Last week, Kiva and Mayor Libby Schaaf celebrated the Oakland community of entrepreneurs with a party and marketplace where small businesses in the area had the opportunity to sample and sell their products to the public. The atmosphere was vibrant, full of up-and-coming as well as existing entrepreneurs of myriad paths and craftsmanships.
The range of creativity in the businesses emerging in Oakland is extraordinary, and speaks to the incredible talent of the people in our community. The diversity in food, fashion, beauty and wellness products made the evening the more interesting and fun - one thing uniting it all: environmental sustainability, community, and self determination. Each entrepreneur I spoke with came from a place of passion and with a fearless spirit. Together, they are pursuing their dreams while making a difference in job equality, product and service quality, and the local economy of the community.
What's more, is the overwhelming support new small business are getting on Kiva Zip. For instance, entrepreneurs like Reem, a Centro Advanced Training Program graduate, are getting crowdfunded for loans of up to $10,000 within a week through the online platform. I was also able to find other Centro graduates like Feleciai's All-natural skincare line, Dustin's Platinum Dirt, Hope's Fresh to Def Collective, and Bilal's Delightful Foods.
Overall, this event channeled hope and the human spirit behind the efforts of community building through entrepreneurship. We were delighted to be acknowledged among those making a difference and working to rebuild a more sustainable, economically sound, stable, fair, and inclusive community from the ground up!
Do you want to start a small business?
Centro Community Partners offers basic and advanced entrepreneurship training programs in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Learn more about our offerings and our Business Planning App - the first app to help you write a business plan.
Contributed by: Irina Kurtsevaya, Entrepreneurship Trainer at Centro.