Single moms often bare the burden of supporting an entire family, both at home and on the job. But when New Orleans native Mignon Francois was offered the opportunity to turn her baking talents into a lucrative business, she took the last $5 that she had to feed her family and turned it into a million-dollar company.
From 2005 to 2007, Francois found herself struggling to financially support her family after a Nashville job offer for her then-husband fell through. Fortunately for her, a nearby neighbor knew of her baking talents and offered her what seemed like the opportunity of a lifetime, Black Business reports.
Her neighbor approached her with a cupcake request, ordering 600 total with each priced at $1. Though she knew she only had $5 left to her name, Francois proceeded to purchase the ingredients to start baking at least 60 cupcakes – turning around a $60 profit that same day.
Since then she’s continued to bake and went on to launch her business, The Cupcake Collection — which sells speciality cupcakes and cakes nationwide — that now generates upwards of $1 million each year.
View this post on Instagram
Francois’ journey as a Black woman entrepreneur hasn’t been without its hardships, but with the use of a few budget hacks she’s been able to make the most of her profits.
According to Business Insider, Francois didn’t feel as a Black woman that she had the same access to opportunities in terms of networking and bankers.
“I think a lot of times in my community, we often have been used to rejection from banks,” Francois said to the outlet. “Having my money in a bank account at that time, if I had messed up even a dollar, it would have caused me to get a bank overdraft, which would’ve cost me $30, and then that’s just a vicious cycle of snowballing in a negative way.”
So she skipped out on getting a bank account and credit cards, and took matters into her own hands to implement a money system that divided up her income to pay for monthly expenses.
Business Insider reports that Francois used an envelope system, an emergency fund, a set budget, and a debt snowball method to make sure all of her finances were in order.
Today, Francois uses her story to inspire others and help them achieve their own entrepreneurship goals, serving as both a board member and mentor at Pathways Women’s Business Center and Nashville Entrepreneur Center. She also works with Corner to Corner — a grassroots organization that helps people find their path to business ownership.
Now she uses her cupcake company to fund scholarships at Tennessee State University and also collaborates with other local community organizations that focus on education and food insecurity.
For more information about Francois’ company, The Cupcake Collection, visit its website.