Caravanserai Project Announces $ 2 Million Grantfrom the Employment Training Panel of California
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Caravanserai Project Announces $ 2 Million Grant
from the Employment Training Panel of California
Funds Aimed at Over 200 Plus Inland Empire Spanish Speaking Startups
27 May 2022 – Palm Springs, CA: The Palm Springs based Caravanserai Project (www.caravanseraiproject.org) announced a $ 2 million dollar grant awarded by the Employment Training Panel of California to provide training support and micro-grants to over 200 Spanish speaking startup and early-stage entrepreneurs in the Inland Empire. The grant was announced at Caravanserai’s 6th Annual “graduation” and pitch competition held at the Palm Springs Art Museum.
”It has been part of our core goal to marry the support Caravanserai Project is providing to Inland Empire based entrepreneurs to build sustainable and future-thinking organizational infrastructure with seed
funding. This infusion of capital into businesses owned by historically underserved entrepreneurs is not only timely but will have irreversible impact on the regional economy.” says Mihai Patru, Executive Director of the Caravanserai Project. “Together with our partners, our objective is to tap into the reservoir of incredible Spanish speaking entrepreneurs in the Inland Empire. Investing in them and their businesses is the only way to prepare the region and its people for the future.”
Caravanserai Project and its partners, Asociación de Emprendedor@s, Uplift San Bernardino – Make it Happen Foundation, and Get in Motion Entrepreneurs, will bring to the local entrepreneurs $1.5 million in direct Seed investments that will have positive mid and long-term impact on the Economy of the two counties and social fabric of our communities.
Caravanserai Project was founded in 2016 as a mission-driven hybrid venture whose goal is to support social impact entrepreneurs (for profit and nonprofit alike) strengthen their organizational infrastructure and build sustainable and relevant organizations that are working towards irreversible system change.
Caravanserai Project designs and implements technical assistance and capacity building programs with a particular focus on entrepreneurs and organizations in the Inland Empire and Southern California but works extensively across the nation and internationally as well. In 2020 and 2021, over 1200 entrepreneurs attended its programs. Almost 80% of Caravanserai beneficiaries identified themselves as women and 79% as BIPOC. To facilitate access to these specific communities of entrepreneurs, Caravanserai Project has established partnerships with regional and national organizations such as UC-Riverside, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Inland Empire Community Foundation, Inland Empire Community Collaborative, Making Hope Happen San Bernardino, Alianza Coachella Valley, The LGBTQ Center in Palm Springs and Coachella, Independent Sector among others.
The name Caravanserai is a metaphor for the mission and vision to provide a safe space for entrepreneurs to get the support they need and continue their journey forward. A caravanserai [KAR-AH–VAN–SE-RAY]was a well-known meeting place along trade routes from Asia, North Africa to Southeast Europe.
It provided merchants and travelers with a safe place to rest and opportunities to exchange and trade goods and acquire information about the challenges ahead. It had a crucial part in the cross-fertilization and exchanges of cultures by exposing travelers and locals to new ideas, beliefs, and languages.