2007 Annual Report- finalpub by Levone


									    KC is ME
Kansas City is MicroEnterprise

          First Step Fund
        2007 Annual Report
                      2007 Annual Report                                                                  Page 2

                     Letter from the President and Executive Director
                     Dear Friends:

                     As 2007 comes to a close and we enter into 2008, we cannot help but take note of the
Microenterprise      trends in the U.S. economy. We as a country are again seeing significant lay-offs in a wide
                     array of fields and increases in unemployment rates, foreclosures and bankruptcies are es-
development is a
                     calating at alarming rates, and prices for many day-to-day essentials are at an all-time high.
critical tool        At times of uncertainty like these, we look for innovative strategies to handle the challenges
for communities      we face. Microenterprise development is one such strategy. It is a relatively young approach
                     to addressing poverty, building assets, and developing communities; but in its twenty-plus
with low to          years in the United States, positive results are being felt.
incomes, in          Elaine Edgcomb and Joyce Klein, both with the Aspen Institute, set the economic context for
                     microenterprise and self-employment in their report Opening Opportunities, Building Owner-
countering the       ship: Fulfilling the Promise of Microenterprise in the United States (February 2005) by listing
effects of a         several factors that lead individuals into starting a business. Some of these factors include:
                              • Changes in the safety net that seek to require and/or support work
                              • The need for working parents – particularly working women – to balance their
economy.                            working and caregiving roles
                              • Growth in immigration
                              • The move to downsize major corporations by outsourcing jobs and relying more
                                    heavily on contingent and temporary workers
                              • The loss of well-paying, secure “middle class” jobs
                              • The aging of the population

                     Although microenterprises are often perceived as having low impact as an economic devel-
                     opment strategy, when the statistics from the Department of Commerce and the Census
                     Bureau (all from 2005 reports) are analyzed, it becomes clear that microenterprises are truly
                     the backbone of the U.S. economy. There are more than 24 million microenterprises
                     (defined as businesses with five or fewer employees) in the United States, which represents
                     87% of all businesses. These microenterprises employ 18% of all private sector employees,
                     meaning that nearly one of five private sector jobs is in a microenterprise.

                     The microenterprise statistics in the Kansas City metropolitan area (Clay, Jackson, and
Edwin T. Lowndes     Platte counties in Missouri and Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas) reflect the
  First Step Fund
  Board President    national figures. There are a total of 153,660 businesses, of which 131,938 (86%) are
                     microenterprises. Of the 1,111,104 private employees in the metro area, 173,005 (16%)
                     are in a microenterprise. Although quite small in and of themselves, microenterprises collec-
                     tively have a significant impact on our economy and our communities.

                     Microenterprise development is not a panacea for the challenges that lay ahead. It is,
                     however, a viable tool for individuals with low to moderate incomes who have the entrepre-
                     neurial drive and commitment it takes to be a successful business owner. Thank you to all
                     who have supported our efforts over the years and we look forward to continuing our work
                     together to help our clients reach economic self-sufficiency through entrepreneurship.

 Vanessa Finley
 First Step Fund
Executive Director   Edwin T. Lowndes                                    Vanessa Finley
                     Board President                                     Executive Director
2007 Annual Report                                                                                                               Page 3

Organizational Overview
The mission of First Step Fund—a microenterprise development organization—
is to foster economic self-sufficiency through entrepreneurship training, access
to credit, and ongoing support. First Step Fund offers entrepreneurship, or
self-employment, as an alternative to public assistance or minimum-wage and
other low-paying jobs. First Step Fund is a private nonprofit organization that
works exclusively with individuals with low to moderate incomes who want to
start or expand their own small businesses. It was founded by representatives
from local social service agencies, banks, and private businesses interested in
assisting entrepreneurs who could not afford the high costs of business train-
ing and who could not obtain small amounts of capital for business start-up.
                                                                                            Participants in a 2007 Family Child Care
                                                                                        Entrepreneurship class listening to the instructor
The approach to service delivery in microenterprise development programs is                       and preparing for group work.
not one of charity, but rather a process of identifying and building on a person’s
resources, ideas, and interests. It assists participants in connecting with training, capital,
and other community resources that will enhance those personal strengths. Combined
with building the business skills of prospective and current entrepreneurs, the success of
First Step Fund hinges on participants beginning to move towards a viable business plan
and establishing a sound business enterprise.
                                                                                                                First Step Fund’s
Since the inception of direct programming in 1994, more than 1,400 individuals have                             mission is to
graduated from First Step Fund training. Of those graduates, 310 are currently in business
and employ more than 260 additional people in the Kansas City area, equating to more                            foster economic
than 570 current jobs created by First Step Fund graduates. Additionally, businesses oper-
ated by First Step Fund graduates are generating annual net profits in excess of $2 Million.


                                                                                                                training, access

                                                                                                                to credit, and

                                                                                                                ongoing support.

    First Step Fund graduate, Richetta Jones, (and
          her daughter) at her business booth,
     Rich-N-Scents, during a national conference
              that was held in Kansas City.

                                                               Audrey Cutts (left) and Sharon Gay-Naik are
                                                               both graduates of First Step Fund and have
                                                               collaborated to share a location, each using
                                                              her own expertise, called Navaeh Day Spa and
                                                                            Wellness Center.
                         2007 Annual Report                                                                     Page 4

                       Local Programs

                                                          First Step FastTrac®
                                                          First Step FastTrac is one of two entry points into First Step
                                                          Fund’s services. During this twelve-session (36-hour) busi-
                                                          ness training program, participants learn basic business
                                                          concepts and complete a feasibility plan for their proposed

                                                          •   Five First Step FastTrac classes were conducted by
                                                              First Step Fund in 2007.

                                                          •   Enrollment for these classes totaled 110, of which 90
Graduates and instruction team of a Fall 2007                 (82%) graduated.
         First Step FastTrac class.
                                                          •   To date, a total of 1,408 individuals have enrolled in
                                                              First Step FastTrac and 1,121 (80%) have graduated.

                                First Step Fund provided training and support to 393 individuals in the
                                                      Greater Kansas City area in 2007.

                       Family Child Care Entrepreneurship Program

                       The Family Child Care Entrepreneurship class is the second point of entry for participants.
                       During this sixteen-session (54-hour) training covering core business components, topics in
                       early childhood care & education, and business life skills, participants complete business
                       plans and parent handbooks.

                                                      •   Two Family Child Care Entrepreneurship classes were held
                                                          in 2007. These classes are delivered in partnership with
                                                          the Francis Institute and LINC’s EduCare program.

                                                      •   Enrollment for these classes totaled 49, of which 37
                                                          (76%) graduated.

                                                      •   To date, a total of 356 individuals have enrolled in a
                                                          Family Child Care Entrepreneurship class and 302 (85%)
                                                          have graduated.
        Children and parents preparing for evening
       departure at First Step Fund graduate Canada
           Jones-Holliday’s child care business.
    2007 Annual Report                                                                                                          Page 5

Ongoing Support Services

Once participants successfully graduate from one of the entrepreneurship
training programs, they are eligible and encouraged to participate in any
of the ongoing services offered by First Step Fund, including:

•      monthly Alumni Group meetings, where guest speakers refresh or                   Class graduates using First Step Fund laptops in
       add to what graduates learned in class                                         QuickBooks training as a part of the Microenterprise
                                                                                                    Acceleration Program.
•      Next Steps seminars, where graduates are provided more advanced
       or industry-specific training
•      the Microloan Program, through which graduates may borrow between $500 and
       $5,000 for business start-up or expansion
•      the One-on-One Mentor Program, where graduates are matched with successful
       entrepreneurs or professionals with specific industry expertise
•      the Group Mentor Program, where graduates in the business start-up phase benefit
       from the mentoring process along-side their peers
•      the Annual Graduate Business Directory, which promotes all graduates who request
       a free listing (please contact the main office for a free copy)                                      Since the inception of
                                                                                                            services in 1994, First
•      the Women and     Company® MicroenterpriseBoost Program, through which small
                                                                                                            Step Fund has:
       equity awards are given to businesses owned by female graduates
•      the HP Microenterprise Acceleration Program, which allows graduates to check out                     •    Enrolled 1,764
       laptops for use in their businesses and provides an on-site multi-media workstation                       participants in
       along with computer instruction                                                                           entrepreneurship
                                                                                                                 training classes.
•      ongoing case management and technical assistance, which provide one-on-one
       support from program staff in areas of both business and personal development.                       •    Graduated 81%
                                                                                                                 (1,423) of those
More than 230 individual (unduplicated) graduates used ongoing support services in
2007 and nearly 650 individual graduates have used support services at some point                           •    Provided ongoing
since First Step Fund started offering training in 1994.                                                         support to more than
                                                                                                                 650 graduates.

                                                                                                            •    Assisted a total of
                                                                                                                 more than 700
                                                                                                                 different businesses.

                            Recipients of the 2007 Women and Company® Microenter-
                              prise Boost Program equity awards were Sharon Irvin,
                            Marti Smith, Kathy Drews, Sandi Campbell, and Jenny Fu.
                            2007 Annual Report                                                                  Page 6

                           Local Client Demographics and Statistics
                           The typical First Step Fund client is an African American woman who is single, has two de-
Profile of businesses      pendent children, has received public assistance at some time in her adult life, has some
operated by First          education beyond high school, and is not in business at the time of application. All of First
Step Fund graduates:
                           Step Fund’s clients meet low- to moderate-income requirements (80% of the area median
                           income) at the time of application.
- 79% of the
   businesses are               More than 310 businesses are operated by First Step Fund graduates and these
   home-based                          businesses generate more than $2 million in annual net profits!

Full- and part-time        Gender                                            Business start-ups/enhancements
businesses                 - 78% women                                       - 59% started or sustained a business
- 54% of the business      - 22% men                                              since taking the course
   owners operate their                                                      - 26% of graduates started a new business
   businesses full time,   Ethnicity                                         - 33% of graduates sustained an existing
   working an average      - 69% African American                                 business
   of 57 hours per
                           - 21% Caucasian
                           - 5% Hispanic / Latino                            Currently in business
- 46% operate their        - 1% Asian American                               - Of those who were not in business at the
   businesses part
                           - 1% American Indian                                    time of application, 44% are now in
   time, working an
   average of 13 hours
                           - 3% Other Ethnicity                                    business
   per week                                                                  - Of those who were in business at the time
                           Marital status                                          of application, 81% are still in busi-
- 29% work a
   “traditional” job in    At the time of application:                             ness
   addition to their       - 79% were not married (single, separated,        - Of those who are currently in business,
   business                     divorced, or widowed)                              58% are in the same business for
- Of those working in a    - 21% were married                                      which they planned during class
  traditional job, 15%     - 38% of all First Step Fund clients were
  are working in a field        single parents                               Business income
  related to their                                                           Between 2004 and 2006:
  business                 Employment                                        - 45% of graduates had an increase in
                           - 44% were not employed at the time of                 business net profits (the average
Employees                        application                                      annual increase was $22,650)
- More than 260
                           - 24% of those who were unemployed had            - 23% of graduates had a decrease in
  individuals, in
  addition to the                been unemployed for at least two years           business net profits (the average
  entrepreneurs            - Of those employed, 94% worked full-time              annual decrease was $10,400)
  themselves, are                and 6% worked part-time                     - 32% of graduates had no significant
  employed or                                                                     change in business net profits
  contracted by First      Public assistance
  Step Fund graduates      - 47% were current or past recipients of pub-     Household income
- 30% of graduate               lic assistance                               - 56% of graduates had an increase in
   businesses have         - 24% were on public assistance at time of             household income since taking the
   employees: 28%               application                                       course
   have one employee,      - 23% were recipients of public assistance        Of those with an increase:
   56% have 2 to 4
                                at some time as an adult but were not        - 62% had an increase of at least $1,000
   employees, and 16%
   have 5 or more
                                at the time of application                        per month
                                                                             - 35% had an increase of at least $1,500
                           Phase of business                                      per month
                           At the time of application:                       - 20% had an increase of at least $2,000
                           - 74% were not in business or were in the              per month
                                start-up phase                               - 9% had an increase of at least $3,000
                           - 28% were in business                                 per month
2007 Annual Report                                                                                                      Page 7

  Featured Graduate Profile
  Sandi Campbell
  Alpha and Omega Cleaning Services

  For 30 years, Sandi Campbell enjoyed a lucrative career with
  Fortune 500 companies in the finance industry. But when the
  parent company for which she worked sold the subsidiary,
  Sandi suddenly found herself unemployed. Unable to secure a
  new position that paid enough to cover her annual expenses,
  Sandi was facing bankruptcy and the possibility of losing her

  While working part-time cleaning new construction sites, it oc-
  curred to Sandi that she could start her own cleaning business.
  She liked the physical activity of the work and her years in the
  financial services industry had given her good business skills.
  All she needed was a little guidance and some capital to get
  her started.
                                                                      Sandi Campbell started her cleaning business when she was
                                                                        laid off after 30 years of working in the finance industry.
  At First Step Fund, Sandi enrolled in the 36-hour First Step
  FastTrac class to learn how to write a business plan. She also
  received a $2,500 microloan, which she used to develop a marketing plan, hire a
  human resources consultant, file fees with the state, and purchase tax and ac-
  counting software and services and a commercial lawn mower.

  Then, through the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), First Step Fund
  was able to offer Sandi a cash equity award from the Women and Company® Mi-
  croenterprise Boost Program. The $2,500 award enabled her to buy several                              “I now have
  heavy-duty vacuum cleaners, a hard floor surface cleaner, and a power washer.
  The new commercial-grade equipment made it possible for her crew to do better
  work in less time, resulting in higher profits and happier clients.
                                                                                                       security and

  With more than a 50% increase in revenue per quarter since she received her                           am able to
  equity award, Sandi expects to meet or exceed her projected annual revenue for
  2007. She acquired ten new customers, and enjoys a 100% retention rate for                             meet and
  current clients. Increased demand for her services has also allowed Sandi to hire
  five additional subcontractors. Sandi comments, “Most importantly, I now have                         exceed my
  financial security and am able to meet and exceed my monthly living expenses.”
                                                                                                      monthly living
  As with so many Women and Company equity award recipients, Sandi is excited to
  share her story with others, encouraging and supporting her fellow microentrepre-                     expenses.”
  neurs. Sandi notes, “I enjoy the opportunity to share my story with someone think-
  ing of starting a small business - someone who may have lost their job. I want
  them to know that there are resources and tools available to help them be suc-
                                 2007 Annual Report                                                                          Page 8

                              Meet Some of Our 2007 Graduates
                               First Step FastTrac® Class #55 Graduate
159 current and                RACHEL CANON
potential                      Shoshin Salon
                               Type of Business: Salon
attended one of
First Step Fund’s              Advice to others taking the class: “Definitely go to class! Once
multi-week                     the class gets more involved people started to miss more, but
                               it is so valuable to be at every class.”
classes in 2007.
                                                                                                         Rachel Canon styling a
                               Secret to success: “Have faith in yourself. Don’t be afraid.”           customer’s hair at her salon.

                               First Step FastTrac® Class #58 Graduate
                               NABIL CHARIF
                               Bridging The Gap Interpreting, LLC

                                        Type of Business: Interpreting

                                        Benefits of the class: “Even though I already had a business, I still learned the pros
                                        and the cons about running a business. I had been so excited and happy and was
                                        full of a lot of positive emotions because I was glad to be starting my own business.
                                        But the class showed me how to face challenges in a logical way, not just be excited
                                        about business emotionally . . . It gave me the best road map and gave me an idea
                                        about feasibility. . . Also, the quality you get in class is amazing for the price—all the
Nabil Charif receiving his graduation   qualified coaches and speakers for only $50.”
certificate from First Step FastTrac
    Facilitator Marylou DeWald.

                               Family Child Care Entrepreneurship Class #15 Graduate
                               ROSE ALEXANDER
                               Learning is Fun Academy

                               Type of Business: Child care

                               Secret to success: “Children feel that they
                               can trust me. They open up and then they
                               tend to be successful. If you understand their
                               developmental stages you can guide them
                               and watch them grow – let children be them-

                                                                                     Rose Alexander at the park with the
                                                                                 children enrolled in her child care business.
   2007 Annual Report                                                                                                               Page 9

    First Step FastTrac® Class #58 Graduate
    Spyn (spy • n)

    Type of Business: Multi-media design and marketing

    Advice to others taking the class: “Have a strong foundation of your business and
    what you want to accomplish going into the class so you can get the most out of
    class. Know why you are taking the class.”                                                              Luis Garcia at his marketing
                                                                                                                  business, Spyn.
    Secret to success: “Creativity.”

                First Step FastTrac® Class #54 Graduate
                EVELYN FULLER
                A Sister with Elegance

                Type of Business: Catering

                Benefits of the class: “It helped me to get my priorities in order, to
                know the right place to start. The feasibility plan really helped me
                with pricing and to realize my time had a value in relation to the
                                                                                             Evelyn Fuller displaying the final
                business.”                                                                    layout of a catering function.

                Advice to others taking the class: “You have got to really pay attention. As an older woman who
                hasn’t been in a class for a long time, I was nervous about being in a class again, but you have to
                go in and glean everything you can to help your business!”

                                      Family Child Care Entrepreneurship Class #16 Graduate
                                      DONNA HICKS
                                      Playful Scholars

                                      Type of Business: Child care

                                      Benefits of the class: “The class helped me with planning and the business side of child
  Donna Hicks in her home office
handling the administrative aspects   Advice to others taking the class: “Stick with it. If it is your goal, you can achieve it.”
    of her child care business.
                                      Secret to success: “Determination.”
                        2007 Annual Report                                                                      Page 10

                       Second Year of Curriculum Distribution
                       National distribution of the First Step FastTrac® (FSFT) and Developing Your Family Child
                       Care Business™ (DYFCCB) curricula is moving into its third year. This earned income ven-
                       ture ended 2007 on a positive note in terms of outreach, with First Step Fund achieving 96%
                       of its sales goals for the year. As of December 31, 2007, there are 185 certified sites (90
                       DYFCCB and 95 FSFT) in 43 states. In 2007, more than 3,800 individuals were trained by
                       these sites.
First Step Fund
provides               For 2008, First Step Fund has several new target markets opening for the curricula. Robert
                       Morris College in Pennsylvania will be using the FSFT materials in their program targeting
                       veterans re-entering the civilian workforce. Many of these individuals come back from their
training, and          time in service without clear career goals, and the program is a great way for them to ex-
technical              plore if entrepreneurship is a fit for them. In Florida and other states, the DYFCCB curricula
                       are part of the effort to shore up the business skills of the family child care provider. With
assistance to          the implementation of public Pre-K programs in many states, which significantly reduces the
organizations          number of 3- and 4-year-olds being placed in child
across the             care full-time, the need for family providers to
                       sharpen their business skills becomes more urgent.
country seeking
to utilize the First   In several areas, the FSFT curriculum is being used
                       in Workforce Development programs targeting indi-
Step FastTrac and
                       viduals who are laid off from manufacturing jobs
Developing Your        and want to consider entrepreneurship as an op-
Family Child Care      tion. First Step Fund’s outreach into the Hispanic
                       community continues to grow as well via the Span-
                       ish language version of First Step FastTrac (called
curricula to help      Primer Paso). There are more than a dozen sites           National facilitators working on a group
                                                                               exercise during certification training by First
foster economic        certified to use the Primer Paso curricula and four
                       additional sites using the Spanish version of the
self-sufficiency       child care curricula.
entrepreneurship       A complete revision of the First Step FastTrac curriculum is currently underway, as is the
                       development of a derivative of the Developing Your Family Child Care Business which will
in their own           make the program accessible to both center directors and family providers.
                       First Step Fund looks forward to furthering its mission of fostering economic self-sufficiency
                       through entrepreneurship on a national basis, in collaboration with other organizations such
                       as the two excellent national partners profiled below.

                       Meet Two of Our National Sites
                       Primer Paso FastTrac® Site
                       Rhode Island Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Johnson &
                          Wales University, Providence, RI
                       Latinos are the fastest-growing segment of Rhode Island entrepreneurs, and the Hispanic
                       population in Rhode Island has increased 27 percent between 2001 and 2006. Therefore,
                       First Step Fund was very excited about developing a relationship with the Rhode Island
                       Small Business Development Center (SBDC) using the Primer Paso (literally “First Step”)
                       FastTrac program. According to Tomas Avila, the SBDC business coordinator and course
                       administrator, Primer Paso “brings with it the whole structure, all the steps necessary to do
 2007 Annual Report
                                                                                                                        Page 11

the feasibility plan prior to going into the business plan.” He realized that
because of language barriers and other factors, many savvy Latino
entrepreneurs weren’t getting the education and skills they needed
to succeed in their businesses. Avila emphasizes that new business
owners need to learn to be “masters of everything, as opposed to
being masters of the one position they held as employees.” When
he brought the Primer Paso classes to his clients, he estimated that
52% of business-owning participants enhanced their existing busi-
nesses and that 30% of those who wanted to start a business were
able to do so, using the confidence and knowledge they gained.
Many of them are learning to save money for start-up costs instead
of going into debt, and a recent class of 12 graduates was able to
secure more than $200,000 in capital. The Association of Small             Class in session for participants in a Primer Paso FastTrac
Business Development Centers (ASBDC) recently awarded Avila with              class conducted by the Rhode Island Small Business
the 2007 ASBDC Rhode Island State Star for his efforts in bringing                            Development Center.
Primer Paso to Latino clients.

             Nearly 200 organizations in 43 states are currently certified by First Step Fund to deliver the
               First Step FastTrac and Developing Your Family Child Care Business curricula. More than
                                    3,800 individuals were trained by these sites in 2007.

Developing Your Family Child Care Business™ Site
Louisiana State University (LSU) AgCenter at LSU, Baton Rouge, LA
As a result of damage caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, eight coastal parishes in Louisiana suffered extensive
losses and business interruption. Many experienced child care providers left the state when their homes were destroyed.
Of those who remained, a large number were having difficulty returning to operations because they lacked adequate funds
                                                             to repair centers or homes. To obtain funding, they needed a busi-
                                                             ness plan, which few had. At the same time, key businesses nec-
                                                             essary for re-building the overall economy in the parishes were
                                                             finding it difficult to attract a workforce because of the shortage of
                                                             quality child care for families with young children. In February
                                                             2007, the Louisiana Department of Social Services (using grant
                                                             funds), in partnership with LSU AgCenter’s Family and Consumer
                                                             Sciences Program, instituted the Louisiana Child Care Recovery,
                                                             Entrepreneurship and Training (LACCRET) Program. Using the De-
                                                             veloping Your Family Child Care Business curricula, a program was
                                                             implemented to focus on resolving these issues. As of July 2007,
                                                             approximately 350 people have participated in the LACCRET Pro-
  Developing Your Family Child Care Business class graduates gram. Multiple classes have been held across the parishes to
         through Louisiana State University AgCenter.        date, with graduates beginning to open or re-open family child care
                                                             homes and centers. Classes continue to be held and are seen as
                                                             an integral part of the re-building efforts in Louisiana.
                     2007 Annual Report                                                                               Page 12

                    2007 Financial Highlights
                                                               Participant Fees and
                                        Subcontracts &                  Dues
Full audited                                                            1%
                                        Fees-for-Service                          Other
financial                                     4%                                   1%
statements as
completed by Ifft                                 7%
& Company,                                                                                Grants & Contributions
                                      Curricula Sales
Chartered,                                                                                        58%
Certified Public
Accountants, are
available upon
request.            Grants & Contributions                               334,151
                    Curricula Sales                                      168,140
                    In-kind                                                  40,670
                    Subcontracts & Fees-for-Service                          24,879
                    Participant Fees and Dues                                  5,993
                    Other                                                      7,721
                    Total Revenue for 2007                               581,554*
                    *Restricted carryover from 2006 was also released and covered a portion of 2007 expenses.

                                                             Operating Costs
                                                                                                    Local Salaries & Benefits

                                         Program Contractors

                                            Direct Programming
                                                   Expenses                                   National Salaries &
                                                       16%                                         Benefits
                    Local Salaries & Benefits                             212,683
                    National Salaries & Benefits                          165,068
                    Direct Programming Expenses                           109,768
                    Program Contractors                                      97,937
                    Operating Costs                                          99,029
                    Total Expenses for 2007                               684,485
 2007 Annual Report                                                                                            Page 13

New Donors in 2007 - Thank You!
American Association of University Women, Kansas City, Missouri, Branch, Nettie Irene
Van Der Veer Wagy Fund (a charitable trust of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation)
This contribution was for the “License to Succeed” program, a brand new program that pro-
vides small amounts of money to graduates of the Family Child Care Entrepreneurship course
to meet state licensing requirements. Becoming licensed will significantly boost graduates’
earnings potential. During the 2008 pilot year, First Step Fund hopes to prove the success of
this endeavor for future prospective funders.                                                         First Step Fund
                                                                                                      clients benefit
Bank of America Foundation
2008 will be First Step Fund’s year for capacity-building, kicked off with this substantial gift of   each year through
technical assistance from Bank of America Foundation. In March 2008, an evaluation consult-           strategic
ant team will begin to analyze program evaluation processes and help develop an improved
evaluation system. A portion of these funds will also be used to subscribe to the Biz-Trakker         investments made
client database to improve client outcomes tracking.                                                  by generous

Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD)                                                        donors. Continued
This gift from CCHD was used to expand the two-year old HP Microenterprise Acceleration               support by these
Program (MAP). MAP is designed to increase client access to critical business technology,
including computer training and loaned laptops with which they may test business software             contributors is
applications. This key gift from CCHD allowed First Step Fund to expand free computer instruc-        critical to the
tion for its clients.
                                                                                                      sustainability of
Francis Family Foundation                                                                             programming.
Through this generous grant, the Francis Family Foundation helped fund business training for
home-based child care providers and the adaptation of the Developing Your Family Child Care           However, new
Business™ curriculum to include a new audience—early childhood center directors. Thanks to            donors are also
their support, this industry-specific, adapted curriculum will help fill the business practices
training gap for both home- and center-based early childhood care and education providers.            required to grow
                                                                                                      programming and
Janice C. Kreamer Community Fund (Greater Kansas City Community Foundation)
For years, First Step Fund staff tracked donor and constituent records on spreadsheets, which         build
was fine given a few hundred records but not for a current mailing list of 2,000 people.              organizational
Thanks to this capacity-building grant for donor software and training, First Step Fund pur-
chased its first donor/constituent database which will enhance the cultivation of relationships       capacity.
with a more diverse array of funders.

Taylor S. & Patti H. Abernathy Charitable Trust (Bank of America, Trustee)
This gift will support the cost of a website overhaul. Consultants will assist with the redesign
and new website implementation during the spring of 2008. When completed, the new site will
vastly improve client access to services and communication with other constituents.

RubinBrown Charitable Foundation
This generous unrestricted gift supported First Step Fund’s goal of fostering economic self-
sufficiency through entrepreneurship training, access to capital and ongoing support.
                       2007 Annual Report                                                                      Page 14

                      2007 Donors
                      Nellie Abernathy                                    Janice C. Kreamer Community Fund (Greater
                      Taylor S. & Patti H. Abernathy Charitable Trust          Kansas City Community Foundation)
                            (Bank of America, Trustee)                    David Long
                      American Association of University Women,           Edwin T. Lowndes
                            Kansas City, Missouri, Branch, Nettie Irene   Robert D. Mayer
                            Van Deer Wagy Fund (a charitable trust of     Barbara Millard
                            the Greater Kansas City Community Foun-       Frank O. Oligbo
                            dation)                                       Operating Sooner (Becky Rawls-Riley)
                      Association for Enterprise Opportunity              Oppenstein Brothers Foundation
                      Bank Midwest                                        Port Authority/Ameristar-Isle of Capri Economic
                      Bank of America Foundation                               Advancement Fund
                      Cheryl Bisbee                                       Susan Ray
                      Brotherhood Bank                                    RLS Illumination Fund
None of First Step    Malinda Bryan-Smith                                 Peter J. Roszel
                      Citi Foundation – Women and Company®                RubinBrown Charitable Foundation
Fund’s services
                      Country Club Bank                                   Joe D. Schoonover
would be possible     Catholic Campaign for Human Development             Alan M. Schumacher
                      Entrepreneur Assistance Corporation                 Dierdra L. Singleton
without the           Financial Alliance (Daniele F. Finnell)             SkillBuilders Fund
support of others     Vanessa Finley                                      Union Bank
                      Francis Family Foundation                           Robin Wells
in the community.     Fredrick W. Griffin                                 Kimberly Masters Wilkinson
                      Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Thank you to all of
the partners who
contribute time,
                      2007 Volunteers
                      Nellie Abernathy *                 Yolanda Harness *                Brett Osborn
expertise,            Lynn Alexander                     Jeremey Hegle                    John M. Pajor
funding, and          Curtis Atchley                     Brad Hirni                       Marilyn Brooks Penn
                      Sherri Becker                      Kim Ho                           Ann Petersen-Myers
other resources to    Cheryl Bisbee                      Ed Huwaldt                       Rhonda Raglon
                      Janet Blauvelt                     Sharon Irvin *                   Becky Rawls-Riley
make all of First
                      Kathy Boas                         Monica Johnston                  Elizabeth Reefer
Step Fund’s           LeDrue Bolder *                    Inez Kaiser                      Randy Richardson
                      Malinda Bryan-Smith                Craig Kirchner                   Julie Riddle
programs              Jacqueline Buycks *                Rebecca Koop *                   Debbie Roberts
possible!             Sandi Campbell *                   Lori Kravets                     Pat Ross *
                      Angela Castro *                    Michael Kruse                    Peter Roszel
                      Cathleen Connealy                  Chris LeBeau                     Joe Schoonover
                      Patty Cook                         David Long                       Al Schumacher
                      Karen Dabson                       Linda Lowenstein                 Jennabeth Settle
                      Cheryl DeAngelo                    Edwin T. Lowndes                 Judith Sharp
                      Kevin Dervin                       Evelyn Maddox                    Dotti Shomin *
                      Marylou DeWald                     Kim Malcolm                      Pam Singleton
                      Roosevelt Draine                   Robert Mayer                     Betsy Slosar
                      Kate Duffy                         Carrie McDonald                  Ann Suellentrop *
                      Dwight Elliott                     Darcy McGrath                    Carol Taylor *
                      Ivan Fenwick                       Kristine McKinley                Dorothy Thurman *
                      Lisa Fickenscher                   Barbara Millard                  Lillie M. Triplett *
                      Daniele Finnell *                  Christina I. Miller              Valerie Tucker-Blackwell
                      Pola Firestone                     Marquita Miller                  Liz VanNote
                      Edwina Fountain-Jones              Anabelle Minniefield             Paul Weber
                      Necia Gamby                        Dianna Moore                     Robin Wells
                      Carman Gilmore *                   Mary Kay VanBuskirk Morrow *     Lonnie J. Williams
                      Theresa Gorman *                   Maria Navarette                  Marva Wills *
                      Frederick Griffin                  Pam Newman                       Becky S. Wilson
                      Gena Gunn                          Bart Nichols                     Eileen Wolfington
                      Steve Hall                         Kristi Nimmo                     J. Wayne Zimmer
                      Linda Harbin *                     Frank Oligbo

                      * First Step Fund Graduate
2007 Annual Report                                                                                     Page 15

2007 Board of Directors
     Edwin T. Lowndes                               Malinda Bryan-Smith
     Housing Authority of Kansas City, MO           SBDC, Johnson County Community College

     Vice President                                 Edwina Fountain-Jones
     Alan M. Schumacher                             Small Business Division —City of Kansas City, MO
     Union Bank                                     Frederick W. Griffin
     Secretary                                      The Kingdom Financial Group
     Becky Rawls-Riley                              David Long
     Operating Sooner, Inc.                         Heartland Business Capital
     Treasurer                                      Barbara Millard
     Peter J. Roszel                                Johnson County Community College
     First National Bank of Johnson County
                                                    Frank O. Oligbo
     Immediate Past President                       M&I Bank
     Jacqueline Buycks (First Step Fund Graduate)
     Big Momma’s Rolls                              Joe D. Schoonover
                                                    Brotherhood Bank & Trust
     President Emeritus
     Robert D. Mayer                                Lillie M. Triplett (First Step Fund Graduate)
     MR Capital                                     Hallelujah Boutique of Alt’ns and Sewing School

     Nellie Abernathy (First Step Fund Graduate)    Robin Wells
     The Abernathy Home Day Care                    Country Club Bank

     Cheryl Bisbee
     H&R Block

2007 Staff and Program Contractors
     Executive Director                             Program Contractors
     Vanessa Finley                                 First Step FastTrac Coaches
                                                      Don Baston
     Staff                                            Sherri Becker
     Beth Benzinger                                   Kathy Boas
     Community Developer                              Frank Clay
     (AmeriCorps*VISTA)                               Ramona Davis
                                                      Edwina Fountain-Jones
     Dorothy Browning                                 Necia Gamby
     National Curricula Manager                       Steve Hall
                                                      Ed Huwaldt
     Judy Bumpus                                      Tricia King
     Program Manager
                                                      Linda Lowenstein
     Kelly Henning                                    Patti Maxwell
     Client Services Coordinator                      Mary Kay VanBuskirk Morrow

     JoLee Juergens                                 First Step FastTrac Facilitators
     Administrative Assistant                         Marylou Dewald
                                                      Kate Duffy
     Susan Ray                                        Valerie Tucker-Blackwell
     Resource Developer
                                                    Family Child Care Entrepreneur Training Instructors
     Candi Smith                                      Judy Bumpus
     National Curricula Assistant                     Rose Munoz
 First Step Fund

 4747 Troost Avenue
 Suite 218
 Kansas City, MO 64110

 Phone: 816-235-6116
 Fax: 816-235-6162
 E-mail: info@firststepfund.org
 Local website: www.firststepfund.org
 National website (for curriculum distribution):

 Fostering economic self-
 sufficiency through

                              Become a Friend of First Step Fund

                         You are invited to become a Friend of First Step Fund! Friends are individuals
                                                   who make contributions of $25 or more to help us
                                                      train and support local microentrepreneurs.

                                  To let us know that you wish to become a Friend of First Step Fund,
                           please write “Friend” in the memo section of your check or send us a note.
                                                                      Thank you!

                                     First Step Fund, 4747 Troost Avenue, Suite 218, Kansas City, Missouri 64110
Phone: 816.235.6116, Fax: 816-235-6162, E-mail: info@firststepfund.org, Websites: www.firststepfund.org and www.firststepfasttrac.org

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