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Karime Child Care, located in Grand Island, Nebraska, has been open since April 2017. In those few years, owner Carime Ruvalcaba has seen success and growth in her business. Though, when it closed indefinitely in April 2020, due to the pandemic, the entrepreneur decided to take the unexpected time off to grow her skills as a business owner.
When she came across an announcement on social media for training events through the Center for Rural Affairs she jumped at the opportunity, enrolling in several of the Center’s academies, multi-session, sector-specific trainings presented by instructors with expertise in each area.
Graduates leave the academies with a basic understanding of key business concepts and industry skills. Participants are also offered one-on-one technical assistance, and, in some cases, they have the option to receive professional certification.
Carime educated herself on topics including financial management, marketing, loans, QuickBooks, making a business plan, child care, strategic planning in times of COVID-19, and disaster recovery.
Because of the dedication and hard work put into her business, Carime has been chosen to receive the 2021 Women’s Business Center Entrepreneur Award from the Center for Rural Affairs.
The award is presented annually to an individual or individuals who have used the Center’s services and are successfully operating and growing their business. The award exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit so crucial to small businesses and the rural Nebraska communities they call home.
“It is an honor for me to receive this recognition for the effort and work we have done as a team, to make my day care program professional and of high quality,” said Carime. “Thanks to a loan from the Center, at the time of the greatest crisis due to the pandemic, I was able to get ahead, and I always receive support from them for any difficulty I have in my business.”
Center for Rural Affairs Business Development Specialist Raul Arcos Hawkins worked with Carime while she attended the academies.
“Carime is a great example of perseverance and how to work toward what your business needs,” said Raul. “Currently, she has joined a women's child care group to get more mentorship for her business, and has always sought opportunities to grow professionally and personally.”
She has also stepped up as a mentor to help other providers better their businesses and increase access to materials for Spanish-speaking operators. Carime is working toward becoming certified as a Safe With You trainer as well.
“I hope to be part of all the mentors that form the team to grow small businesses and inspire more entrepreneurs,” Carime said.
The business owner is thankful to have received the award, and grateful to the Center for their part in her success.
“Receiving this recognition encourages me to continue working to improve my business for the well-being of children and our community,” she said. “The Center is a very important part of Karime Child Care's growth, through training, counseling, and loans. Center staff offered great support in all the academies that I have participated in, and they do a great job connecting people who have knowledge with those who need and want to learn how to manage and improve a small business.”
Carime received her award with Center staff present.