A version of this story was originally published on rencenter.org.
Lina Mills worked in the catering business for 25 years. Then she had to go on disability leave for three months due to a back injury. While out on leave, her clients kept calling to ask where she was going next. They wanted to hire her again.
Lina went to Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center in 2014 to learn how to start and grow her own business. With the support of Renaissance and her family and friends, she founded Creative Ideas Catering in 2016. The business is a full service catering company with fresh flavors and healthy ingredients. Since then, Lina’s business has expanded rapidly and she continues to go to Renaissance for assistance.
In November 2018, with the assistance from the Renaissance Financing Resource Center, Lina received a loan for $975,000. With that money, she purchased a commercial space for her business. She has retained 10 jobs through her business, and Renaissance’s annual Small Business Big Impact event honored her as Entrepreneur of the Year. Lina is currently attending Renaissance’s class, Comenzar un Negocio con Confianza, with plans to expand into a café space.