Mirna Guardiola embraces Joyce Parra, a Business Development Officer from Accessity who helped Mirna on her business journey.
Empowering Entrepreneurs Through Financial Access
‘You Can Be Happy in Life Again’
After moving from Mexico and spending nearly 20 years living and working in San Diego, Mirna Guardiola felt disconnected from her job. She worked as an Uber and food delivery driver, which provided for her three children but did not fulfill her. With dreams of becoming her own boss, Mirna began brainstorming how she could make her business ideas become reality.
Passionate about empowering women, Mirna decided she wanted to start a business that celebrated her Mexican culture and made women feel beautiful. She started selling colorful embroidered bags, imported from León, Mexico, at local markets and through online marketplace sites. To her delight, the bags sold out quickly, and her business began to take shape.
“I knew this could grow into something more, but starting a business felt intimidating,” says Mirna.
To help her navigate this entrepreneurial journey, Mirna turned to an organization called Accessity. Accessity opens doors of financial opportunity — primarily to entrepreneurs of color, women and immigrant entrepreneurs in San Diego, California — through access to small business loans and a community of support and resources.
Mirna was able to not only secure a business loan with the help of Accessity, but she was also able to take several of its business courses and worked with the nonprofit to develop a marketing strategy for her business.
“Accessity was like a supportive family member throughout this process. They really understand what's possible for small business owners,” Mirna says.
Elizabeth Schott, CEO of Accessity, has been a part of the nonprofit for over a decade and is passionate about the organization’s mission to build entrepreneurs’ financial self-sufficiency.
“Their success affects their families, but small businesses also have tangible ripple effects on the communities they live in like tax revenue, job creation, job retention, and local goods and services being provided in our neighborhoods,” she says.
Enterprise Bank & Trust’s SVP, Relationship Manager in the Southwest region, Alex Rodriguez, serves on Accessity’s board of directors, which helps govern the organization by examining the long-term strategic vision for Accessity’s mission and impact. Alex sits on the credit committee, helping with the loan approval process for clients. Enterprise also makes annual donations to the organization to assist with entrepreneurial education programs, job creation and more.
“These small mom-and-pop shops and minority-owned businesses sometimes just need a little working capital in order to support their dreams, and it’s remarkable to be a part of that process,” Alex says.
“Alex has been instrumental in helping us to think about what's happening in the economy and how that relates to the target market that we're trying to reach and really thinking about how we can best serve these clients with access to capital,” Elizabeth says.
Bright flowers cover the front of Mirna’s bags, with a black finish on the back. “The bright colors of the flowers represent life and happiness, and the dark side represents the struggles we all go through. The message behind the bags is: even if you have gone through something dark, you can be happy in life again,” she says.