An Opportunity Fund Loan Helps Footy Factory Continue to Give Every Kid a Chance
Soccer enthusiast Sean Afkhaminia is the CEO and Technical Director for Dallas-based Footy Factory, which he founded in 2014 after graduating from West Texas A&M University. “I’ve always wanted to work for myself,” says Sean. “Soccer is my passion. I found a way to combine business with what I love.”
Footy Factory has seven professional coaches on board and offers year-round camps and training programs for youth players, plus competitive youth teams and a men’s professional team. It also provides competitive academy teams fully-funded through sponsorships and donations.
“We aim to create a free academy to give kids of all socioeconomic backgrounds an equal opportunity to develop their talent and rise to the top. We’re providing a direct path from the grassroots recreational level to the top professional ranks. That doesn’t happen anywhere else, where any kid can get an equal chance. There is a lot of talent out there that goes unnoticed. We’re trying to tap into that and let the best, most deserving kids earn their opportunity,” explains Sean.
As Footy Factory grew, Sean had to keep up with the demands of everyday operations. He needed a small business loan to help with operating expenses. “The $19,000 loan from Opportunity Fund gave us breathing room,” Sean said. “It helped pay for our coaches and facility. All this helps us legitimize our business and continue to grow. It was an investment in future success.”
The loan provides what Sean needs to run the academy so that he can focus on making an impact in the community. Footy Factory’s reach extends to helping area coaches find employment. His staff of six coaches came to the company because they believe in the mission, to provide more opportunities for young soccer players by adding teams to the academy. Eventually, Sean hopes to open a separate training facility.
Sean was referred to Opportunity Fund by partner LendingClub. The connection to affordable capital made a huge difference for Sean, as a first-time entrepreneur without many resources for business lending. “Opportunity Fund was my only option,” Sean says. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to fund some of our daily operations and help develop our quality coaching staff.”