help EGBI support and serve over 400 small businesses. Volunteers like Joe make this possible and continue to help EGBI pursue their mission of training, coaching, and supporting aspiring and existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business.

Want to get involved too? Contact us to find out how you can volunteer or donate.

Meet EGBI’s Volunteer- DIana Garcia

By Anne Lagrange

Meet Diana Garcia, an Austinite unicorn (someone born and raised in Austin, Texas). Diana is currently in college studying marketing and data analytics. After graduation, Diana plans on working in the airline industry as a marketing analyst. In her free time, Diana enjoys making pottery and illustrating.

Diana shares her experience as a volunteer with EGBI and how you can get involved too.

Hi Diana! To get started, would you mind telling us a fun fact about yourself?

I am a licensed esthetician. Aesthetics school was actually where I learned about and fell in love with marketing and the reason why I decided to go to school to study marketing.

How have you volunteered for EGBI?

I have helped EGBI’s marketing department by creating social media graphics, writing blog posts, assisting clients in their marketing endeavors, and documenting EGBI’s marketing analytics. 

“Volunteering at EGBI means supporting your local small businesses.” – Diana Garcia

Why is it important to volunteer at EGBI?

Volunteering at EGBI helps local business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs pursue their goals of starting a successful business, which in turn helps the local community grow and thrive. 

Last question, do you have a favorite experience about volunteering with EGBI?

My favorite experience volunteering with EGBI was helping small business owners with their marketing strategies. Their excitement and willingness to learn new concepts made my projects and time volunteering fun and exciting.

 In 2020, EGBI volunteers put in more than 130 hours to help EGBI support and serve over 400 small businesses. Volunteers like Diana make this possible and continue to help EGBI pursue their mission of training ,coaching, and supporting aspiring and existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business.

Want to get involved too? Contact us to find out how you can get involved.

Meet EGBI’s CLient – Nicole Fillion-Robin

By Diana Garcia

Meet Nicole Fillion-Robin (LAc, MAcOM, Dipl. OM), a board-certified acupuncturist, second-generation herbalist, and founder of As Your Are Acupuncture. The daughter of a librarian and engineer, her love languages are providing resources and collaborative problem solving, both of which are heavily reflected in her style of care for clients.

After working in the non-profit sector for almost a decade, she found acupuncture as a solution for her own chronic health challenges and was immediately drawn to it. Her specialties include gastrointestinal health, mental health, uterine health and pain management. Her ultimate goal is to provide a judgment-free space for clients to heal and unwind from the stressors of daily life.

Nicole shares her experience as a business owner and how EGBI can help you grow your business too.

Hi Nicole! To get started please tell us what inspired you to start your business?

In the acupuncture world, there are not many full time positions available at this point that offer benefits like a regular job would. I wanted the freedom to treat clients like I would want to be treated while having the flexibility of a small business owner. It’s hard sometimes, since it’s just me, but I also really value the ability to experiment often. It’s a lot faster to pivot and try new things on my own.

What makes your business unique?

When people come to acupuncture for health conditions, it’s often as a last resort. They have often been passed around by different doctors’ offices and specialists. I aim to spend the time needed with each new patient to understand their goals and what would make their quality of life better. It’s not so much a unique business model, but I try to see folks as they move around in the world, as part of a societal ecosystem while helping them live in an easier and lighter way without judgment.

What are some obstacles you feel like you have encountered in starting or growing your business?  How did you overcome this?

We have like… 3 credit hours of practice management in school before we graduate and get sent into the world. Everything I learned was on the fly, and there is still SO MUCH to learn. I’m making mistakes as I go, but I take comfort in that everything is fixable and mistakes are part of the learning process. I also did not want to take out any small business loans when starting my business, since I had so much student debt. I chose to start little by little while working a full time W2 job, which alleviated some of the stress I felt to immediately make money, and allowed me to really think about what I wanted my clinic to look and feel like when I was ready to take the leap and do it full time.

“EGBI’s organizers and volunteers have been so generous with their time and knowledge – it gave me the confidence and structure I needed to get started and learn as I went.” – Nicole Fillion-Robin

What workshops have you taken at EGBI?

I took the 90 days to Business Success, as well as some business coaching sessions.

How has EGBI helped you?

EGBI (and Leo specifically!) helped give me some structure when I was first starting out. As a mentor, Leo had questions to ask me while coaching that I hadn’t even considered. I also really appreciate that they have specialists you can consult with as needed for advice (like CPAs), which can be costly if paying out of pocket when you first start out. I really appreciate all the volunteers.

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Want to work with EGBI? Contact us to find out how you can get started.

Meet EGBI’s Client- Kela Hunte

By Diana Garcia

Meet Kela Hunte, a.k.a. Chef Keii, founder of Keii Brands, Incorporated. Kela’s small business journey began as a necessity after her oldest son suffered an accident that caused a brain injury. At that time Kela worked full-time as a project manager but had to pivot her role to become a full-time primary caregiver. To make ends meet, she began to sell desserts to local schools and regional resorts. Her start-up business began to grow and expand and is now a corporation: Keii Brands, Inc. Under her corporation, Kela runs 4 LLCs: Keii Desserts for custom mixed desserts and regional hospitality deliveries; Keii Entertainment team-building workshops and cooking classes, both virtual and on-site; Keii Apparel for logo aprons and kitchen related products; and Keii C.U.T.S 4 Kids, a nonprofit arm with the goal of empowering creativity for foster kids by creating recipes guided in instruction by Chef Keii.

Kela shares her experience as a business owner and how EGBI can help you grow your business too.

Hi Kela! To get started, would you mind telling us a fun fact about yourself?

In 2020, I was a contestant on Food Network’s “Bake Away Camp with Martha Stewart.” I didn’t win the competition, but I conjured up a winning idea to create a virtual team-building baking business.

What makes your business unique?

Catering by mail is a niche business-to-business market, and I consider myself an innovator in offering all-inclusive partial baking and meal kits with virtual instruction. Tech companies, in particular, hire me for team-building virtual events. I’ve worked with eBay, PayPal, Apple, and more companies. Most recently, I created a series of videos with my instruction for each segment of a Freedom Meal in response to Black History Month. Hundreds of boxes were shipped globally to team members of a large corporation, and all they had to do was scan a QR code to view each cooking segment on YouTube. These videos made the process easier to accommodate the various time zones.

What are some obstacles you feel like you have encountered in starting or growing your business?  How did you overcome this?

Finding the perfect team is the biggest obstacle in any business, but my team is growing, and my status has changed from an independent contractor to CEO. Running a corporation is all-encompassing and I’m constantly mulling over ways I can bring value to my employees, community, clients, and culture. My business continues to grow and evolve, and with this, I am on a continuing education path. Seeking out programs like EGBI is one example of how I can propel forward with the growth of my business.

“EGBI helps people become the version of themselves they did not even know they could be.” – Kela Hunte, www.keiibrandS.com

What workshops/business coaching have you done through EGBI?

I have attended a few virtual workshops and EGBI’s Build Your Business Plan series, but my one-on-one business coaching calls with Joni helped me realize I was on the right path to accomplish my dreams and goals.

How has EGBI helped you?

EGBI, in particular Joni, supported me throughout the periods of my business growth. As my mentor, she helped me to focus on my goals and offered me templates and tools to grow my business from an LLC to a corporation. For that, I am grateful. Joni believed in me and my dreams, and at the same time kept me grounded to take those crucial steps to accomplish my goals.

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Want to work with EGBI? Contact us to find out how you can get started.

Meet EGBI’s Client – Raul Rodriguez

By Anne Lagrange

Meet Raul Rodriguez,  founder of Raul’s Taqueria Al Pastor, a Tex-mex food truck in North Austin. Raul got started cooking helping his mom in the kitchen at her Mexican restaurant. After perfecting the craft, Raul realized how much people enjoyed his food and decided to start his own business. Ten years ago, Raul’s Taqueira was born, specializing in traditional Mexican tacos. Since then they’ve grown to over 3 employees and begun offering their coveted tacos Al Pastor. Today, you can find Raul’s tacos at his food truck on Rundberg Lane and online via Grubhub.

Raul shares his experience as a business owner and how EGBI can help you grow your business too. 

Hi Raul! To get started, would you mind telling us what inspired you to start your business? 

Making the jump from my Mom’s kitchen to starting my own business was inspired by support from my children. My son encouraged me to be entrepreneurial and made me realize I could make money and provide for my family. 

What makes your business unique? 

Our business takes original Mexican cuisine and combines it with our own personal style. We offer a wide variety of tacos and tortas, serving everything from breakfast tacos to tortas Cubanas. 

What are some obstacles you feel like you have encountered in starting or growing your business?  How did you overcome this?  

I think just starting the business was the hardest part. In the beginning it took a lot of hard work. It was difficult securing the truck/space, hiring employees, and gaining customers. My whole family helped out, which made the process manageable.  

What workshops/business coaching have you done through EGBI? 

I took the Build Your Business Plan course and learned to make financial projections and a marketing plan. I really enjoyed meeting other business owners and working with the coaches. 

How has EGBI helped you? 

EGBI taught me the mechanics of starting a business. They also helped me create a growth plan and set smart goals.

Want to work with EGBI? Contact us to find out how you can get started.

Meet EGBi’s Client- Gabriela Rodriguez

By Anne Lagrange

Meet Gabriela Rodriguez, founder of Taquizas Los Carnales, a Mexican food and catering company based in Austin, TX. Gabriela’s business opened in 2015 when she started baking cakes and gelatins for her friends and family. She never saw it as a formal business until her son encouraged her to begin offering meals. In 2019, they started catering tacos and made plans to further grow the business. Today Taquizas Los Carnales offers appointments through their website and can be found at The East 40 in Bastrop. 

Gabriela shares her experience as a business owner and how EGBI can help you grow your business too. 

Hi Gabriela! To get started, would you mind telling us what inspired you to start your business?

My son knew I could cook a variety of traditional Mexican foods and encouraged me to offer more than baked goods. Through his help I realized I could make a living and better support my family.  

What makes your business unique? 

Our business is unique because we make everything by hand using our own seasonings. We also offer traditional tamales from Oaxaca and Veracruz along with a variety of tacos. Apart from our food, I also feel our interaction with customers is unique. I really enjoy seeing how they appreciate the flavors of the food. Their positive response is really exciting and my favorite part of operating a business.

What are some obstacles you feel like you have encountered in starting or growing your business?  How did you overcome this?  

The biggest obstacles were operating through the pandemic and turning my personal business into a legal entity. With the help of EGBI we got a lot of support making our business plan and learning to survive the critical moments. We also learned the steps to make our business official and create a growth plan. 

What workshops/business coaching have you done through EGBI?

I took two workshops through EGBI. The first was Build Your Business Plan and the second was 90 Days to Business Success. I really liked hearing about how to grow my business and improve my social media. 

How has EGBI helped you? 

During the 90 days of the second workshop series EGBI helped me open a physical location and encouraged me to start offering pastries again. I feel like the workshops made my business more full service and prepared me to keep growing. 

Want to work with EGBI? Contact us to find out how you can get started.

MEET EGBI’S CLIENT – Alejandro Medina

By Diana Garcia

Meet Alejandro Medina, born in Monterrey, NL and founder of CompuPlus. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Media Communications as well as PC repair and maintenance IT.  In 2013, Alejandro moved to Austin, Tx, where he worked at a well known computer repair shop for a couple of years before deciding to start his own business in 2016.

Alejandro shares his experience as a business owner and how EGBI can help you grow your business too.

Hi Alejandro! To get started please tell us what inspired you to start your business?
What inspired me to start my business was the need for better customer service and more affordable computer and smartphone repair service in town with a bilingual approach.

What makes your business unique?
In CompuPlus we care about our customers and understand the importance of their computers and smart devices and how valuable they are in their lives.

What are some obstacles you feel like you have encountered in starting or growing your business?  How did you overcome this?  Promoting it in a city where I know very few people and not knowing all the ins and outs of starting a business in a country different from the one I was born and raised in.
I´m still dealing with those two main obstacles but with time and the support from institutions like EGBI I feel like I’m overcoming these obstacles little by little.

“EGBI is the best option for business consulting in Austin!” – Alejandro Medina

What workshops have you taken at EGBI? So far I have only taken two Spanish workshops: Taller para pequeños negocios (workshop for small business owners) and puntaje de crédito (credit scores).

How has EGBI helped you? Monthly meetings with EGBI´s program coordinator, Leo Pozobon, are helping me better understand how to run a business and make it grow.

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Want to work with EGBI? Contact us to find out how you can get started.

Meet EGBI’s Client and Volunteer- Veronica Trevisan

By Diana Garcia

Meet Veronica Trevisan, the owner of Ñapegados: a business that serves local Spanish-speaking small businesses with administrative services, for better company management, and customer services. With the help of Veronica, several entrepreneurs have scaled their businesses to 6 and 7 figures.

As a Launch Manager of online info products, she helps course creators, coaches, and business owners start or expand their online businesses. In her portfolio, she has clients from LATAM, Canada, and USA to whom she has helped reach multiple 5 and 6 figures in 7 days selling their info products in English and/or Spanish. Veronica also became an expert in the art of audience’s investigation. Here she helps entrepreneurs who want to narrow their audiences for a better sale, but principally to better serve their clients in both languages. As a course creator herself, she has courses in Spanish about creating very qualified audiences.

Veronica shares her experience as a business owner and how EGBI can help you grow your business too.

Hi Veronica! To get started, would you mind telling us a fun fact about yourself?

I like to ride my electric bike all around Austin. I have had it since 2016 and still, I am amazed when kids and even adults, wave at me and say “I love your bike”. I share a picture here. I think it is really cool, too.

Why and how did you start your business?

When my friend Bran and I decided to start a cleaning company in 2011, I realized there was a lack of information in Spanish to help local business owners, so I started a blog. My blog was simple: I read articles in English, made a summary in Spanish, and posted it on my blog. With this exposure, I had the opportunity to write for a very important Spanish newspaper here in the Austin area (El Mundo Newspaper), which then gave me the opportunity to host workshops about different topics and teach aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners. People started noticing my expertise and, as they say, the rest is history.

What was the toughest moment in your business journey? How did you go past it and move forward?

The toughest moment so far has to be when I had to fire a client with whom I had been working for more than 6 months. It was a very scary decision, but I knew it was the right one. It affected me financially, but emotionally was a relief. I moved forward reminding myself every day that I deserved better and that my intelligence and knowledge should be respected.

What would you tell other entrepreneurs wanting to open their own business?

Don’t wait! Starting your own business is worth it. It is a lie that you will work fewer hours in the beginning, but it is also a lie that you will earn safe money (and tranquility) as an employee. Think about this- if someone is willing to pay you XX amount of money for your skillset, don’t you believe that you can make more money using those skills set in your own company? It is just common sense.

“EGBI’s volunteers are highly appreciated; you too will be appreciated, and good exposure is always good for business.” – Veronica Trevisan

How has EGBI helped you throughout your business journey?

EGBI was fundamental in my journey. I am one of the first-generation alumni (2011). The courses were not given in Spanish at that time. Barba, Nayeli, and our dearest Al helped me in many steps of the way, and that is why I became a volunteer.

What would you say to someone thinking of volunteering and supporting EGBI?

EGBI is an amazing organization. You can tell that it is a family for most of us alumni, and the reason why we keep coming back. Before the pandemic, the Celebrating Success Event was our reunion. It was wonderful to see the success of so many entrepreneurs.

I recall how important it was to learn from experts in different fields. Now, as a volunteer myself, when I am summoned to give a class to newcomers, I can enjoy the presence of other business owners for 2 hours. Their excitement, their eagerness, and their bravery are refreshing to see.

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Want to work with and/or volunteer at EGBI? Contact us to find out how you can get started.

CONOCE A NUESTRA CLIENTA DE EGBI- REBECCA SMITH

Por Anne Lagrange

Conoce a Rebecca, nativa de Austin y fundadora de Earth+Hand, una compañía de salud y bienestar que ofrece jabones producidos localmente y elaborados con ingredientes completamente naturales. Ella comenzó haciendo jabones para su familia y sus amigos en 2011 con el propósito de eliminar los productos químicos y toxinas de su rutina diaria. Al tener un hijo con espectro, ella se enfocó específicamente en crear productos con sensibilidad al aroma y a la textura. A pesar de que al principio tenía dudas sus amigos amaban sus productos y la animaron a iniciar su negocio. Hoy en día los productos de Earth+Hand pueden ser encontrados en línea y en mercados locales de Austin.

Rebeca nos comparte su experiencia como propietaria de negocio y cómo es que EGBI te puede ayudar también a progresar con tu negocio .

¡Hola Rebecca! para comenzar te importaría decirnos ¿Qué te inspiró a iniciar tu negocio?

He experimentado sensibilidad a muchos productos para el cuidado de la piel y estaba preocupada por mi hijo que es sensible a ciertas fragancias y tintes. Quise crear un producto utilizando ingredientes sustentables y renovables y que minimizará las toxinas.

¿Qué es lo que hace único a tu negocio?

Adoptamos un enfoque de bienestar general al combinar el bienestar con la vida cotidiana. Nuestros jabones son hechos cuidadosamente y son producidos a mano en pequeñas cantidades. También comenzamos a vender salvia y cristales para fomentar el autocuidado tanto del cuerpo como del hogar.

¿Qué obstáculos sientes que has tenido al comenzar o al acrecentar tu negocio? ¿Y cómo los superaste?

Nuestro más grande desafío fue el cambio con la pandemia y el de no poder vender nuestros productos en persona. Nuestros jabones se concentran en el aroma, con un enfoque en aromaterapia, así que ha sido difícil no tener la experiencia personal. El hacer la transición en línea fue difícil porque no soy una experta en tecnología y tuve que aprender todo desde el principio. He superado esto al ser persistente e intencionada. Lo más importante es seguir intentándolo.

¿Qué talleres/asesoramiento comercial has hecho a través de EGBI?

¡Me emocioné mucho cuando encontré a EGBI! Inicié tomando asesoramiento comercial con Barbra y Joni, donde nos enfocamos en formular mi negocio y ponerlo en marcha.

¿Cómo te ha ayudado EGBI?

EGBI me ha ayudado a convertir mi pasión en un negocio sostenible. Mi mamá fue una emprendedora y al tener experiencia personal con bienes raíces, tenía algo de conocimiento sobre la venta de servicios; pero al vender productos necesitaba otro tipo de método. Fue increíble que después de la primera sesión de asesoramiento supe exactamente qué pasos necesitaba tomar para levantar mi negocio.

Traducido al español por Diana Ariza. Para leer el artículo en inglés, haga clic aquí.