Michelle Harper, Owner of Lima Beans Daycare
"How I started my small business and what it means to me"

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a client story > Lima Beans Daycare

Small Business Loan program overview: In FY2008, our small business loans helped 600 low-income entrepreneurs access business advice and/or capital to pursue their business dreams.

  • 85% business survival rate
  • 2+ jobs created per loan
  • 70% of borrowers report gains in household income


Name: Michelle Harper

Business: Lima Beans Daycare

Loan: $2,500 in 2007 and $5,000 in 2008 to purchase equipment and supplies

Location: Campbell, CA

Children served: 14

Michelle Harper, Founder and Owner of Lima Beans

Michelle was pursuing a degree in social work when her third child was born and she realized that she wanted to be home with her kids. She decided to open an in-home daycare, which would let her stay home while earning an income.

Michelle knew that her credit history wasn’t great, but she followed up on a lead about Opportunity Fund from her daycare licensing agency. Michelle received a $2,500 start-up loan from Opportunity Fund, which she used to buy books, sleeping cots, toys, and paint to create a warm and enriching place for kids.

Lima Beans grew quickly to 14 children in its first year, in part because local schools began referring families from their long waiting lists for after-school care. When Michelle needed to transform her cement backyard into a grassy outdoor play area, she returned to Opportunity Fund for help—and received an additional $5,000 loan.

Business is good for Michelle, and she is hoping to own her own home someday.

While Opportunity Fund is known as a field leader in the growing asset development movement, they should also be recognized as a field builder.
Bob Uyeki, Executive Director,
Y&H Soda Foundation
I want to grow together with Opportunity Fund, not just for the financial support, but for their business advice.
Carole, Proprietor of Eco-Friendly Fashion, Small Business Borrower

Over 30% of Opportunity Fund’s small business loans go to childcare providers, supporting new entrepreneurs while expanding the supply of much-needed quality childcare in low-income communities.

Since 2006, we have provided $800,000 to finance:

  • 100 childcare providers
  • 1,350 new childcare slots