Maria Valeriano first consulted with the UTPB Small Business Development Center with a vision of starting her own insurance agency. She had a great deal of experience in the insurance business and was looking to obtain a bank loan to help realize her dream. The center worked closely with Maria and eventually completed a very professional business plan that she could present confidently to her bankers. Maria is a very determined individual and this determination to open her business meant that she listened to, and acted upon, all the advice given to her by the counselors at the SBDC. Maria’s application for a business loan was strong and well-prepared, but also she was timely and cooperative about providing the bankers with all additional data that they required.
Maria obtained a $25,000 loan that enabled her to open her business. She continues to use the services of the SBDC and enjoys their advice and assistance. She continued to show her appreciation to the SBDC by inviting the center staff members to her various functions, such as her ribbon cutting. Maria’s efforts are a testimony to what can be achieved with drive and a willingness to listen and to do whatever it takes.
In Maria’s own words, “The SBDC guided me through the business plan process, helped me with business cards and provided me with much needed start-up assistance.” Maria went on to say that if it wasn’t for the SBDC, she would probably have never opened her business. “These tools”, she added, “gave me a crystal clear perspective on the financial aspects of the business and gave me the insight to know what was necessary to succeed.”