Before becoming an entrepreneur, Belinda Beard worked full-time in Corporate America. For years, the Beard family received private catering requests for their mother’s legendary egg rolls. As the eldest of five, Belinda felt called upon to carry on her mother’s legacy when she passed away. A friend fittingly coined her “egg roll diva,” and it was the jolt of confidence she needed to turn her dream to own her own business into a reality.
Belinda started her business shortly before the pandemic. Despite the many obstacles 2020 presented to the world, EggRollDiva began to thrive. Belinda was fulfilling private catering requests and had purchased a food truck-quickly becoming one of the most well-known food trucks in metro Detroit. EggRollDiva’s business growth sparked an increasing urgency to secure its financial footing to meet customer demand, and Michigan Good Food Fund was there to answer the call.
Belinda participated in Michigan Good Food Fund’s Food Finance Essentials, a multi-week intensive training course led by Fair Food Network designed to equip food entrepreneurs with accounting tools and financial know-how to tune up their business plans and prepare them for financing.
Aaron Jackson, Michigan Good Food Fund Director at Fair Food Network, leads the Food Finance Essentials course and shared, “Entrepreneurs become better prepared to receive financing because they leave the experience with the ability to interpret their financial statements to make data-driven decisions, understand their capital needs, and a pitch deck that communicates those needs.” He added, “The training caters to different learning styles by including group sessions with peers, 1:1 consulting, and weekly fieldwork assignments. Each business owner is eligible to receive additional accounting and industry-specific support after the course to ensure the knowledge is implemented.”
Egg RolI Diva went on to receive business assistance from Aura Advisory Services to solidify Belinda’s accounting structure. In Q2, Fair Food Networks’ Fair Food Fund provided a working capital line of credit, allowing Belinda to pay down high-interest debt, cover fees to attend summer festivals in her food truck and hire additional staff for those events.
“Fair Food Network has been instrumental in providing me with information to assist in furthering the growth of my small business. I was able to take Michigan Good Food Fund’s Food Finance Essentials course last year and get a mentor, also was provided with accounting assistance, which helped put me on the right path to grow my small business further by diving into the numbers. I have gained so much knowledge in the logistics of running a better business,” shared Belinda, owner of EggRollDiva. “The Fair Food Fund has assisted me in providing a micro-loan that will help grow my business and help with my plans for a second food truck. I am truly honored to be part of this network and will always be thankful for such a great program.”
Belinda has her mind set on a new food trailer, and an expanded ability to bring food and flavor to the metro Detroit community. We were happy to provide support to a Black women-owned business bringing more jobs and good food to her community.
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