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Single Mom takes her last $5 and turns home business into $1M empire
I absolutely love how much her grandma played such a large role in this. ❤
Irene Markianou

When New Orleans native Mignon Francois moved to Nashville with her then-husband in 2005, it never crossed her mind that one day she might end up raising her kids alone and with almost no money.

When Francois’ ex-husband was offered a new job in Nashville, the family thought that it was all probably for the best.

So, they packed up their things and moved to Tennessee.

But things didn’t go as planned.


Soon, the job he had been offered fell through, so he ended up working as a foreman.

This meant that the family started struggling with money – and the struggle was all too real.


Things were so bad that Francois even had to cut down on electricity expenses.

She spent whole days in the dark only for her kids to get back from school and be able to study and go about the rest of the day with the lights on.

“I’d find myself often walking to the Kroger on the corner near my house to buy water to fill up the tub so that my babies could take a bath. And by babies, I mean all the way from 3 years old up to high school graduates,” she told Business Insider.


Right when Francois thought they could not keep living like that for long, something amazing happened.

While neighbors didn’t know the extent of the family’s struggles, they did know Mignon was a talented baker.

So, one day a neighbor approached her and asked her to bake 600 cupcakes for them.

When they told her she would receive $1 per cupcake, Francois realized it was an opportunity that she might not have in the future.


So, after checking her savings, she decided to take the risk. What if she only had $5 in her purse? It was worth a try.

“When I closed the door, I had a real come-to-Jesus moment with God and said like, ‘Seriously? You offer me this opportunity when I don’t have any money? I literally have $5 to feed us,'” Francois said.

She had this feeling that her money would not go to waste.

So, she spent her last five dollars on ingredients for the cupcakes and baked the first batch.

60 cupcakes generated her $60, and she just kept baking.

And she hasn’t stopped since. What started as a single order turned into a cupcake business that’s netting her $1M per year!

In late 2008, Francois founded the Cupcake Collection. The company now sells homemade cupcakes nationwide and Francois and her family can hardly believe it.

But, in order to get to where she is today, Francois had to be very careful with spending the money she made at first. And she did it all by herself.

“I think a lot of times in my community, we often have been used to rejection from banks,” Francois said.

So, she kept money in different envelopes in order to save enough money for bills and for future needs. And that’s how she got to where she is today.

Watch her incredible story unfold in the video below!

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By Irene Markianou
Irene Markianou is a contributor at SBLY Media.