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Local nonprofit Caravanserai Project empowers minority entrepreneurs

Local nonprofit Caravanserai Project is on a mission to change the world one entrepreneur at a time.

“The thing that I'm most grateful to Caravanserai Project for is giving me a sense of direction," said Barragan. “I felt more empowered to do what I needed to do as the executive director on the business end of things, not just the programming end of things.”

Martha Barragan co-founded the non-profit Ganas, which helps educate and support the special needs community.

The organization helps entrepreneurs realize their business ventures, whether for-profit or nonprofit. Caravanserai Project gave her guidance to run her nonprofit. Barragan was a part of the SEED Lab cohort, which is a program designed to support the vision of new social good entrepreneurs.

“We are more efficient, we are more productive, we were able to manage a lot more," said Barragan.

Caravanserai Project also provides business readiness training, networking, masterclasses, and monthly webinars. It covers topics like branding and financial accountability.

It works with more than 200 beneficiaries to provide over $2 million in micro-grants. Executive director– Mihai Patru mentors the entrepreneurs.

“We are trying to focus on two aspects, financial sustainability and the impact that they have on the communities," said Patru.

More than 1,200 entrepreneurs have been a part of the programs, with most being minorities. The $25,000 grant from the Berger Foundation will go towards the upcoming SEED Lab cohort.

"The Berger Foundation is one of the main charities in the region, and having their endorsement represents a lot for an organization like ours," said Patru.

The nonprofit gives entrepreneurs who are usually underserved a chance to launch their ventures.

“It feels amazing. It feels reassuring," said Patru

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Marian Bouchot

Marian Bouchot is the weekend morning anchor and a reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. Learn more about Marian here.


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