Impact Stories

Small Business. Big Impact. 

We are proud of our clients who add vibrancy to our communities while creating a pathway to prosperity for themselves, their families and their employees. 


At LiftFund 86% of our clients are entrepreneurs of color, 40% are women and 26% are startups contributing to the local economy and making a difference in their communities. 


Read about our clients’ entrepreneurial journey and get inspired by their passion, commitment and resiliency. 

Gilberto De Hoyos

Barrio Barista

Gilberto De Hoyos and his son, Gilbert De Hoyos Jr., are the duo behind Barrio Barista, a coffee shop in San Antonio’s West Side. As the name suggests, barrio means neighborhood in English, serving the community where they grew up and feel at home is one of the founding concepts of the café. According to the De Hoyos, “bonding with people is the key to success and coffee is the best way to do that.”

Barrio Barista is loc…

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Women Owned

Elizabeth Ciarfeo

Brick at Blue Star Arts Complex

The arts have always been at the center of Elizabeth Ciarfeo’s life. After receiving a business and arts degree from Trinity University and developing extensive experience in the arts sector, Elizabeth realized she could use her business acumen to help artists bring their ideas and concepts to life. However, it was not until she was responsible for producing a nonprofit event for the Artist Foundation that her true calling,…

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Dr. Andre Xavier Smith

Eastside Christian Dental Clinic

Dr. Andre Smith grew up in a low-income neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland. His mother passed away when he was only 10 years old, leaving behind a family of nine children. Due to hardship in the area, Smith says that crime was one of the most appealing routes in his community; however, he chose a different path by joining the military.

After 24 long years of serving his country,Smith looked around his San Antoniocommuni…

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Motina Young

CIA Media Group

At CNote, we consider ourselves to be the CDFI industry’s biggest cheerleader. Then we met Montina Young.

When Montina was just 18 months old, her mother abandoned her. She was raised by an aunt, but she ended up homeless when she was 16 years old. Still, Montina managed to get her GED, and she hasn’t looked back since. Professionally, Montina has done a little bit of everything over the course of her career. While she s…

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Naomi J Hardy

Dunamis Transition Solutions

 Solopreneur, Naomi J Hardy, is passionate about people and enjoys managing relationships during change, guiding business owners and their employees during uncertain times. 

A native Louisianan, Naomi grew up in a large family pushing her to learn and manage different personalities, “My family is a close-knit family where cousins are like sisters and brothers; aunts and uncles are like second parents. So, I gre…

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Kassandra Torres

Mírame Boutique

From a young age, Kassandra Torres had a passion for fashion and design. After years of working jobs to help support her husband and four children, Kassandra was ready to fulfill her lifelong dream of running a boutique that helped others look their best. Kassandra attempted to launch an online clothing store in 2017, but she closed it within a year to focus on her family and demanding full-time job. When COVID hit Mercedes…

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