Carly Perera: Featured MBA Advisor

Carly Perera was one of Centro’s first MBA Advisors. She received a degree in Community and Regional Development from UC Davis and received her MBA from Mills College where she first learned about us.

Why did you decide to join Centro as an MBA Advisor?

Prior to Centro, I was a volunteer consultant for other startups in the East and South Bay. I knew that I wanted to continue to work with small businesses but I needed to hone my skills as a consultant. Centro provided me the coaching and the framework to be a more impactful consultant and volunteer.

I was really energized by Arturo Noriega’s vision, so I joined Centro’s first cohort in the summer of 2010.

What business did you advise?

I worked with Christine Doerr of Neo Cocoa, a Bay Area based chocolatier, who is known throughout the Bay Area/Nation and is wildly successful. When we began working together, Christine was just starting to sell her product in Whole Foods. This past year, her business surpassed the $100,000 annual revenue mark! Christine is an extremely driven, organized, and resourceful business owner and I was very lucky to work with her.

How has Centro impacted your career trajectory?

Working with Centro showed me many of the barriers small businesses face in preparing to obtain and qualify for capital in the Bay Area which led me to pursue a career in small business finance.

I am now a loan officer with Pacific Community Ventures. PCV drives community wealth and economic change through a unique ecosystem that provides advice and capital to small businesses, impact evaluation, and research and policy.