Small Business Dreams Come to Life in DC HOPE Center’s Entrepreneurial Training Program


Just months after losing her job, Monique Flowers had declared that her talent for creating fashionable and distinctive jewelry out of recycled Coke products would be her ticket to entrepreneurial success. But when she started her business, Rebel Gyrl, LLC, out of her home something didn’t feel right. 

Her dreams of owning and operating a business seemed to fade like disappearing ink. Why you ask? Because like most businesses, you don’t just erect golden arches and throw a few burgers on the grill – you go to Hamburger U, learn the process and work the system. Monique needed infrastructure, marketing and a business plan to lead her in the right direction. So in January, she turned to Operation HOPE’s 12 week Small Business Empowerment program.

We are hoping to create a new era of entrepreneurship in the DC community and we believe it’s very possible, especially after seeing this class go through months of tough assignments, advanced leadership training, guest lecturers from various industries and a visit to a local business owned and operated by a woman to explore the art of practical management skills.

Patricia Rebull, the Co-owner of Green Line Sports Bar, one of the eighteen students from this session had this to say about the program:

We are so grateful. You showed us how we truly can reach the stars…It’s in the climbing how we do it,

For one night a week for the last 3 months students have focused their attention on the monumental task of finding their undiscovered talent and putting it on paper in the form of a business plan.

On April 21, these eighteen students received their certificate of completion during a solemn graduation ceremony featuring a keynote address by Theo Holloman, District Director for the Small Business Administration.

Our students represent a variety of industries and include future corporate and non-profit leaders who have accrued years of professional experience before arriving at our program. The fact is there’s always more to learn but we are proud of the role we play from inception to finished product.

Operation HOPE DC would like to thank all of supporters and sponsors that have helped our students succeed, including Better Than Good Cakes By Design, Phoebe Marketing Group, Blessed 24/7 Gift Shop, The IRS, Community Stakeholder Outreach Department and Industrial Bank and E-Trade.

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