Today is International Women’s Day. As CommunityWorks reflects and celebrates the accomplishments of women, we are proud to see amazing examples of strong advocates and powerful community figures in our own circle of clients and partners. Through our programs and services, we have worked with many women whose passion and motivation for success have encouraged us to continue in our mission.
One of these women is Patrena Mims, who has served as the Executive Director of the Bethlehem Center since 2011. The Bethlehem Center is a multi-service, community-oriented organization whose goal is to support, strengthen, and inspire individuals and families in the Highland Community of Spartanburg. With state funding and loan assistance from CommunityWorks, Patrena was able to open the Bethlehem Center’s Early Learning Center, which provides childcare programs that builds family engagement through community-based education.
Franchezka moved to the Upstate in 2006 from Columbia. She and her brother, Kevin, started HM Meal Prep in 2016, helping families eat healthy through 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.
During the pandemic, Tracy Fields decided to follow her dream of starting a private therapy practice for adults working through life’s challenges and changes. She started Fields Bright Therapy and Consultation after getting connected with the Women’s Business Center and completing several classes and trainings. After completing Microentrepreneur Training, she received a small grant, which allowed her to purchase technology for her business. In Tracy’s words, “the classes and coaching at the CommunityWorks Women’s Business Center have helped me in developing my business and making critical decisions that are sometimes against the norm, but keep my businesses stable and sustainable.”
We are thrilled to be able to partner with resilient and inspiring women. Today, we especially reflect upon the growing numbers of female leaders and entrepreneurs of color. CommunityWorks is also proud to have female leadership internally, which further informs the decisions we make to support women across South Carolina. Today, we celebrate all the women pursuing their goals and modeling success.
CommunityWorks advocates for women through our Women’s Business Center, which empowers entrepreneurs and works to offer comprehensive training and counseling to foster business skills. Learn more about our Women’s Business Center offerings below.