The Role of Hard Work, Saving and CAAB's IDAs in the Launch of a Photography Business in Washington, DC
Dion King always had a dream: to be his own boss and open his business. In late 2012, that dream became a reality as Dion launched his photography company in Washington, DC: King D Photography.
"The biggest challenge I faced when I launched King D Photography was not having access to money to buy the type of equipment I knew I needed in order to satisfy my clients' demands," said Dion King. "I wanted my clients to have access to great quality work. I know that if I do a good job they will treasure those photographs because they highlight major events in their lives like weddings, pregnancies, birthday parties as well as corporate events. In order to do this you need to have the right equipment. I couldn't afford the equipment or get a loan from a bank."
Dion was able to launch his business thanks to his entrepreneurial vision and hard work and the money from his Individual Development Account (IDA) from Capital Area Asset Builders (CAAB). While Dion had the aspiration of buying professional camera and flash equipment to take high quality pictures at his client events, he was still short of the necessary amount of money to buy the right type of professional equipment. When Dion learned of CAAB's Matched Savings Program he felt it could be the solution to his problem. "I was extremely fortunate to learn about CAAB and the IDAs because it gave me a chance to save, get a match and achieve my goal."
In the Spring of 2012, Dion learned of CAAB's IDAs through the Project Empowerment Program of the District of Columbia Government's Department of Employment Services. "Project Empowerment was helping me deal with overcoming employment barriers. While I was taking care of that aspect of my life, I also wanted to launch my business to have access to other sources of income." Dion approached CAAB, went through the application process and was told he qualified for opening an IDA. Immediately after opening his account in May 2012, Dion started saving money on a monthly basis. Eventually he saved enough money to qualify for the full match of $4,000 to be used for expenses associated with King D Photography. While Dion saved money in his IDA, he also received additional support, orientation and financial education from CAAB. "CAAB's financial education classes taught me to budget and save. This was very important for me and for my business."
Besides growing his business in the Greater DC Area and the Mid Atlantic region, Dion also has a vision and a game plan to launch a non-profit organization in Washington, DC to work with at-risk youth to provide them with life skills and personal development. "I believe that if at one point in your life you received help from someone or if you get blessings, then it's our responsibility to give back to others."