Financial Empowerment Program Helps Dream Become Reality

“When you look good, you feel good. And when you feel good, you do good,” Jacqueline Biven stated. She knows that to be true.

A long-time, proud resident of the Portland neighborhood in Louisville, Biven’s dream of owning her own hair and nail salon is now squarely in her sights. One thing is clear: No obstacle can prevent Jacqueline Biven from that dream.

Last summer, Biven was between jobs and described herself as without direction. A single mother of three, she had fallen on difficult financial and personal issues that caused “a snowball of struggles,” as Biven described. However, in June of last year, she decided to take matters into her own hands and received financial guidance from Metro United Way’s Financial Empowerment pilot program, other programs and classes through Jewish Family & Career Services (JFCS) and Neighborhood House. She was also connected with Dan Heffernan, former director of the Navigate Enterprise Center for JFCS, to help mentor her through the entire journey to financial stability and business ownership. He gave her a checklist of four goals that were essential to achieve before opening her own business:

  • Get a job
  • Open a checking and savings account at a bank
  • File for bankruptcy
  • Rebuild credit

Jacqueline has accomplished all of those goals and more. She now works full-time at a salon, has completed the bankruptcy process, has active bank accounts and is rebuilding her credit daily. She has also submitted detailed business plan and floor plan ideas to Heffernan to refine the business details and secure a loan prior to launching.

Biven also wants to show her pride for her neighborhood and community in the salon she opens with plans to make the décor focus on the history of Portland. “Hard working, genuine people are the heart and soul of the area.” She wants to honor the area while being a part of the visible, positive change happening. With more stable finances and a solid plan to open her salon, Jacqueline Biven has created a more stable home for her children and a brighter future for herself, her children and the community as a whole!


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