Together we Stand

To Our EGBI Community,
We are filled with sadness and frustration over the recent events against African Americans these past few months.  We join the call to find ways to stop police brutality and heal our nation. These horrific acts have led to unrest across the country. We must come together to ensure all of our brothers and sisters are permitted the same opportunities and equal justice.
For the last fifteen years, EGBI has been working to help individuals achieve their entrepreneurial dreams.  Along with our partners, we are working to break down the barriers many minorities in our communities face.  By providing training, coaching and support services to small businesses, our clients are receiving the tools necessary to develop sustainable businesses.  Businesses that are making a positive impact in our community.
Today, we proudly stand with our partners as we work to create a better nation. A nation where everyone, regardless of the color of their skin or where they were born, will be treated equally and be able to pursue their dreams.  We mourn for these beautiful lives that were taken way too soon, but we must never forget and never stay silent.
In Solidarity,
Board and Staff of EGBI

8th Annual Small Business Saturday® and Shop Small®

Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) lends its support to the 8th Annual Small Business Saturday® and Shop Small® Movement to drive commerce to small businesses.  EGBI participates in this years Small Business Saturday, taking place on November 25th. Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting local small businesses and strengthening and celebrating communities across the country.

Austin’s a great city for small business. At EGBI, we embrace that spirit by bringing individuals, who historically have had less access to great resources, the support they need to help them become more successful business owners. That includes training, coaching and more, delivered in a comfortable environment in either English or Spanish. We meet our clients at their level as they start, grow and sustain grassroots businesses, contributing to Austin’s economy and the prosperity of their families.  Help us extend Austin’s entrepreneurial opportunity throughout our community. For  the 8th Annual Small Business Saturday® and Shop Small® Movement, EGBI is encouraging their alumni from Emerging Enterprises Training program and other local small business to get ready for the day with promotional banners and signage for their business provided at .  Be sure to use hashtags #SmallBizSat #ShopSmall when posting about Small Business Saturday® and Shop Small® Movement.
Created by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday serves as the ceremonial kickoff to the holiday shopping season for small businesses across the United States. In 2016, an estimated 112 million consumers reported shopping at small businesses on Small Business Saturday, according to the 2016 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey.

The day was also championed by elected officials in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Small Business Saturday celebrates the diversity of small businesses across the U.S. and EGBI recognizes the importance of supporting small businesses, the jobs they help create, and the culture they instill in local communities.  According to the U.S. Small Businesses Administration, as of 2014, small businesses nationwide accounted for 63% of net new private-sector jobs created and represented 99.7% of firms with paid employees.

Merchants and consumers can learn more about Small Business Saturday and how to get involved by visiting


November 25th marks the eighth annual Small Business Saturday, a day dedicated to supporting the local businesses that can help create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country. Small Business Saturday was created by American Express in 2010 in response to small business owners most pressing need: more customers. Learn more on,,,  Visit the Shop Small Studio. Download customizable materials and proudly display Small Business Saturday marketing materials to help remind customers that it’s great to Shop Small year-round.

Estimates are based on consumer self-reported data from the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey by National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express (November 27, 2016) and do not reflect actual receipts or sales.

2017 Celebrating Success

We want to thank everyone who attended, volunteered, donated, and sponsored our 7th Annual Celebrating Success fundraiser. Each year this event honors the achievements of our clients and their contributions to the local economy.
We were joined by our amazing mistress of ceremonies, comedian, and former rocket scientist, Shayla Rivera,  Austin Community College Board of Trustees & Celebrating Success Committee Chair, Nora de Hoyos Comstock, Ph.D., and Consul for Political and Economic Affairs, Jorge Salcido Zugast.  We heard inspirational video testimonials from our clients with ATX Co-op Taxi and Barbon’s Barbershop.  Christina Paz, owner of Siller Preferred Services, led the audience through her entrepreneurial journey and relationships created along the way through EGBI’s support.

Celebrating Success luncheon also included a business expo, where EGBI clients had an opportunity to showcase and sell their products and services. We were so excited to bring this opportunity to our clients. We have been nurturing our family-owned businesses through education and resources. This was a great way to continue our support by connecting them with a number of community leaders, business consultants, professionals and other entrepreneurs.

We also had the opportunity to honor our volunteer of the year, Fernando Labastida.  As a staff of three, EGBI relies on volunteers as expert instructors, support, and more.  We wanted to acknowledge all of our volunteers’ efforts and assistance throughout the year.

We want to once again thank our sponsors for all your support in helping us connect individuals to the resources and education they need to make them successful business owners. We are proud to announce that more than half of our sponsors were EGBI alumni.
We appreciate the continued support of sponsors, donors, community partners, and volunteers in our efforts to create, grow and sustain successful grassroots businesses, contributing to Austin’s economy and the prosperity of their families.

Thank you to our Title sponsor:

Thank you to our Platinum Sponsor:

Thank you to our Gold Sponsors:

Barbra Boeta, Judy & Al Lopez, Statefarm – Agent Alejandra De la Torre

Thank you to our Silver Sponsors:

Austin Community College, BB&T Bank, Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Digi.City, El Paso Oncology and Internal Medicine*, Nora de Hoyos Comstock, Ph.D.,  PeopleFund, The Critical Update*

Thank you to our Bronze Sponsors:

Austin STEM Academy*, Balam Construction*, BCO Consulting Group*, Chago’s Caribbean Cuisine*, First Citizens Bank, Law Office of Mario Flores, Method Hair Salon*, Peacock Salon*, Ranger Dash Productions*, Red Carpet Productions*, Round Top Bank, Siller Preferred Services*, SouthStar Bank, Tamale Addiction*, The Law Office of Ana Estrada*, Victory Framing*
*EGBI Clients

Meet Monica Peña, EGBI's New Marketing and Development Coordinator

Monica Peña will be assisting with the expansion of Economic Growth Business Incubator’s (EGBI) outreach by promoting programs and services through traditional marketing, social media, media outlets, and partnership development. She has an entrepreneur background including helping locally owned businesses as a strategist on marketing time management, promotion follow through, and maximization of their social media efforts. She has a strong passion for helping small businesses succeed and has been a supporter of EGBI prior to joining the team.


Meet Joni Foster, EGBI’s New Program Director

Joni Foster is Economic Growth Business Incubator’s (EGBI) new program director.  She has worked in the community economic development industry for over 25 years.  She is an experienced consultant, a skilled trainer, a former manager of a local loan fund for revitalization of inner city communities, and a serial entrepreneur, having launched her own businesses and numerous nonprofit organizations. For the past 5 years, Foster has worked as staff and consultant to the west coast-based Rural Community Assistance Corporation, developing new opportunities for rural economic development and entrepreneurship.  In addition, Foster has worked with the national financial intermediary, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, in various positions for over 17 years including the founder and executive director of the Jacksonville, FL LISC office for 11 years.  Foster has worked in urban and rural areas of the US, Nicaragua and Sierra Leone, and West Africa. Se habla espanol.

Barbra Boeta Accepts New Role as Executive Director at EGBI

With over 13 years experience working to grow small businesses within the Central Texas area, Barbra Boeta will transition from Program Director to Executive Director at the Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI).  For the past 6 years,she has spear-headed the organizations training programs and volunteer recruitment, she is looking forward to building and securing relationships in order to grow EGBI and local small businesses within the Austin area.

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…



What We are Thankful for

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.

Even with our amazing staff, we couldn’t do all this alone.  In 2013, EGBI delivered over 550 class hours of training – a 44% increase over 2012!  Our dedicated volunteers facilitated over half of those class hours.  And while it is difficult to single one out, we are especially thankful for Manuel Alverdi of Taxes Impuestos y Mas who was named Volunteer of the Year at our third annual Celebrating Success event.

At our Celebrating Success event, we highlighted the fellowship and generosity of our supporters.  Most non-profit events yield about 50% of the gross proceeds. Keeping our costs very low enabled us to direct nearly 90% of the proceeds directly to our program needs.

Another key measure of our success is the way prior students have stayed in touch with the EGBI family. At our year-end event we heard from Jason and Michelle Villarreal, owners of Villarreal Insect and Pest Solutions, and Donie Torrance, owner of Nails Naturally. They shared moving personal testimonies of how their heart for entrepreneurship led them to realize a dream with great benefits to their families – and how EGBI played a key role in making those dreams come alive.

To date, EGBI has graduated 250 clients from our Building Success Program.  About one-third of our graduates have started their businesses and are generating revenue, paying taxes, and employing, on average, two and a half employees – with relatively young and growing businesses.  Last year, our clients reported over $6M of revenue and almost 150 jobs created or sustained. We’re looking forward to our annual client survey for 2013, and anticipate even more impressive results.

It’s great to be a part of an organization that is successfully equipping entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams.  We are grateful for the tremendous support we received this year from our partners at the Housing Authority of the City of Austin, the Chambers of Commerce, Las Comadres para las Americas, Walmart, Wells Fargo, AT&T, IBM, and BB&T just to name a few.  We couldn’t do the work we do without their support.

We’re looking forward to 2014, a year that will have plenty of opportunities. We recognize there will also be challenges, but we are confident that with hard work and the consistent collaboration and support from our partners, we will overcome whatever difficulties come our way. You can be a part of this opportunity – it’s never too late to invest in our efforts.  Won’t you consider a year-end, tax-deductible gift to EGBI to assist us in expanding our programs and services?

Happy holidays, all! We look forward to working with you in the New Year!