The adage “a hand up, not a hand out” couldn’t be truer for the women entrepreneurs of the Maryland Capital Enterprise (MCE) Women’s Business Center.
Here is an excellent example of a client served by MCE—Women’s Business Center. Rosalind Lundy, a west Baltimore native, opened her first salon before even earning her high school diploma. Although being a successful business owner would seem to be the pinnacle of many people’s career ambitions, she wondered whether there wasn't something else out there for her to pursue, so she closed that business, completed high school diploma and then went to community college to explore other professions. In 2006, with her degree in hand, she knew in her heart that owning her own business was really her life's dream and that doing hair was what she loved to do.
She opened Studio 7 The Salon (800 N. Charles St./ www.studio7thesalon.com) and has never looked back. When Rosalind relocated the salon the Mount Vernon section of downtown Baltimore, it was a leap of faith.
"Every salon I've opened I could afford the rent. This is the first time I went out on a limb and chose this space solely because of the location, but I prayed on it,” explains Rosalind. “I could not have opened Studio 7 in this new location without the help of MCE Women’s Business Center. I’m glad I did and we're seeing plenty of walk-in traffic; it's really worked out well."
When she started at her new location, Rosalind had six full-time employees and one part-time, and with the continued help from the MCE Women’s Business Center she expanded her salon into a full service day spa.
“My advice for other women who might want to open a business in Baltimore is get educated like I did through MCE Women’s Business Center small business training classes and free counseling services,” offers Rosalind. “I learned how to build a website, manage my business finances and write a business plan.”
In addition to the services mentioned by Rosalind, the MCE Women’s Business Center provides credit builder loans ($500-$5K), expansion loans ($5K-$150K), professional mentoring, networking opportunities, certification classes, and webinar learning opportunities to women in Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County.
"The MCE Women's Business Center is designed to educate and support women entrepreneurs who want to start up or expand their current business. MCE WBC forms a life- long partnership with our clients! We assist them from just the idea of their business to getting it open and becoming successful and maintaining that success with ongoing support. BWGC's support has enabled the MCE WBC to help more women's dreams come true of owning their own business and giving back to their local community in Baltimore." Jennifer Currie, director, MCE Women’s Business Center.
The MCE Women’s Business Center received its first grant from The Circle in 2016.