Laura, owner of George's House Cleaning, graduated from Women's Initiative's Spanish Language business plan training course, Paso a Paso, in July 2010. When asked if the recession has hurt her business, Laura smiles and says proudly that demand for her services has never been greater.
Growing her self-esteem after going through difficult times
With the success that Laura's business has been having, it's hard to believe the struggles that she was facing less than three years ago. Laura had been in a relationship with an abusive partner who isolated her from her family and community. When Laura's abuser threatened to have her deported if she sought help, she was forced to move into her car to escape her abuser.
Although Laura finally asked for and received help from the Alameda County Family Justice Center to obtain a US visa, those years of abuse and isolation from her family and community had crushed her self-esteem. She says that taking the Paso a Paso course through Women's Initiative helped her change her self-perception and showed her that she was capable of succeeding. A turning point for Laura was when, as part of her marketing lesson, she did a customer satisfaction survey with her clients and learned that they really valued the work she did for them and saw her as an honest and responsible person.
Improving her knowledge through HP LIFE e-Learning classes
Since graduating in 2010, Laura has been active in SuccessLink, Women's Initiative's program for continuing support and training. She has taken advantage of almost 100 hours of services, including one-on-one business consulting, networking events, and e-learning online classes from HP LIFE. "The classes are truly helpful," she says.
Expanding her business and hiring more and more employees
She has also expanded her business and now serves more than three times as many customers. Passionate about supporting other women who have survived domestic violence, she strives to provide them with good jobs though her business. She recently hired a fourth employee and expects to hire two more soon.