Over 80% of Centro’s entrepreneurs are women and low-income individuals 

We work primarily with women and minorities who are gifted with an entrepreneurial mind and have skills or experience in a trade, craft, manufacturing or professional service, or simply have a unique idea for a small business. We also strive to work with ever more social entrepreneurs.

Despite their talent and genius, more often than not, our entrepreneurs lack access to the proper business training and commercial credit, and face enormous social challenges in the labor market. Our goal is to provide them with the resources to understand how a successful business works, help them build their credit and access to capital so that as small business owners, they are empowered to join other leaders bringing equity and social justice to their communities.

What our entrepreneurs say

Making tasty vegetables with original recipes has always been in me. I’m thrilled to finally make it a bigger part of my life.
— Cynthia Toliver from Toliver Works
Centro enabled me to finally hire Riley to help me make more truffles.
— Christine Doerr from Neo Cocoa
Thanks to Centro and the support of so many others, you can now enjoy a true piece of my motherland Russia!
— Anna Tvelova from Anda Piroshki
I started with just ideas and hopes. Centro gave me the nourishment to build on what I already had in me to create a healthy business.
— Antionette Henderson from STRuT
I ran a small shop with a big heart. Centro showed me how to also do it smart!
— Irma Villa from Villa's Tailor Shop
As a chef, I put nutritious and beautiful recipes on the table. Centro helped me with a plan to put them in your pantry too.
— Mary Redente from Grateful Grains


Centro believes that every person should have the opportunity to provide for themselves and their family, and give back to their community. Our approach to development benefits the community not only by fostering economic growth, but also by creating jobs, reinvesting money in the local economy.

Centro entrepreneurs are encouraged to reinvest in communities by purchasing from local suppliers, and using local service providers such as marketing, legal, and accounting professionals. Centro also encourages businesses to incorporate green practices that reduce their carbon footprint or degradation to our environment.

Diversity and inclusion are part of our tenets and we treat everyone in our constituency with dignity and respect. Centro team members are collaborative, collegial, and practice cultural humility, and Centro’s programs reinforce the notion that we are all interconnected, and that by working together, we can improve our lives and the lives of others.

In the U.S., micro and small businesses represent 92% of all businesses. Their success creates more than half of all our jobs, and the women who own them or work for them earn between 23 - 56% more.
— U.S. Small Business Administration