Marie Tchouassi, Owner, Trainers Childcare Center, and Sandy Headley, Vice President of ACE, celebrate at her closing in July!
On paper, a loan was made to Trainers Childcare Center in July as part of the ACE/Carver State Bank Partnership in the New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) Small Business Loan Pool. But for Marie Tchouassi, it was the beginning of her American Dream.
“Marie Tchouassi is the reason ACE and our partners do the work we do,” says Sandy Headley, Vice President of ACE, who helped negotiate the deal. “I don’t believe I have ever closed a loan for someone more grateful or more deserving than Marie. She provides an incredible foundation for children and creates jobs at the same time. We commend Marie!”
She grew up in Cameroon and earned a Master’s Degree in Marketing and Science of Management and worked for 10 years. Then she decided to make a major move. As the single mother of three children, she relocated to the United States. She could not speak a word of English. In 2012, Tchouassi started a day-care center in home and fell in love with her work. She began to teach herself a new language.
“I became fascinated with the American approach to child raising,” she says.
She saved her money and bought a faltering day-care business she spotted on Craigslist. This year, with the availability of the NMTC capital, she qualified and was able to buy the 6,000-square foot space where her business is housed. She is now officially an entrepreneur, the Executive Director of Trainers Childcare Center in Norcross, with 14 employees and 96 children, with plans to grow to 117 children. She even takes in special-needs and medically fragile children who need extra attention.
Tchouassi says, “I could not have done this without ACE’s guidance to help me through the New Markets Tax Credits process. They made everything so easy and accessible, and now I have a fulfilling career. I am thankful.”