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Words of an Entrepreneur: Barbara Luna

December 23rd, 2020

My name is Barbara Luna. My husband, Jon, and I own 2 businesses. 

I am founder of 501c3 nonprofit Detroit’s Neighborhood Comeback Development. Our mission is to rebuild underserved communities to empower, educate and foster economic growth. We rehab houses a block at a time.

Currently, we have 3 houses being rehabbed to do supportive housing for homeless female veterans on a street we have had many social achievements on (such as starting a block group, repaving the street, starting a community garden, planting 20 trees, etc). 

The ProsperUs entrepreneurship program helped breakdown and organize my business plan. The 1-on-1 mentorship with Marcus was so productive. I learned so much. 

To accomplish these goals we had to plan, execute and fund it ourselves. This naturally affected our household income, as it does with most startup businesses. When we met Crystal King, I was excited to get to work with her. She helped my husband and I get on the same page, understand how credit works, taught us what our monthly/annual expenses were, what a budget is, how to budget for those day to day/annual expenses and how to be in control of our debt. At that time our debt had control of us. We have a very fluctuating income and she helped us set up goals to pay off debts and raise our credit scores. Within 6 months we paid off 11 debts! Our monthly minimum income takes care of our bills and day to day expenses. In the 18 years my husband and I have been together that has never happened! What a huge relief to relax on the 1st of the month. 

From the examples and lessons we recently learned, we were able to teach our 17 year old son so he could move out on his own. He understands how credit and a 401k works, buying assets and stocks, and how assets can add to your net worth. 

My daughter Samantha is 12 and started her own business in 2019 selling bottled mint lemonade at the farmers’ market. She too has an understanding of how credit works, how to [save], pay and budget for expenses.  

Crystal has been our family financial coach directly and indirectly. She simplified the process so well I was able to do it, communicate and guide my children into a better financial jumpstart than I had at their age. This is how we build generational financial literacy and wealth in an underserved community. Thank you!

Barbara Luna

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