Satisfied Customers! Since April 1996!
|Marlene Rush Mackey
Minority Woman Entrepreneur Overcomes Obstacles to Find Success
Regional Success Story of the Year
Atlanta business owner found true success, even after filing
Mrs, Marlene Rush Mackey was forced to begin a new life as a single parent of 2
young children and had serious financial challenges, including facing
foreclosure on her home. After securing a full time job she still found it
impossible to catch up with the mortgage payments, pay for childcare and provide
the bare necessities. After exhausting all her resources, Ms. Rush Mackey filed
for bankruptcy, to save her home and save some money.
her search to obtain suitable childcare, she recognized the need for some type
of true early childhood education as opposed to the television and playground
focused programs being offered. Four months later AFRICARE was opened in the
basement and garage space of her home.
1996, when her youngest child started school, Ms. Rush Mackey decided to do the
same. She graduated with her B.S. in Early Childhood Education in May of 2000
from Kennesaw State University and decided to establish her own school for
children. After locating a building, Ms. Mackey Rush attended her first Atlanta
MBDC seminar on "Starting A Small Business" and begin working with the
MBDC to develop her business plan. Upon initial review of the plan, Clem Wilmot
of the Atlanta MBDC and Marva Bryan of Fulton County Economic Development
realized the building was too close to a correctional facility and needed to be
changed. A new site was identified. Ironically, it was built
by an African-American female educator named Ms. Mabel V. Sullivan in 1976
- the first woman to build and own a private school in the city of Atlanta.
Rush Mackey edited the business plan to include a new building and presented her
package local financial institutions. The first lender told her that it was too
large of an undertaking and too large of a facility, with her limited experience
and another lender told her that they would not even look at her loan
application because she had a bankruptcy.
Comerica Bank in Houston, Texas pre-approved her Small Business
Administration 504 loan package. Repairs began on the 19,406 square foot
facility last August. The new child development center will open once the
upgrades are completed. It will be named Got Kids? and located
at 1581 Fairburn Road in Atlanta.
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