“I have a lot of gratitude for the NC LEAP program and the help I received,” he says, “and, I just hope that NC LEAP continues to flourish so that other people like me will have the chance to realize their business dreams.”

Entrepreneur Steven Lambeth describes the assistance he received from an NC LEAP volunteer attorney as 'an all-around great experience.'

We’d like to share a story of sweet success, one made possible by NC LEAP (North Carolina Lawyers for Entrepreneurs Assistance Program) and supported by the North Carolina Bar Foundation. NC LEAP helps people who have lots of inspiration but not much money turn business ideas into working businesses. Chocolate maker Steven Lambeth is a great example, one of 200 or so business owners aided by North Carolina Bar Foundation attorney volunteers.

Lambeth has always loved making chocolates. He uses raw, organic chocolate and coconut oil, infused with herbs and spices, to create delicacies that soothes the mind, body and spirit. When a popular tea house in Chapel Hill asked him to make chocolates to stock their shelves with, he was in a position to turn his hobby into a vocation. Thrilled, he immediately began filling their orders. Unfortunately, his business was undocumented, unprotected and liable.

Lambeth’s brother, a UNC Law School student, knew about a program that helped low-wealth entrepreneurs get their paperwork in place to be protected, professional and credible businesses – NC LEAP. Lambeth filled out an online application and after a brief eligibility screening, he was paired with an attorney. He talked to his attorney and explained his product, not knowing what documents he needed. Within a month, his attorney helped Lambeth become the proud owner of Sweet Steven’s Creations, LLC.

“Who knew the LLC at the end of my business name meant so much?” Lambeth says, laughing. “But I know now that it leads to people taking my business seriously, and larger stores would not even talk to me about selling my chocolates were it not for my credibility as a business owner with the correct paperwork in place, protecting me and them from liability.”

Lambeth was pleased with the professionalism of his attorney volunteer.

“It was seamless, and I could not have asked for anyone to have been kinder, more patient and thorough,” he said. “It was an all-around great experience. In fact, I just recommended the program recently to a friend looking to start a business.”

Today Sweet Steven’s Creations are available in seven stores in the Triangle area, and he is currently in talks with a major store chain. His is one of several NC LEAP success stories.

“I have a lot of gratitude for the NC LEAP program and the help I received,” he says, “and, I just hope that NC LEAP continues to flourish so that other people like me will have the chance to realize their business dreams.”

If you would like to learn more about Lambeth and his delicious chocolates, including where you might find Sweet Stevens Creations, go to his website at www.sweetstevencreations.com.

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