Since the Kiva Pittsburgh initiative launched, over $2 million in interest-free Kiva micro-loans have supported businesses in the Pittsburgh region. These loans went to businesses that may not have otherwise had access to capital to launch or grow, many of which were new businesses and/or owned by individuals from disadvantaged groups (63% women & 62% minorities). Riverside Center for Innovation is proud to work with Kiva to bring dollars to the Pittsburgh economy and investment to these local businesses, and we look forward to the next million!
Click through the slides to discover the Kiva stories of six entrepreneurs whose first loans helped us to reach the $2 million mark and crowdfunded a second loan in the last month, kicking off our journey to the next million!
Concrete Rose Construction is beautifying communities one project at a time.
Tina Daniels is founder and owner of the minority- and woman-owned full-service construction company dedicated to residential builds and rehabilitations in Pittsburgh and surrounding Allegheny County.
“We do foundations to roofs and everything in between,” Tina says. “We can gut it down to the studs and build it all the way back up.”
For Tina, it’s all about bringing every detail of her client’s vision to life.
“I have the ability to ask people, ‘What is your vision? At the end of this, what do you want to get? What experience are you looking for? How do you want to feel about what you’re looking at when we’re done?’”
The name Concrete Rose Construction embodies a woman-owned strength unique to Tina’s business.
“I wanted something delicate to showcase that I’m a woman-owned business, but also that I’m strong and can handle the industry,” Tina says. “I understand making things beautiful and the strength to make it happen.”
Tina first worked a career in healthcare for over 20 years while doing small construction jobs on the side. Spending part of her career in a corporate setting, Tina endured the challenges Black women face in the workplace.
“It’s so much harder, and I got so burnt out and I said, you know what, I’m not doing this anymore,” Tina says.
She took the leap to pursue her own path. In taking a year to explore her options, Tina was pulled back to the one thing she always enjoyed: Construction.
“Construction was the way to go because I was already doing work like that for years on the side,” Tina says. “As I was trying to figure out what idea I can move from concept to creation, it was just a natural transition for me to do what I’ve been doing.”
Tina participated in a program through the Hill CDC that segued to RCI’s BizFIT program.
“I cannot put enough emphasis on how RCI has helped me to design the infrastructure in my company to win,” Tina says. “BizFIT was the blueprint to success. They taught us everything, and they put us in front of people we would never have been able to get in front of without them.”
Tina also credits her continued success to RCI’s ongoing support through email communication, networking events, and other opportunities.
“They streamline the process of the grind,” she says. “They all go so hard for small businesses. I have never met people with passion like them.”
One way Concrete Rose Construction carries out their mission is through partnerships designed to help longtime residents of revitalized neighborhoods stay in their homes.
Major development in Pittsburgh has pushed wealth into communities that were seemingly forgotten. But when wealth pushes existing residents out, communities are left to face the unwelcome side effects of gentrification.
By working with entities like the URA, Hill CDC, and Hazelwood Initiative, Concrete Rose Construction builds neighborhoods up while keeping them affordable.
Concrete Rose Construction participated in the URA’s Roof-A-Thon, replacing the roofs of 40 homeowners who could not afford repairs. They also work with the URA's LandCare program to maintain URA-owned lots, and with other neighborhood rehab to resale programs like the Hill CDC’s.
Tina’s team also works with entities to rehab homes that are owner-occupied, so homeowners don’t have to move despite not having funds for upkeep.
“By doing these partnerships, you have the opportunity to make housing that remains affordable while also beautifying the neighborhood,” Tina says. “These programs are designed to keep people who grew up in these communities, in these communities while still building them back up.”
Like many, COVID-19 halted Concrete Rose Construction in March. But Tina pivoted to continue work through a smaller division of her business: Concrete Rose Landscaping.
“Landscaping was still considered essential,” she says, referring to COVID-19 related business guidelines. “So, I thought if I did a little landscaping division with commercial contracts, I could still create something and still create some jobs.”
While Concrete Rose Landscaping is not her main focus, Tina plans to keep it going for commercial contracts only while focusing primarily on construction.
Tina says now, she’s working more than ever.
“I’m working from a place of abundance,” she says. “I love all of my projects so much. There’s a little something in each one that I just love about it, because they all teach you something.”
Contact Concrete Rose Construction at https://www.concreteroseconstruction.com/ or like Concrete Rose Construction on Facebook and follow @concreteroseconstruction on Instagram.
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