The Atlanta Women’s Foundation treated ACE’s Grace Fricks and Sandra Font, along with Juanisa Kimbrough, to a Meet & Greet with Gayle King, the keynote speaker of the Numbers Too Big to Ignore luncheon.
ACE and client Juanisa (Niecy) Kimbrough, founder of Ms. Niecy’s Home Away from Home Learning Center Inc., recently received the 2019 Sue Wieland Embracing Possibility Award. Presented by The Atlanta Women’s Foundation at its Numbers Too Big To Ignore Luncheon on Oct. 10, the award was given to ACE along with a $20,000 grant, and to Mrs. Kimbrough with an award of $2,000.
The Sue Wieland Embracing Possibility Award is given annually to a nonprofit organization and an individual woman (or girl) based on the organization’s work with that individual, which has resulted in significant change in her life.
“We are honored to award the Sue Wieland Embracing Possibility Award to our Women’s Pathway to Success grantee ACE, and their Shining Example Juanisa Kimbrough,” said Kari B. Love, CEO of The Atlanta Women’s Foundation. “ACE is truly achieving significant changes in the lives of women by providing access to small-business capital along with business development services. Mrs. Kimbrough exemplifies the work of ACE and what women can achieve when given the resources, support and opportunities to be successful.”
Kimbrough and her husband, John, were at a crossroads with their child care business. “Our financial situation was tough,” explained Kimbrough. “Ms. Niecy’s started small, but then grew quickly and we were struggling to make ends meet. After we worked to clean up our credit, we looked for a loan to expand from our home operation into a facility. No one — not even our own bank — would give us a loan.” Then the Kimbroughs came across a brochure from ACE. “Thank God we found ACE. They were the only ones to trust and invest in us.”
ACE, a nonprofit organization, provides capital, coaching and connections to help its borrowers create and grow sustainable businesses that generate jobs. Through ACE, the Kimbroughs received funding to buy their initial facility and, later, two other expansions. They went on to purchase adjacent buildings for a pre-K program and after-school programs.
ACE serves small businesses in Georgia, with a focus on women, people of color, low- to moderate-income business owners, larger businesses and community facilities that create jobs. The ACE Women’s Business Center, located in the heart of downtown Norcross, Georgia, provides a full range of services for women entrepreneurs at all stages of implementation, planning and growth.
“This recognition is a terrific reminder for us about the power of our work,” said Grace Fricks, president and CEO of ACE. “ACE impacts the lives of small-business owners by providing capital, coaching and connections. Ms. Niecy’s success in providing quality child care and new jobs is what keeps us focused on building meaningful relationships. We are privileged to know Juanisa and John and impressed by their hard work in growing their business to make a difference in lives of children and families in their community.”