A+ FCU helps local entrepreneurs fulfill dreams through myBusiness challenge
AUSTIN, TX (January 13, 2014) — A+ Federal Credit Union’s (A+FCU) understands the difficulty for entrepreneurs in fulfilling their dream of owning a business. That’s why nearly two years ago, the Credit Union launched its first ever myBusiness Challenge where inspiring entrepreneurs participated in specialized financial workshops and one-on-one business planning sessions to compete for a $25,000 zero-percent interest (0%) small business loan. A+FCU selected six myBusiness Challenge winners and after nearly two years, five are still in business.
Starting a business can be very challenging. According to Dun & Bradstreet and INC. magazine, 33% of all new businesses fail within the first six months. Fifty percent fail within the first two years of operation and 75% fail within the first three years.
“Some of the leading reasons businesses fail is that many entrepreneurs lack training in business practices and are underfunded,” said A+FCU Assistant Vice President Roger Douville. This unique competition incorporated regular workshops and meetings with the A+FCU Business Services representatives, in addition to counselors and mentors from BiGAUSTIN, SCORE and the Texas State Small Business Development Center.
Entrepreneur and myBusiness Challenge winner Nora Jeanne Welsh opened the Bikram Yoga studio, BeneFIT Body Mind Spirit, LLC, in Lakeway and currently retains 8-13 part-time employees. According to Ms. Welsh, “it was tremendously helpful to have professionals provide information and how-to guidance for all the key elements of opening and running a business today. The (myBusiness Challenge) program definitely helped me gain the confidence to both create systems to handle the day-to-day operations and with the strategic decision making required to keeping the business growing.”
A+FCU continues to support small business and entrepreneurship in the Greater Austin Area. Learn more about the Credit Union’s business services at aplusfcu.org/grow-a-business/services.
A+ Federal Credit Union has 17 Austin area locations, over $1 Billion in assets, and more than 110,000 members that include not only educators, students, and their families, but other members of the community as well. To find out more, visit the website at aplusfcu.org.