Shaniqua Hopkins – 7th Dream Helping Hearts

The strong life experiences that Shaniqua Hopkins has, led her to develop a project to support young girls who have lived in foster care homes and are pregnant. This gave rise to 7th Dream Helping Hearts, a non-profit organization located in Laveen, AZ. 

Teenage Pregnancy 

Shaniqua lived in foster care from the age of 8 months until she was 15 years old. After escaping, getting into trouble, and living on the streets, she became pregnant at the age of 15. It was her enrollment in a school for teenage mothers that changed her life. 


In September 2022, 7th Dream Helping Hearts officially started as a non-profit organization that provides resources and products to pregnant teenage girls. They offer free services such as food, diapers, clothing, mentorship, and support groups. 

Life-Changing Events 

Over the past two years, they have helped dozens of individuals through various community activities, such as backpack giveaways, assistance in finding housing, and their flagship program, “Mom and Me,” where they promote visits to museums and parks to strengthen the bond between mothers and children and enhance the psychosocial development of minors. 

Partnerships and Volunteering 

Currently, the organization relies solely on volunteers and partnerships with other non-profit organizations. Their goal is to obtain funds through donations to help a greater number of girls who have lived or are living in temporary foster care and are going through pregnancy. 

Relationship with Prestamos CDFI 

7th Dream Helping Hearts has received support in business mentoring and administrative counseling, including courses, marketing strategies, networking with other organizations, and assistance with a classroom to provide training for the girls. 

Tina Santos – Luz de Luna Reception Hall

Tina’s journey began when she first arrived in the United States as an immigrant from Mexico. With no knowledge of English, no formal immigration status, and no friends or family to rely on, she was faced with the daunting challenge of adapting to a new culture and way of life. Years rolled by, and Tina’s journey took her from the hotel’s cleaning staff to the event department, where she honed her skills in the art of hospitality.

Her story took a significant turn during the early months of the 2020 pandemic when she lost her job. With newfound free time, Tina decided to seize the opportunity to work on her long-cherished dream of starting her own business. Tina connected with organizations like Prestamos WBC, where she met the Program Director, Laura Suarez. There, she spoke with Gabriel Gasca about the Maricopa County 1% loan program and how it could be a game-changer for her.

Through Prestamos WBC, Tina embarked on the DreamBuilder Academy course, guided by the experienced instructor Manny Lucero. This was the pivotal moment in her entrepreneurial journey when she created a solid business plan, a crucial step towards her dream. With the DreamBuilder Academy course and Manny Lucero’s invaluable support, Tina was well-equipped to successfully apply and obtain the Maricopa County 1% loan.

Reflecting on her journey, Tina said, “The Maricopa County loan was the best thing that could have happened to me. It allowed me to sign a three-year commercial contract and buy equipment. My process to receive the Maricopa County 1% loan was relatively easy, and behind this was an entire team dedicated to completing each step. I am entirely grateful for Prestamos.”

As a BIPOC person and immigrant, she had to work doubly hard to learn English and secure her legal residency status. Once she achieved these milestones, her character and determination became her driving force.

Throughout the challenges she faced during the pandemic, Prestamos not only supported her professionally but also personally. She is now determined to create job opportunities in her community, offer people the resources they need to start their own businesses, and give back in a way that embodies her gratitude. “I want to give back the help I received with my business,” she said, highlighting her commitment to uplifting others.”

Cristina Sanchez – Corn El Compadre

A Mexican family tradition crossed the border and has become a successful business selling corn and Chihuahua-style esquites. Cristina Sanchez and her husband began to sell corn cocktails, as they call them, among acquaintances and friends, but they did not imagine that It would lead them to create their own company.

Corn “El Compadre” is a business that emerged a year ago to meet the demand for esquites at events and birthdays. It has been such a success that a couple of months ago they had to formally register the business.

The success of the esquites

Esquites are a Mexican snack that consists of corn grains prepared with cream, cheese, chile, and lime. It is sold in all the states of Mexico and Cristina Sánchez makes them with her husband’s family recipe. The esquites are usually consumed in public places like parks and churches, but the Sanchez family prepares them to take to private parties in Phoenix.

Next challenge

For Corn “El Compadre” it’s next step is to open its own place so that the public who wants to consume esquites in the Phoenix area does not have to wait for a party or public event. At this moment they are working on the search for a place and developing the business plan.

The impact of the WBC

Cristina Sanchez learned about the Women’s Business Center (WBC) through the Mexican Consulate. She enrolled in the Dream Builder program and later in the business mentoring group. “I’ve loved it, they make you see things you don’t know, a lot of support and learning, I feel more prepared than before,” said this entrepreneur on her experience with Prestamos CDFI.

The support of Prestamos CDFI 

Mrs. Sánchez says she is very grateful for all the services and information she received through the various small business support programs from Prestamos CDFI. They helped her develop a business plan and register her LLC at no cost to her. She learned to plan her day-to-day, manage her emotions and balance her work and family time. She is already considering applying for a business loan.

Create Financial Independence

Would you like to learn more about financial security?

Join us for an engaging workshop designed to help you with your 2022 financial goal planning.

We’ll provide information to help you understand your current needs and empower you to make informed financial decisions.

Topics we’ll discuss include:

  • Financial Goals
  • Risk Management
  • Retirement Planning
  • Estate Planning

Register at:

Date: February 8th 2022

Time: 10 am – 11:30 am

This event will be in-person, our address is:

1008 E. Buckeye Road, Suite 215

Phoenix, AZ 85034

Create Financial Independence 2-8-22

Prestamos WBC Orientation

Join us for the Prestamos Women’s Business Center’s orientation where you’ll learn more about our

  1. Business education programs,
  2. How to enroll in our programs, and
  3. How they can help you start or expand your business, our consultation services, and more.

Orientation is offered every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month

February 2022 orientations will be on Feb. 8th and Feb. 22nd

Register HERE for either.

Cómo Preparase para un Préstamo

En este taller de 4 sesiones aprenderá a través de las diferentes clases a cómo tramitar un préstamo para su pequeño negocio. Junto con un representante de Prestamos, se cubrirán paso a paso los diferentes requisitos necesarios para obtener un préstamo. Durante este periodo, usted aprenderá los términos y documentación básicos, junto con la oportunidad de tramitar su préstamo.

Este taller es en persona**. Cupo limitado.

fechas y tiempo:

7 de febrero, 2022

14 de febrero, 2022

21 de febrero, 2022

28 de febrero, 2022

De 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

**Este taller será en persona, si gusta atender virtualmente, déjenos saber en la registración para acomedir.


Latina Entrepreneurship Academy

Female entrepreneurs interested in learning the ins and outs of running their own business are invited to register for our Latina Entrepreneur Academy!

This 7-week, NO-COST, academy is geared towards current or prospective Latina Entrepreneurs and will help you sharpen the skills necessary to run a successful small business in Arizona. Filled with guest speakers, practical tips and tricks, and a graduation ceremony.

The Prestamos Women’s Business Center brings the DreamBuilder program to life. Instructors are business advisors, entrepreneurs, and educators who integrate the DreamBuilder content into applicable, real-world experiences and added knowledge in a 2.5-hour weekly course. This also allows participants to build community, comradery and connections with fellow entrepreneurs. Whether participants are starting a new business, or growing their existing business, the course will bring added value and a new perspective to how to do business as a small business owner.

DreamBuilder consists of 13 courses that are bundled together to create a step-by-step framework for starting a business. Learn the foundations for starting a business: planning, marketing, pricing, management, accounting, managing risk, finding funding, setting goals, and more. At the end of the program, students have a completed business plan.​

This program is designed for women by one of the top business schools in the world, Thunderbird School for Global Management/Arizona State University and FreePort-McMoran.

The class schedule is as follow:

Wednesday’s from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

February 2nd, 2022

February 9th, 2022

February 16th, 2022

February 23rd, 2022

March 2nd, 2022

March 9th, 2022

March 16th, 2022

Address to physical space
1008 E. Buckeye Road, STE 215
Phoenix, AZ 85034
MAX capacity: 30 People

Register HERE

Learn About Prestamos CDFI Loan Opportunities

Join Mark McKenna as he provides helpful information on Prestamos CDFI loan opportunities.

These loans are built to help established and start-up businesses access Working Capital, acquire equipment, assist with commercial real estate, restructure debt, or help with project financing.

Date & Time: January 26th, 9 AM to 10 AM PT AZ

Fee: No cost!

Register HERE


Mark McKenna Business Development Officer, Prestamos CDFI

   Mark’s experience as a professional spans over 25 years in the Financial Services, and Travel Industry. He has proudly served in United States Marine Corps for over 6 years, and is committed to Volunteerism in his community.    

How to Start a New Business

Join Brian J. Burt, from Snell & Wilmer LLP as he speaks on the legal aspects of starting a new business in Arizona.

There are few things as exciting as starting your own business, but is Arizona the place to do it?

Fast Company has previously ranked Arizona #1 in the nation for entrepreneurial activity. Our state ranks fifth for projected job growth according to Kiplinger. In a study recently conducted by a labor-analytics firm Emsi, Maricopa County was recently ranked the top county in the country for attracting and retaining workers. And Chief Executive included Arizona on its Top 10 States for Business list.

Topics for this webinar include:

• Creating a business plan (i.e., how do you make money?)
• Protecting your personal assets by forming a company
• Selecting the right form of entity and creating a company Start-up funding
• What it means to have partners and how to bring them in
• Basic agreements every new business should have
• Developing and protecting your brand
• Building your advisory team

Date: Tuesday 1/25/2022

Time: 5:00 PM

Where: Via ZOOM


Brian J. Burt

Brian J. Burt is a Partner with Snell & Wilmer L.L.P., and serves as Chair of the firm’s Emerging Business Group.   He has been selected for inclusion on the Best Lawyers In America®, Arizona’s Finest Lawyers, and Southwest Super Lawyers® – Southwest Rising Stars lists.  Founded in 1938, Snell & Wilmer is a full-service business law firm, with over 450 attorneys practicing in 15 offices throughout the western United States and Mexico.

Brian is a business lawyer advising entrepreneurs and emerging growth companies in all stages of development, from formation to liquidity. Having previously founded, raised capital for, and run his own company, Brian brings a “real world” perspective to his practice.  Brian received his B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy, summa cum laude, from Allegheny College, where he was class valedictorian and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.  He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he served as Managing Editor of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy.

Brian’s complete bio can be found at: