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A Cleveland Child Enrichment Center

After 35 years working in childcare centers, Michelle Madison was prepared to lead her own. She signed the lease for the future home of Nurturing Excellence Child Enrichment Center. And then a flood decimated the entire property.

Four feet of black mold on every wall. A busted drainage system. Leaky ceilings. Madison fought to open the daycare even as more floods hit the building. It further complicated the already-challenging process of opening a business.

Until then, Madison thought the planning would be the hardest part. “I know childcare and I always knew childcare… but I had no idea about funding and how to pull it together. I had a business on paper but had no idea how to make it practical,” says Madison.

Michelle Madison, at Nurturing Excellence

While researching, Madison discovered the ECDI’s Women’s Business Center (WBC), a training and resource hub for female entrepreneurs. She applied to the WBC’s Encore Entrepreneur Initiative, a 12-week training program for women over 50, covering business plans, marketing and all the skills Madison needed to make her vision practical.

“The Women’s Business Center was crucial to the fact that Nurturing Excellence was even open,” says Madison.

During the flooding, The WBC team helped direct Madison to resources that could mitigate the damage and ultimately repair the building. In fall of 2020, Madison finally launched Nurturing Excellence. She can now get back to what she loves most.

“Childcare gives me the opportunity to see the fruits of my labor. It’s great to know that you planted a seed in how they develop. There’s nothing I would rather work towards,” says Madison.

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