We’re in the middle of Hispanic Heritage Month, a celebration of Hispanic and Latino American culture, that spans from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. This month gives us an opportunity to highlight the many contributions made by Latinx communities, including those made by the entrepreneurs we get to work alongside with here at CommunityWorks.
One of those entrepreneurs is Franchezka Westwood, who moved to the Upstate in 2006 from Colombia. She and her brother, Kevin Westwood, started HM Meal Prep in 2016, helping families eat healthy with meal prep services. While Kevin, who is in the Army, has been deployed, Franchezka continues to run the business. In October, they opened their first storefront on Wade Hampton Boulevard in Greenville. They received a Small Business Loan through CommunityWorks to close on their new space. Franchezka recently participated as a panelist in a CommunityWorks and Charter Spectrum event, “Together We Thrive” where she discussed her entrepreneurial journey, experience with CommunityWorks, and advice to other small business owners.
Just a year ago, Yovanna Ortiz opened her business with only $35 to her name, Yovanna took a courageous step by opening her brick-and-mortar business in Pendleton called Empanadas & Salsas. Recognizing the challenges ahead, Yovanna turned to CommunityWorks’ Women’s Business Center. She found valuable resources and a supportive community of fellow entrepreneurs. Yovanna acquired essential business and financial skills that would prove crucial in making her business thrive. The WBC provided her with the knowledge and tools she needed to turn her passion into a successful and sustainable business.
Another one of our clients is Luz Arango, owner of Cali Cleaning Services, which serves the Rock Hill and Charlotte area. Luz emigrated from Colombia in 1997 and founded Cali’s Cleaning Services in 2016. Luz received two loans from CommunityWorks and was able to invest in her business and elevate it to new heights. Just three years ago, Cali Cleaning Services generated just under $100,000 in revenue. In 2023, Luz projects that her business will double that amount—an incredible testament to her hard work, determination, and the support she received.