Loan Supports Young Entrepreneur’s Daycare Dreams in Philip
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
A young entrepreneur is pursuing her dream of owning her own daycare business, thanks to the help of a loan from GROW South Dakota.
Hallie Konst was born and raised in Philip, South Dakota. She has always loved children and caring for people. She considered pursuing a teaching degree but opted to study business management because she thought it would translate to a higher paying job after graduation.
In the end, she figured out a way to combine her passion with her schooling by purchasing an existing Philip daycare in 2017 and opening Konst Kids Daycare.
The daycare facility in Philip has been around for nearly two decades — Konst worked there her junior year of high school when it was known as Small Pine Daycare. In 2016, she entered into a contract with the previous owners to operate the business. But she still needed a loan to buy the building.
Konst approached a couple of banks but none were willing to give her the funds she needed. Frustrated by the prospect of losing this opportunity, she pulled up the Small Business Administration website one more time as a “last ditch effort.”
This time, Konst noticed a section where entrepreneurs could tell their stories and get matched with a lender. This final effort paid off. Shortly after she filled out the form, loan officer Rebecca Honl contacted her. And GROW South Dakota was able to help her make her business dream a reality.
“GROW South Dakota was hands-down an answer to prayer for me,” says Konst. “When I received my first phone call, I had been running the daycare for 6 months already via contract with the previous owners and had no idea where I was going to get the money to actually purchase the daycare.”
Konst Kids Daycare is one of only a handful of child care options in the area. Unlike the other businesses, which operate out of local homes, it’s housed in a building that was designed specifically for a daycare.
The business is a licensed group family daycare for children ages 0–12. Konst currently serves more than 15 families in the area. She has two part-time employees, three volunteers and several people who are “willing to help out in a pinch.”
It’s evident that Konst is running more than a business; she truly cares about the children enrolled in her daycare and wants to provide them with the best care. “I believe that every single child in the world should have a place to go where they can feel safe and loved. That’s the kind of feeling I want my daycare kids to have,” she says.
Though the daycare keeps her extremely busy, Konst is always striving to be better and do more. She’s been working on an online child development associate degree over the past year.
It’s clear that Konst isn’t one to shy away from the hard work needed to build a business. But she’s quick to acknowledge the importance of startup funds to help people launch new companies. “Without the local bank or financial institutions like GROW South Dakota, it would be impossible for the majority of young entrepreneurs to start a business of their own,” she says.
Konst says she’s eternally grateful for the opportunity to live her dream with the daycare. “It has been one amazing experience, that's for sure — and I still love every minute of it. Business is booming as well — and looking ahead the summer is going to be packed.”
Category: GROW SD, Success Stories