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Michelle Hirrel_28

As a single, low-income mom with two young daughters and no financial support, Michelle needed to work toward financial freedom with the flexibility to care for her family. She took WEV’s SET course and launched Shell’s Petals in 2005. A year later, she received a WEV loan to stabilize the business, and as her business grew she continued to utilize WEV’s services. She enrolled in Thrive in 2010 returned and received a WEV expansion loan in 2011.  Since first coming to WEV, she has tripled her annual household income. “WEV helped me survive and now they’re helping me grow,” she says. “I’m the first woman in my family able to run my own business and provide for my girls.”

Photography courtesy of Julie Callahan.