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Mariza Licerio is the proud owner of Happy Tribe Academy, a vibrant daycare established in 2023. With a passion for early childhood education and nurturing environments, Mariza has created a haven where children thrive and families feel confident entrusting their little ones. Happy Tribe Academy has an innovative approach to childcare, blending structured learning with play-based experiences to foster holistic development. 


Mariza came to America's SBDC at WTAMU in November of 2023 and worked closely with SBDC Regional Director, Gina Woodward, to turn her idea for a child day-care business into a reality!


Don't miss our 2 minute interview with Mariza! Learn more about Happy Tribe Academy, hear Mariza's advice for small business owners, learn about her favorite snack and lots more! 

When did you start your business/ year started?

November 27,2023


Why did you decide to start your business?

It has been my desire to serve children and interest to open a childcare center since 2018.


What is your favorite memory in the business?

Having my son with me along the journey and watching him grow at daycare.


What is the most rewarding part of running a small business?

The community we get to serve, the families we meet, and the tribe that helped us get here.


What is the hardest part of running a small business?

Finding the right employees.


How does the business get to positively impact your community?

It impacts the community by giving the parents/families the opportunity to work full time. The

importance of introducing social, physical, intellectual skills to a child at an early age to prepare

them for school.


Biggest challenge in the business?

Finding employees.


What makes you different from your competition?

Our capacity of 46 children, and the structure and stability we have at daycare.


Best tips for others in business?

Create a business plan before you open for 3-5 years upon opening that can give you an idea

and layout. Find yourself people with wisdom, talk to others that have opened their own



What’s something you wish someone had told you or that you wish you had learned earlier?

Taking college courses on business and administration.


What's one snack you could eat forever!

Hot Cheetos with a pickle or cheese dip.

Happy Tribe Academy
Mariza Licerio

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