By Damian Carson, Small Business Program Coordinator 

Many people in low-wealth communities have big dreams, but no way to put them into action. Those in underserved neighborhoods often have difficulty getting start-up funding for businesses due in part to poor credit, lack of capital, and limited access to bank services.

Operation HOPE’s Small Business Empowerment Program is designed for aspiring entrepreneurs from low-wealth neighborhoods. We combine business training and financial counseling with lending services so our clients get all the tools and resources they need to make their dreams a reality. Danielle D. Hines participated in HOPE Inside Birmingham’s widely successful Entrepreneur Training Program. She was thrilled to share what she learned during the program.

Dear Damian,

The Entrepreneur Training Program has been an invaluable tool that has helped me develop my business. The instructors, guest speakers and class room discussion expanded my growth as a future business owner. The sessions were tangible, practical and the expectations realistic. Below, are my top 10 takeaways from the Entrepreneur Training Program:

1. Know your numbers, better than anyone else.

2. Planning is key to success, know your plan.

3. Networking is an invaluable tool.

4. Always be prepared for opportunity.

5. Develop yourself, know your strengths and weaknesses.

6. Put people in place to help with your blind spots.

7. Invest in others success as well as yours.

8. It’s okay to go back to the drawing board for a new plan.

9. Starting small is not a bad start.

10. Relationships are essential.

I have been through programs such as these and this, by far, was the MOST helpful. 


Much thanks,

Danielle D. Hines

Party Boutique Kids LLC