Kerlyn Mendez has always had an entrepreneurial spirit, but it wasn’t until she moved to Alabama in 2016 that she decided it was time to start her own business. Her passion for decorating and crafts led her to the leadership courses at ¡HICA! that helped her develop a plan for her own floral design and decorating business. In 2019 she received a loan from Affinity Group Lending, ¡HICA!’s micro-loan program supported by a grant from the Community Foundation, and opened her own business, Happy Angels.

Over the last few years, Kerlyn has participated in ¡HICA!’s Financial Capability courses that have helped her formalize her business plan. In December, thanks to the Small Business Impact Grant from the Community Foundation, ¡HICA! made an additional $7,000 loan to Happy Angels, allowing Kerlyn to expand her growing business and invest in additional equipment, inventory and marketing efforts.

¡HICA!’s loan to Happy Angels is the first of many loans they will be able to make thanks to the support of the Catalyst Fund at the Community Foundation and the Small Business Impact Grant.