Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

8 Lois Avenue
West Greenville, SC, 29611

864-248-6243

We help entrepreneurs start and grow their business by training them through entrepreneurial courses, relevant classes, and valuable relationships with experienced entrepreneurs and other business professionals.

Blog

Textile Hall's Newest Member | A Bicycle Desk

Nasha Lending

Textile Hall member, Sherry, taking a spin on the new bicycle desk.

Textile Hall member, Sherry, taking a spin on the new bicycle desk.

A bicycle desk is a modern solution to the problems that arise with a sedentary desk job. According to Lucas Carr, an assistant professor in health and human physiology at the University of Iowa and co-author of a study on bicycle desks in the workplace, bicycle desks can reduce stress, improve cognitive functions, and decrease the chances of cancer, obesity, and cardio metabolic-diseases. While being both ergonomic and healthy, a bicycle desk is a great addition to Textile Hall.

Village wrench, a branch of the Mill Community Ministries collective that Nasha Lending is also a part of, graciously donated a one-speed cruiser for me to use.

The cruiser had spent some time stored away, as evident by the layer of dust and the many cobwebs it hosted. A quick wash with soapy water and a rag soon fixed it up nicely. Next, I worked on removing as many rust stains as I could using aluminum foil to scratch away the rust.

 

Next, I took apart most of the bicycle (removed the handlebars, seat, and rims), and covered the bare metal and moving parts with painters tape in preparation for painting it.


Then, I spray painted the cruiser with two layers of primer.

After letting it dry for a day, I spray painted the cruiser with two layers of aquamarine blue.

Next, with help from Village Wrench volunteers, I put the rear and front wheel of the bicycle back in place and gave it a new, more comfortable, seat. In order to add resistance, the bicycle was put on a donated bicycle trainer, and placed under a desk in the Village Wrench.

 

 

Francisco | High School Internship

Nasha Lending

Editors Note: Francisco "Cisco" is a high school intern through Greer Middle College Charter High School. He has been working with Nasha Lending this year and will be sharing some of his experiences on the blog over the next few weeks.

 

Hello! My name is Francisco Celis Villagrana. I was born in Puebla, Mexico, but moved to America with my family when I was four years old. I lived in Michigan and Texas, and I have been living in Greenville, South Carolina for almost nine years. I am a senior at Greer Middle College Charter High School, and I will be enrolling into Clemson University this coming fall.

In order to graduate, seniors at my high school have to complete either a senior project or a senior project internship. A senior project is a year-long program in which students create a ‘product’. Examples of prior senior projects include: learning to play an instrument, building and programing a drone from scratch, and writing a book. In a senior project internship, students apply and are chosen to intern at an organization in the Greenville area. The two programs serve to teach students to conduct independent research, gain valuable real-world skills, and provide experience in the profession or field of study they are interested in.

I applied and was accepted into the internship program, and interned at iMAGINE Upstate, a non-profit dedicated to exciting Upstate youth about the many STEM careers available, from August to November. When the director of iMAGINE Upstate accepted a job offer with a different organization, I was allocated to another non-profit, Nasha Lending.

At Nasha Lending, I worked on many assignments that gave me an insight into the workings of a non-profit business. The biggest assignment I’ve taken on thus far is to make a bicycle desk. This bicycle desk will serve as a new addition to Textile Hall—a community based workspace in the Village of West Greenville and office space of Nasha Lending. This project will challenge me to work hands-on, build upon the advice and constructive criticism of my mentors, and think creatively. I am very excited to be working on this project, and I will share the process and what I learn very soon!

Bike desk similar to what I'll be building!

Bike desk similar to what I'll be building!

Entrepreneurial Lessons from Abraham Lincoln

Nasha Lending

Happy President’s Day!

President’s Day was first declared a federal holiday to commemorate America’s first president, although now it is now an occasion to honor all American presidents. Today we would like to honor one of the most influential and arguably one of the greatest presidents of American history—Abraham Lincoln.

Coming from humble origins as the son of a poor farmer, Abraham Lincoln rose in society in a way few have ever seen before. In this journey, he has exemplified many traits as an entrepreneurial leader, leaving behind valuable lessons for small business entrepreneurs.

“Things may come to those who wait. But only the things left by those who hustle”

Perhaps one of the greatest characteristics attributed to President Lincoln is perseverance. Lincoln climbed the social ladder to cultural and political prominence by educating himself and eventually becoming a lawyer. Entrepreneurs are often in tough situations but it’s important to remember that perseverance is the only way forward.

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed, is more important than any other one thing.”

His presidency was marked by a time of great political conflict. His election prompted the seven southern slave states to form the Confederate States of America before Lincoln even moved into the White House. In this political turmoil, he was surrounded by people with strong opinions who attempted to sway his every action and decision. Abraham Lincoln is revered for knowing when to walk away from a Cabinet meeting, making a firm decision, and not wavering in his decision. He focused on a single goal of ending and abolishing slavery, and all his decisions revolved around that goal. This applies to entrepreneurs as well—insist on succeeding, set goals, and pursue those goals fiercely.

Diversity of thought, Diversity of temperament

During his presidency, Lincoln surrounded himself with people who disagreed with him, and was not afraid to question his authority and argue with his decisions. A prime example is Salmon Chase, Lincoln’s rival who desperately wanted to become president and was constantly undermining Lincoln with his cabinet members. Lincoln appointed him as treasury secretary and evaluated him only on his job. Lincoln also surrounded himself with people who had different temperaments than him. While Lincoln was often too kind and too open. His secretary of war, Edwin Stanton, was the very opposite—very austere and secretive. Their opposite temperaments balanced each other out for the better. As entrepreneurs, it is critical to have people who will provide constructive criticism and helpful advice. It is even more important to constantly connect with a community of entrepreneurs.

“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”

Abraham Lincoln was known as a tremendous story teller and entertainer, well-liked and well-loved by his friends and his country. One of Lincoln’s rivals, William Seward, after serving on Lincoln’s cabinet later wrote to his wife that Lincoln was an extraordinary man. Likewise, the rest of his cabinet also came to respect Abraham Lincoln as a tremendous man. It’s important to be amicable since the bread and butter of entrepreneurs is partnerships and deal-making.

Not only did Abraham Lincoln influence a crucial point in American history, he also left behind a legacy of leadership skills entrepreneurs today can learn from. Perseverance, decision-making, community, and affability—there is always room for improvement, and room to grow. Happy President’s Day and thank you, President Lincoln.

 

 - Jenny Lee, Nasha Lending Intern

Entrepreneur Spotlight | Julie

Nasha Lending

Periodically we feature entrepreneurs in our program. The stories you read are real entrepreneurs in the Upstate South Carolina community.

JULIE | Benji Bars

Photo by Ken Osburn, The Greenville News

Photo by Ken Osburn, The Greenville News

What is your business?

Sugar Beeze, LLC is the name of my business and I make Greenville’s own and only “Mom –Crafted” protein bar.  My youngest son, Benjamin, is the namesake and the inspiration for the bars.  My nickname for him is Beeze.  When my lawyer asked me to name my LLC I thought of the phrase that I have said countless times over the past 17 years…..”How’s your sugar, Beeze?” 

So Sugar Beeze, LLC was born.

Why did you start your business?

My youngest son, Benjamin, was dealing with Type 1 Diabetes and playing sports after school and for him, the ratio of carbs to protein to fiber was crucial.  I could not find a product to meet his needs so I created one.

What is your greatest challenge in business?

Actually for me there have been / are several…..and I think these are common to most people starting a business….

Money – my father left me a small amount when he passed away and that it what I used to get started. That is long gone so my business now has to sustain itself.

Resources – not including money in this category, just resources in general.  Since I have a food product I had to learn about packaging and labeling and shipping, etc…

Expertise – I taught school for 28 years.  I hold a MEd in Education and I am certified in all areas of special education.  My certificate is current and valid until 2021.  I worked hard to keep it up to date and I still sub at a center for our most disabled students and I also continue to work on a team to determine special education eligibility for our youngest students.  I was trained in this field.  I was not ever trained in how to bring a food product to market.  I paid the price of experience through error more than once!  But I am a quick learner and I don’t fail the same way twice.  I know I will continue to make mistakes but I won’t make the same one twice and in fact the ones I made taught me well!  They made me tougher and smarter. 

How did the Business Entrepreneur Academy help you start/grow your business?

The knowledge I gained is immeasurable to me.  My course ended months ago but I keep my notebook with me all the time.  The resources that were assembled in our curriculum are invaluable.  As I grow and reach next steps I can refer to the curriculum and it still guides me along.  Aside from practical applications of the course what I am still trying to express with words is the network of like minded people whom I am now proud to call friends.  They inspired me and challenged me and our group created something quite rare – a team of support with no competition whatsoever.  In fact, I am meeting one of my colleagues this afternoon.  We stay in touch and we support each other and that is no small thing.  The way the course was conducted allowed us to be professional and learn together and stay on track and put something truly powerful back out into our community.

What advice would you give to other people who want to start a business?

Avail yourself of community resources!  Do your research to see what opportunities are out there that fit your needs.  Then go be a part of the community with the attitude of giving back to it as well as taking something from it.  That is the only way for communities to thrive.  The worldneeds your ideas, expertise, talents, product, whatever...but find a way to present it and give back.  Reach back and help someone navigate the path you just walked.  Lift others up along the way.  That is exactly the atmosphere of the Business Entrepreneur Academy.  And it’s a powerful force!!

What do you wish you knew before starting a business?

Well, tons of things!!  For me, I never had a vision for a business.  I had a literal vision that I know was from the Lord.  An answer to years and years of prayers.  So in order to carry out that vision I needed a business.  For the first two years I would disclaim that I was not a “business person”.  Not anymore!!!  Today I quite literally and figuratively own it!!!  I am learning and making mistakes and getting back up daily.  I will repeat this process until the Lord calls me home.  I have learned to be strategic and knowledgeable but at the same time I see the wisdom in letting go of the outcome.  His plans are far above mine!  So I pray diligently to be a good steward of the vision that He gave me.

 

Entrepreneur Spotlight | Lillian

Nasha Lending

Over the next few weeks we will be profiling entrepreneurs in our program. The stories you read are real entrepreneurs in the Upstate SC community.

Lillian | Ms. Lillian's Louisiana Pies and Spices

This featured spotlight is a little different than usual as our very own Ms. Liillian was featured on Studio 62 with Jamarcus Gaston.

Ms. Lillian's pies and spices are the perfect addition for your holiday meal. Be sure to stop by and see her at one of the markets or you can find her products anytime at the Mill Village Market located at 8 Lois Ave, Greenville, SC.

Congratulations Ms. Lillian!

If the video below does not work properly, you can also find the video on the Studio 62 website here.

THANK YOU | #GivingTuesday

Nasha Lending

This Thanksgiving season, we are truly grateful for the MANY people who have given their time, resources, energy, and skills to support Nasha Lending and our entrepreneurs. We would not exist without you. To all of our facilitators, volunteers, speakers, and meal providers - THANK YOU! You are the face of our organization and you make us better.

To keep doing what we're doing (and more!) we also need your help financially. #GivingTuesday is a national movement to highlight the work of great non-profits. You can join the Giving Tuesday movement and give on Tuesday, November 29 (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving).

BUT if you give to Nasha Lending between now and Tuesday, November 29 your donation will be matched for DOUBLE the IMPACT thanks to generous donors. 

Your donation of $500 provides one spot in our Business Entrepreneur Academy. Ms. Dot, featured below, is one of our Business Entrepreneur Academy graduates and she shares some of the impact the class had on her and her business. You can help Ms. Dot and others start and grow their businesses right in our community.

A Night to Celebrate

Nasha Lending

Our 2nd class of Business Entrepreneur Academy graduates celebrated their hard work on Tuesday night with food, fun, and photos. Graduates shared stories about their business and facilitators congratulated each member of the class on a job well done.

These entrepreneurs haven't just finished class, but they have begun a journey that will transform their lives and impact their community.

Every time I am around a concentrated group of entrepreneurs, I am reminded of the energy, passion, and drive that is common among all entrepreneurs. It is the will to succeed against all odds, the enduring belief in oneself, and the firm foundation of the support of family and friends.

Graduation night is a time when our community comes together to celebrate and recognize the hard work of the pioneers and leaders who inspire us through their businesses.

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, so below are a few pictures by LaToya Dixon Photography, but be sure to check out the full album on our facebook page.

Congratulations, again, to all of our graduates - past and present - we are proud of you!

Entrepreneur Spotlight | Javela

Nasha Lending

Over the next few weeks we will be profiling entrepreneurs in our program. The stories you read are real entrepreneurs in the Upstate SC community.

Javela | Gifted Hands Artisan Soap

What is your business?

Gifted Hands Artisan Soap, a natural, handcrafted bath & body company that specializes in small bath soap-making using high quality, skin-loving ingredients.

Why did you start your business?

My business was started out of a need to rid my home of harsh, unnecessary chemicals due to a hormonal health issue I was facing, but has grown into a business that has not only helped me heal but has provided healing to my growing clientele who also suffer from a variety of different skin and hormonal aliments.

What is your greatest challenge in business?

I believe my greatest challenge is the same for most small business owners, that is to grow my presences in the marketplace enough to maintain my relationship with repeat clientele, while also making connections with new clientele.

How did the Business Entrepreneur Academy help you start/grow your business?

The Academy was instrumental is helping me overcome my fear of connecting with other entrepreneurs, as well as clients. It helped me understand that we all fundamentally have the same questions and issues. I am not alone.

What advice would you give to other people who want to start a business?

Know your why? Owning your own business is not easy. If you don’t have a clear picture of your why, when things get tough, you will quit. Get connected with other like-minded people by taking an entrepreneurship course just like the one offered at Mill Village Community. Even if you have fear, step out and pursue your dream. You won’t regret that decision. Lastly, make sure you stay connected to the one who placed the dream with in you. Trust in the Lord to lead you on your journey.

What do you wish you knew before starting a business?

I wish I knew about the openness of the community of support that is out there. Other entrepreneurs just like me. Grinding it out. In a lot of ways making those connections have been more beneficial than any monetary insight I may have gained. For me, stepping outside of my comfort zone and making those connections has been the key to unlocking many doors I thought were closed to me.


You will also be able to see (and smell!) Gifted Hands Artisan Soaps at the Compassionate Greenville fundraiser with Home2Suites on November 3 benefiting Nasha Lending and Mill Community Ministries. Get your tickets today!

Meet Sara

Nasha Lending

Sara is an AmeriCorps Servicemember serving with Nasha Lending this year. Sara will be working with our entrepreneurs and community members to provide workforce development training and financial stability resources.

Join us in welcoming Sara to Nasha Lending!

Sara | AmeriCorps

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Greenville, SC.

What is your role with Nasha Lending?

I act as a resource and liaison for the clients in our classes and others in the community who need help getting connected to resources in Greenville that will help them start and continue a cycle of success for themselves and their families.

Why did you choose to do AmeriCorps?

I first heard about Nasha Lending and the position that they had available, and then I heard about AmeriCorps and how they would provide a member for that position. When I saw what AmeriCorps was about, I was excited to join because I want to give back to my community and grow in my experience with non-profits.

What do you hope to gain from your experience?

I hope to grow in my understanding of how to work with people from various backgrounds and how to effectively connect people with the resources and training they need to succeed. I also hope to network with other people who care about their community and build relationships with others that will positively impact my life.

What is the craziest thing you've ever done?

If I told you the craziest thing I've ever done, it would sound a little too crazy. So, I'd say my next craziest thing I've done was when I jumped out of an airplane (aka went skydiving).

What are your three favorite books?

I would say three of my favorite books would be "The Hiding Place" by Corrie Ten Boom, "Thr3e" by Ted Dekker, and "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis.

What have you learned so far?

I've learned that there are more people, organizations, and resources in Greenville that are helping the community than I thought there were, but I've also become more aware of the need for change and for more people to get involved in the community.

Entrepreneur Spotlight | LaToya

Nasha Lending

Over the next few weeks we will be profiling entrepreneurs in our program. The stories you read are real entrepreneurs in the Upstate SC community.

LaToya | Reaching Our Youth - Upstate, Inc.

Photo by LaToya Dixon Photography

Photo by LaToya Dixon Photography

What is your business?

Reaching Our Youth - Upstate, Inc. - an after school program created to assist and empower the underprivileged and at-risk youth in our community academically.

Why did you start your business?

We wanted to establish a plan for each child which will help create a solid foundation for growth in education, financial literacy, health/wellness and youth mentoring.

What is your greatest challenge in business?

Establishing a credible presence in the community and developing lasting relationships with both parents and children, in order to implement our plan for academic success.

How did the Business Entrepreneur Academy help you start/grow your business?

The B.E.A. helped me to gain a better understanding of the specifics of business and how to use my strengths to grow the business and be able to delegate to others, where I am weak.

What advice would you give to other people who want to start a business?

Do your research on your target demographics, be genuine and know your worth, in your service, so that you relay the same energy to your potential customer

What do you wish you knew before starting a business?

I wish I knew some of the "best practices" that most non-profit organizations use and who to contact when there were issues that came about.

Meet Our Shark Tank Contestants | Part 2

Nasha Lending

Well folks, the time is near for the 2nd ever Community Business Shark Tank in Greenville, SC. We are thrilled to present four incredible contestants from our Business Entrepreneur Academy. These ladies worked for 10 weeks to grow their businesses and they are ready to compete for a cash prize at the Nasha Lending Shark Tank.

You can watch them compete, vote for a winner, and support their businesses on Thursday, July 21 at 7pm at the Phillis Wheatley Community Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Now, let's meet the contestants!

Javela Singleton

In her words:

I am a 30-year- old native of Easley South Carolina. I have been married to the love of my life, Steven Singleton, for 7 years. During those 7 years we have (and still are) enduring a difficult journey to parenthood due to a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) primarily caused by the amount of chemicals we are exposed to through the commercial products we put on our skin, as well as the foods we eat.

My story with PCOS birthed my work. Gifted Hands Artisan Soap (GHAS) was born through research to rid my life of harmful chemicals.  I seek to provide my customer with high quality, nourishing soaps to help cleanse the skin and combat any problem areas, such as eczema and acne without using harmful chemicals. As soap is the main medium for conditioning and cleansing the skin all over the body, we make sure all our soaps are made from only natural ingredients to promote wellness and good health.

With my fruitful and satisfying soap making business, I am fulfilling my duty to ensure that every single person that will use my products can be confident that it is made from natural ingredients and old fashioned methods - bringing health to myself and my community.

Dorothy Russell

In her words:

Dorothy A. Russell affectionately known as Dot Russell was born, reared and educated in Greenville County. She advanced her knowledge by attending Greenville Tec and Voorhees College.

Dot gained the vast of her wisdom and skills from two institutions, her Grandmother Carrie her father and the beloved “sterling” community named after the mighty STERLING HIGH SCHOOL. Her neighborhood was vibrantly productive and energized with the atmosphere of integrity. Sterling was innovative: There were: construction projects, businesses, gardens and churches. Every community activity seemed to support Grandma Carrie’s philosophy of loving and helping every one to BE better.

When the High School burned; the community mourned, disparity took the reins and the tempo changed quickly, the quality of life downgraded as more affluent neighbors sought opportunities to live in other areas. Grandmother Carrie and Dot’s father went to heaven. Dot’s mother encouraged her to follow family dreams and continue her education.

In 2000 Dot’s mother became ill so she returned to the home as her mother’s caretaker, then she saw remnants of Sterling’s beauty. Dot became involved in community restoration, taking every opportunity to include, promote and encourage her neighbors to work with her.

Dot is an experienced gardener, a member of three community gardens: Odessa St., Sterling’s Pride Farms and St. Francis community garden. She is President of the Sterling Neighborhood Association, has served as Chairwoman of the Sterling Land Trust Board, Member of Greenville Dreams, the Hope Center Board, to name a few. Dot is an active parishioner at Bethel Full Gospel Baptist. Church, there she is a part of the praise team, welcome committee, intercessor prayer warrior and a Sunday school teacher. As a mother of two and grandmother of four she finds time for family. Dot works full time at Branch Banking & Trust. Dot’s goal: to see her community overcome and THRIVE not survive as changes, challenges and barriers present themselves.

Dot Russell is an inventor; she has created an object to provide peace of mind to family members, caregivers and medical providers. Ailing patients will maintain their freedom, integrity and quality of life.

S afely

K ept

I mpaired

P ersons

SKIP will become an essential item for everyone who needs assistance while remaining independent.

Meet Our Shark Tank Contestants | Part 1

Nasha Lending

Well folks, the time is near for the 2nd ever Community Business Shark Tank in Greenville, SC. We are thrilled to present four incredible contestants from our Business Entrepreneur Academy. These ladies worked for 10 weeks to grow their businesses and they are ready to compete for a cash prize at the Nasha Lending Shark Tank.

You can watch them compete, vote for a winner, and support their businesses on Thursday, July 21 at 7pm at the Phillis Wheatley Community Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Now, let's meet the contestants!

Julie Maddox

In Julie's words:

I am a lifelong resident of Greenville.  I went to college and graduate school at the College of Charleston. I am certified in all areas of special education and hold a Masters in Emotional Disabilities.  I taught for 28 years. Ike Maddox is my husband and we have been married for 27 years.  He is also a lifelong resident of Greenville.  We have two sons.  Charlie is 24 and Benji is 19. 

In March of 2014, I had a vision to create Benji Bars®.  Navigating challenges for nearly two years, I am proud to say that I now make Greenville's own and only Mom-Crafted protein bar.  They feature local honey and the best ratio of net carbohydrates to protein to fiber, bar none!!

Lillian Small

In Lillian's words:

I was born in Montgomery, LA and lived in a home with my great grand
and grand mother. We didn’t have a lot but there was lots of love with
my seven siblings and my aunt. The holidays were special and the amour
of bakes goods during the holiday season would last with me a life
time.

I am the fourth generation baker who was taught to bake based on taste
and God has blessed me to become my own chemist an now I can share my
grandparents recipes with the world.

I had two children, daughter Shelita (deceased) and my son Desmon.
After my daughter passed away from the affects of bone cancer I vowed
to stop baking because it made me miss her too much. The Holy Spirit
came to me and showed me it would keep her spirit alive and so I named
my business SheDes Enterprises, LLC. I sell my product under Ms.
Lillian’s Louisiana Pies & Spices.

I manufactured a dry spice for my favorite famous Sweet Potato Pie
which also worked for Pumpkin Pies. I shipped some to a friend in New
York and she told me she was using the product in her Apple Pie and
Bar-B-Q Sauce. I shipped to other customers and was told other ways
they were using my product. The Ms. Lillian’s Louisiana Pies and
Spices is currently beingused in a large variety of pies, some
vegetables, breads, and new discoveries about how this product is
being use daily.

My goal to make life better for the senior citizen, the first time
baker, the soccer mom and anyone who wants a delicious dessert, meat
or vegetables.  I also want to create jobs to help my fellow sisters
and brothers in Americans. Ms. Lillian’s Louisiana Pies & Spices are
currently being sold in Mill Village and Mauldin’s Fresh Market. I’m
currently selling out at our festivals and in some of the Farmer’s
Markets weekly. I also ship the dry spice to people through out the
United States.

My goal is to leave an inheritance for my son and his descendants.

______________

Stay tuned for our next two contestants!

Business Entrepreneur Academy Graduation

Nasha Lending

Fierce. Encouraging. Determined. Kind.

These are just a few of the words to describe our Business Entrepreneur Academy graduates. This group of women (and 1 man!) worked tirelessly for the past 10 weeks to launch, grow, and develop their businesses. More impactful than the skills learned, however; are the relationships built between participants. This group, formerly eight individuals, is now a cohesive unit moving in the same direction; namely, business grow and success.

Relationships are key to any strong business and this group now has seven more supporters, advisors, and encouragers with which to build their business. Just as this group could not do it alone, neither could Nasha Lending survive without the support of people like you providing meals, donating financially, and sharing your skills to support entrepreneurship in the Upstate. Thank you!

I'm on an Elevator

Nasha Lending

Business Entrepreneur Academy participants admiring and purchasing the products of fellow participant.

Business Entrepreneur Academy participants admiring and purchasing the products of fellow participant.

"I've just got to tell you this story in the only way I know how. This class has been a god-send and I don't know how to tell you that except visually. You see, before this class, I was on the ground floor looking up. I wanted to get to the 6th floor, but I didn't know how. This class is the elevator. You came at just the right time and now I'm on my way. I'm not there yet, but you got me closer. Thank you."

One of the best parts about working with entrepreneurs is the stories they share. Entrepreneurs are a naturally excitable group and they are often great story tellers by nature or by practice. We finished our first cohort of the Business Entrepreneur Academy on Monday and afterwards, one of our entrepreneurs called to say thank you. She has been a faithful member of the class - always on time, always prepared, and always engaged. The funny part is, she was a random participant - we had not had any previous connection with her.

For most of the class, this was their first experience with Nasha Lending and although some people knew each other, much of our class came from all different parts of Greenville. Still, the common thread of entrepreneurship united us together and we quickly became a cohesive group - encouraging one another, challenging one another, and of course, laughing with one another.

The shared bond of business brought us together in ways I couldn't imagine and I know the businesses coming out of class will be stronger because of it.

If you're interested in starting a business or want to grow your business then the Business Entrepreneur Academy is for you. Learn more and apply on our website.

Meet Our Interns!

Nasha Lending

We are so excited to introduce our Summer interns to you! We have two students from Furman University who will be working with our entrepreneurs and the Mill Village Farms youth. We asked them a few questions so you can get to know them a little more.

 

Justin, Furman University

1. Where are you from?

I am from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania originally but moved to Birmingham, AL and grew up there.

2. Where do you go to school? What is your major?

I go to Furman University and I am studying Business Administration.

3. If you could have a super power, what would it be?

I would want to have super speed.

4. What is the last book you read?

Last book I read for school was The Goal, the last book I read for pleasure was the last Hunger Games book, and the last book I read for this internship was Standout 2.0.

5. Why did you want to work at Nasha Lending?

I wanted to work at Nasha Lending because I saw it as a great opportunity to gain some knowledge into the world of Non-Profit organizations. Also I am very interested in starting my own business one day so I am hoping to learn some ideas for my own benefit. Along with those personal wants, I also want to help the youths gain knowledge into the world of business and show them that with hard work and some basic knowledge, they can be their own boss.

 

Josh, Furman University

1. Where are you from?

Gwinnett County, Georgia

2. Where do you go to school? What is your major?

Furman, Math-Econ

3. If you could have a super power, what would it be?

Be able to transform into a whale

4. What is the last book you read?

Making Neighborhoods Whole

5. Why did you want to work at Nasha Lending?

I wanted to serve close to where I've lived for the past few years, and thought Nasha Lending was a place where I could put my talents to use. 

 

FUEL Breakfast Success

Nasha Lending

IMG_3188.JPG

We want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who came out in support of Nasha Lending at our FUEL Breakfast last week. We were overwhelmed with the positive response and generosity of so many people. Because of your generosity we are able to run two Business Entrepreneur Academy classes this year and we anticipate graduating 25 students prepared to launch and grow their businesses in the Upstate SC community.

Guests at the breakfast met several of our entrepreneurs and were able to hear their stories of life-change through Nasha Lending and entrepreneurship. We could not do what we do without the support of our community. Thank you to everyone who has helped us build an eco-system for under-resourced entrepreneurs in our community.

Advice from a Successful Entrepreneur

Nasha Lending

IMG_3087.JPG
Your business isn’t about what you want, it’s about what your customers want
— Stephanie Leap

This past week, we had Stephanie Leap of Stephanie Swander Interiors join us for our Business Entrepreneur Academy. She shared about her experience as an interior designer and founder/owner of a CrossFit gym.

We talked about identifying our ideal (target) customer, what they want/need, and how to communicate with them. Stephanie shared her experience and challenged the group to put aside their personal feelings and work for the betterment of the customer, "Your business isn't about what you want, it's about what your customers want."

We are so thankful for people willing to take time out of their schedule to talk to our classes. Real life stories of success (and failure!) are incredibly helpful to our entrepreneurs.

We need your support to provide classes like these. You can make a donation online to support the Business Entrepreneur Academy and the work of Nasha Lending.

Eat a Biscuit, Change a Life

Nasha Lending

It sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? We may be exaggerating a bit, but if you join us on May 5, you will be able to enjoy a biscuit and learn about ways you can help under-resourced entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

At Nasha Lending, our mission is to change lives for the better by equipping under-resourced entrepreneurs to become providers, creators, and producers in their own communities.

We need your help to do this. On May 5, you can learn how your time, money, and knowledge can be used to start and grow local businesses.

The breakfast is free, but you can sign up here and we'll be sure to save you a biscuit!

Ecosystem and Entrepreneurship

Nasha Lending

Imagine stepping outside your front door. What do you hear? If it's nighttime in the South, you might hear cicada's. Or perhaps you're in a big city and you hear rats and raccoons going through the trash. Maybe it's the beginning of Spring and you hear birds chirping, bees flying, and the smell of flowers is in the air.

When I think about the complexity of the world, it is easy for me to be overwhelmed. The diversity of animals, plants, elements, and people is enough to make anyone's head spin. Even more amazing though is how it all works together. From bacteria and quarks to elephants and airplanes, the grand ecosystem of nature and our world keeps moving, growing, and creating in seemingly endless cycles.

On a smaller scale, throughout our community there are ecosystems for business, sports, education, and much more. These ecosystems create momentum and opportunity for the people involved; kids are developed in sports, businesses connect to other businesses, and education becomes attainable for many.

But what if you can't access the ecosystem to help you reach your goals? What if you don't know the ecosystem even exists? These are the challenges faced by many of our entrepreneurs. They have drive, passion, and a strong work ethic, but are missing the vital connection to the larger ecosystem for entrepreneurs.

Nasha Lending works to bridge the gap between entrepreneur and ecosystem. We believe diversity in experience, education, and skills will come together to make something bigger than is possible in isolation.

Textile Hall is a microcosm of the entrepreneurial ecosystem at large and an entry point into it. Entrepreneurs from many backgrounds work, learn, play, and grow together as they build businesses. 

Textile Hall is a co-work space in the Village of West Greenville and we want you to be a part. If you're someone who has a business or is looking to start a business, this is the place to do it. Come see us today and see if Textile Hall is the right place for you and your business.