'It’s my passion, passion, passion that keeps me in the game'

April is the Month of Microfinance and the perfect time to share how microfinance has touched our lives. As April comes to a close, we wanted to share with you Nadine’s story and how a Kiva Zip loan helped her start her own business educating families about the importance of nutrition. Read Chef Nadine’s story, written by Innae Park, below:

For Nadine, food is more than just sustenance for the body. Food sustains her life.

“It’s my passion, passion, passion that keeps me in the game and moving forward.”

Chef Nadine, as she’s known to many, owns a small business called Nutrition Synergies, LLC in Washington. D.C. It represents the fruits of her hard labor, as she has overcome obesity and long dreamed of being a successful entrepreneur. The desire began in college, when she and her best friend Sharon decided to make it their goal to be featured in “Black Enterprise Magazine.”

Thanks to a Kiva Zip loan in 2013 and support from her trustee, Union Kitchen, Chef Nadine is making her mark on the food scene in the nation’s capital. However, it’s not by being the next celebrity chef.

Her mission is to “feed, teach, empower and build communities using culinary art,” with the idea that she will educate families and neighborhoods about the importance of eating healthy and living healthy to succeed, especially seniors and lower-income residents in D.C.

Her influence is growing quickly! Last year, she was selected to open a brand-new culinary space in southeast D.C., which will be called “Mustard Seed Café.”

While Nadine’s dreams are becoming reality, she acknowledges there is someone who has made sure to back her dream.

“When I called Sharon and told her of the opportunity, she literally dropped EVERYTHING in her life to focus on helping me develop this new concept,” said Nadine. “That is unconditional love, support and friendship.”

Nadine’s – and Sharon’s – dream is coming true. And there are others waiting to become reality!

About the author

Innae Park

Innae has been an award-winning broadcast journalist for the most of the last decade and is seeking a different path for the next. She worked as a producer, reporter and anchor in two different television markets, engaging in local communities and encouraging small businesses to thrive. That passion linked her heart immediately with her recent awareness of microfinance. After learning of the power that microloans give to entrepreneurs all over the world, she joined the Kiva Zip internship program with the intent of promoting this branch of finance with her storytelling and marketing skills. Though carrying an American passport, Innae calls Seoul home, having spent her adolescence as a foreigner attending international school. She later received a degree in Communications at the University of Pennsylvania. She loves to participate in karaoke, dabble in photography and imbibe quality coffee and craft alcohol.