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!