Client: Angel Rogers, owner of Angel's Learning Center
Client Location: Brooklyn Park, MN
CDFI Service Area: Minnesota
Angel Rogers is known by her family and friends as responsible, caring, and a good listener. However, Angel’s journey to entrepreneurship has not been easy. Growing up, Angel spent time in foster care, she had her first daughter and got her own apartment at 16, and at 18 she gained full custody of her younger brother and sister.
While she was in college and raising her young family, Angel worked as a lead teacher at a local daycare center, always dreaming of someday opening her own childcare business. Angel did not waste time chasing her dream. In 2012 she started her own business, operating out of her home and caring for six children.
In 2013, Angel was ready to move her business out of her home and into its own space. She worked collaboratively with the African Development Center (ADC) and WomenVenture to write her business plan and get the collateral she needed to move into a space at Northern Light Church in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.
In 2017, Angel knew the next step in expanding her growing business would be to have a standalone building, but she did not have the necessary capital to make the transition. Once again, Angel contacted WomenVenture and ADC together with MEDA (Metropolitan Economic Development Association), who granted enough capital for Angel to complete a build out and renovation of a former automotive shop along with the necessary supplies and equipment for her center to thrive.
Over the course of five years, Angel received a total of $150,000 in loans from ADC, WomenVenture, and MEDA. Angel also received technical assistance from WomenVenture business consultant Kathy.
“Kathy is very patient. She even came out to my office and sat down with me to show me how to use Quickbooks,” Angel shared. “WomenVenture has been there for me since the beginning, they have guided me through the whole process and are a great support system to have.”
The new Angel’s Learning Center opened in January of 2018, hiring 18 employees and serving 94 children, nearly double the capacity that she had at the church and more than 15 times the space she had before her first CDFI loan.
Angel is still dreaming big, hoping to someday open a two-story center licensed for 200 children. Angel’s resilience, hard work, and tenacity are a few reasons she was named WomenVenture’s Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained Expanding Business Award Winner for 2018.
Even with her success and thoughts of the future, however, Angel remains grounded by always remembering her mission and her favorite part of her work, which is to provide “a safe place where the kids are happy.”
Hear more from Angel.