This is one of the biggest accomplishments of my life.

Unprepared for a financial windfall that came her way, Alabama-native and startup business owner, Carlita Evans-Mack, sought out the tools and resources offered by HOPE to find her footing and thrive in business and life.

After inheriting a substantial amount of money, Carlita wisely chose to grow her capital gains through investment and entrepreneurship. She discovered a vacant building with enormous potential for growth, purchased the property, and opened her own business.

But business ownership proved to be a bigger challenge than Carlita expected. Uninformed on the principles of entrepreneurship, she became overwhelmed. Unsure of her next steps, she turned to HOPE for guidance, enrolling in the Small Business Development Program at at HOPE Inside Wells Fargo — Bessemer in Alabama. There, she met HOPE Financial Wellbeing Coach, Damian Carson, and a cohort of fellow entrepreneurs eager to seek financial independence through business development.

Week after week, Carlita grew in knowledge and confidence about her business. Armed with new resources, she pursued her business venture full-time and made Restyle Events and Conference Center a dream come true. After three years, her business is thriving. She regularly connects with program graduates from her cohort and they support each other with continued access to opportunity. As a small business operator who owns both business and property, Carlita has also been able to empower her sister to open her own business in the same space.

Thanks in part to HOPE’s program to empower business ownership and job creation, Carlita is living a fulfilled life and is inspiring others in her community, including her two daughters, Kristin and Kayden, to follow in her footsteps.

You can help empower individuals just like Carlita with financial dignity. Visit now to say your one-on purpose with a one-time donation of $25 or more. 100% of your gift is program-focused, providing low and moderate-income youth and adults with the financial education and coaching to create a more secure future.