Member Highlight: Joann
Joann started her cupcake business as a hobby. She would bake delicious desserts for family and friends free of charge until one day her family suggested she try selling her products. She took on the challenge, and created a small business that supplemented her day-time job. However, as her business expanded she was unable to meet the growing demand of larger orders. That’s when a friend introduced her to Grameen America. With the extra help of group microloans, Joann was able to invest in baking and marketing materials that helped her establish her cupcake business and expand her output and reach.
Joann joined Grameen America in 2016 with a microloan of $1,500. She used the extra money to invest in marketing materials, which enabled her to reach a broader audience in the community. As her business expanded her demand increased, surpassing the baking materials she had. Therefore, with her second loan of $2,000, Joann bought new baking pans that allowed her to grow her cupcake output. With more materials, Joann was able to sell her products at Harlem EatUp, the largest food festival in Harlem.
Because of her membership with Grameen America, Joann has become a part of a community full of strong female entrepreneurs. She loves getting different peoples’ points of views at the center meetings, and the ongoing process of sharing ideas and advice. Specifically, she has learned about different marketing tools from the women in her group, such as apps that create short videos she can put on display at various food festivals.
In the future, Joann plans to open a savings account with Grameen America, and looks forward to continuing to grow her business. She is so thankful for the opportunity Grameen has provided her, and can’t wait to see where her business goes next.
“Grameen America has made me change my way of thinking. Each week I leave my center meetings wanting to do better, wanting my business to thrive. I know if I need help I can go to these women and they will give me encouragement.” –Joann