We had the good fortune of connecting with Nicole Eubanks and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Nicole, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
Friendship Bridge is a nonprofit social enterprise with a mission to create opportunities that empower Guatemalan women to build a better life. Headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado, Friendship Bridge operates 11 branch offices in Guatemala and provides a suite of products and services including microcredit, Non-Formal Education, and access to culturally-appropriate healthcare. Clients are 100% women, primarily indigenous Maya, and live in rural communities with some of the highest poverty levels worldwide. As a result of our products and services, clients will experience a combination of increased resilience, improved empowerment, and business development.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
What sets Friendship Bridge apart from some other organizations is that we offer microloans to low-income Guatemalan women and that we pair the loans we offer with business training and education. The women we serve are empowered to use their money wisely to support the success of their businesses. Also, we are committed to serving women clients only, in order to combat the inequality they experience in Guatemala.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would create an itinerary with a mix of the outdoors, coffee, women’s empowerment, and a visit to the Friendship Bridge office/showroom.

With a passion for the beautiful outdoors, I would take my friend to my favorite Colorado hike, Chasm Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. Next, I would stop by Convivio Café, the first women-owned, Guatemalan-inspired, bilingual café in Denver. Together we would enjoy coffee and community. I would wrap up our itinerary visiting the Friendship Bridge office/showroom located at 405 Urban St., Ste. 140, Lakewood, Colorado. Our office includes a small store in which we sell authentic Guatemalan gift items made by the artisans in our program. Purchases directly benefit the women we serve!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Success is built with teamwork. I am thankful for our incredible staff and supporters. I would like to highlight that I am grateful to work alongside empowered women like Maya Colop-Morales, Handmade by Friendship Bridge® Manager. In 2018 Maya joined Friendship Bridge, to develop a program providing artisans with skills, learning experiences, education, and technical assistance enabling them to sell their handmade products independently, locally, nationally, and internationally. Each iteration of this program has been derived from Maya’s continued learnings of artisans’ preferences, needs, challenges, and opportunities. Iterations have led to the development of basic and advanced trainings and the creation of an online marketplace (handmadebyfriendshipbridge.org) for artisans to safely sell internationally.
Maya’s impact is two-fold: she is harnessing the artisan sector to its full potential by creating jobs, increasing incomes, and fostering sustainable community growth while also helping to maintain culture and traditions that are centuries old.

Website: www.friendshipbridge.org

Instagram: @friendshipbridge

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/6410985

Twitter: @Friend_Bridge

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/microcreditplus

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/FriendshipBridgeCO

Image Credits
Nicole Eubanks vertical photo (in blazer): Kaylee Eubanks Other photos courtesy Friendship Bridge

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.