From the Little Guy to Creative Executive


“As your business grows, you want bigger projects and bigger clients. But once you’re at that higher level, it’s easy to forget about your roots and the struggles faced by the little guy.”

Mark Bloemhard has never forgotten his roots as a start-up entrepreneur. Today, he runs sister branding agencies: Bolder & Co. Creative Studios that helps market large companies, and Hustle and Grit that offers affordable programs for startups and small businesses.



Bloemhard wants to help the little guys grow their companies because he gets it. At the start, it was difficult to make ends meet. As he built his book of business, his financial leverage grew at an unsustainable rate. He made personal sacrifices to get Bolder & Co. going, even selling his family’s Chevy Tahoe and taking his bike to sales meetings with potential clients.


When Bloemhard finally got a big break with an opportunity to take on new business from a large client – one that could solidify the company’s future – he did not have the capital needed to complete the contract and was too financially leveraged to take on any other debt.

Mark Bloemhard and Jesse Mark, at ECDI

Bloemhard attended a meetup for minority business owners and met Jesse Marks from ECDI, who explained how ECDI could help restructure the debt and provide the responsible lending capital needed to take that contract on – the helping hand that Bloemhard needed.



“ECDI’s support made all the difference. Without ECDI stepping in and helping out, the story of Bolder and Co. would’ve been different,” says Bloemhard. Now in a better financial position, Bloemhard and his staff can continue helping other entrepreneurs promote their businesses – large and small.





Click here to view ECDI's 2020 Impact Report.


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