After years of following her passion for patient care for older people, Aysha Cooper was determined to find a way to meet the needs of a vulnerable community in Snellville, Georgia.
Aysha had been close to her grandfather while he was suffering from Alzheimer’s. That experience helped her realize the common challenges facing many elderly patients, and fanned her desire to pursue a career in an often-overlooked industry. After earning a degree in public health, in 2010 she opened a local branch of SarahCare, a national elder-care company that provides a range of medical, social, and related services to older adults.
SarahCare of Snellville was at capacity in no time. Aysha needed financing to grow, but traditional lenders said no. In the end, she got a $10,000 loan from Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE) that helped her buy a 12-person passenger van to shuttle patients to and from the center and on outings, as well as hire new staff.
“I could not have done this without the loan from ACE.” – Aysha Cooper
(Date of loan: 2010. Date of story publication: 2013)