According to the 2015 State of Women Owned Business Report, San Antonio is the number one place for women entrepreneurs to start a business, and Texas ranks second in the nation for fastest growth in women owned businesses.
For Maxine Dickson, owner of 2TheMax in San Antonio, catering is more than a business — it’s a way to positively impact lives and create new opportunities in her community. Maxine’s creativity and passion for food inspired her to enter the kitchen nearly a decade ago. In 2014, Maxine opened 2TheMax, as a business that would allow people to experience great service, high-quality foods, and be a part of special life milestones. As a young chef and part-time student, she struggled to pay for new business costs. She soon approached LiftFund, where she was approved for a $5,000 Promise Loan, which allowed her to get the necessary permits, licenses, certifications, and website and marketing materials for her business.
“LiftFund helped me get started; they helped me find the Women’s Business Center (WBC), Launch SA, SBA workshops, ” and Break Fast & Launch, Maxine said. “I found the support, the funds and resources that could [positively] impact us as a business.” Maxine recently secured an additional $15,000 loan with LiftFund, which helped her to purchase new kitchen equipment as she looks for her first storefront location. She continues to consult with the WBC on financial matters and guidance for her business growth.
“It’s like family,” Maxine said, describing LiftFund’s business support programs through the WBC and Launch SA. “They have helped so many businesses, but their network also encourages giving back … Helping out and giving back is a part of my business and who I am.”
Maxine often donates catering leftovers to local organizations such as the San Antonio AIDS Foundation and Haven for Hope, and she is looking to collaborate with other chefs and industry professionals to make a bigger impact. She hopes to soon create new job opportunities that will train, educate and pay individuals as they gain professional certifications.
“At times [the food industry] can be kind of cutthroat, but during my time [working with SBA programs], I’ve realized that there’s enough for everybody,” she added. “If we work together, we can [go] further.”