BOSTON, Jan. 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Santander Bank will award $100,000 in grants, plus technical and business training to 30 food industry entrepreneurs from Greater Boston's underserved neighborhoods as part of the Bank's signature Cultivate Small Business initiative. Through the Cultivate Small Business program, Santander and its partners Commonwealth Kitchen, Babson College and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), provide industry-specific education, professional networks and mentoring, as well as small capital grants to entrepreneurs.
The Cultivate Small Business program was established in 2017 to help early-stage entrepreneurs grow and sustain their businesses, and to empower women, minority and immigrant-owned business owners. Food-related businesses are the focus of the program given their significance to local economies. The program connects early-stage entrepreneurs with some of the key ingredients needed to succeed in the food business, including food-service related business management skills, technical assistance, and access to a local network of established food-industry experts.
"At Santander Bank, we believe that respect should be the foundation for everything we do, including how we engage in and support our local communities," said Seth Goodall, Santander's Executive Director of Corporate Social Responsibility. "The Cultivate Small Business program provides a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to access business education, professional networks and capital. We're proud to support this program, and the resulting economic growth these entrepreneurs will provide in underserved neighborhoods."
Throughout the program ICIC coordinates the program's design, manages the application process and offers general program recommendations. Babson College delivers an interactive business education curriculum that includes in-person and online classes designed specifically for food-industry entrepreneurs. Commonwealth Kitchen provides shared commercial kitchen space, customized technical assistance, as well as industry-specific advice and support in a community setting where participants learn from established food industry businesses. Santander Bank funds the program and provides volunteers who make themselves available to offer financial and management advice.
For the 2019 cohort, 75 businesses applied for a program, 50 businesses interviewed, and 30 were selected to participate in the program. This cohort is comprised of female-owned businesses (50%), participants who live in or work in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods (60%), and participants who are people of color (67%). The program began in December 2018 with a welcome reception and the first of 10 business education courses at Babson College's downtown Boston campus kicked off this month.
Santander will award $100,000 in grants to those eligible graduates who have met specific program goals including attending classes, submitting a video pitch and developing a business action plan with growth or sustainability milestones.
The 30 entrepreneurs admitted to Cultivate Small Business's second cohort are:
- Anita Deeley – Beverly Bees/Beverly
- Tracy Casavant – Bittersweet Homestead/Westminster
- Maria Ramos – Bobby's Fish Market/Dorchester
- Hector Hernandez – Borinquen Bakery & Café/Dorchester
- Kyle Fiasconaro – Brewer's Crackers/Somerville
- Pamela Griffin – Chocolate Therapy/Framingham
- Jenn Mason – Curds and Co./Brookline
- Sebastian Corbat – Del Sur/Lowell
- Tracey Crawford – Dunbar Enterprises/Mattapan
- Joandry Vasquez – El Barrio Mexican Grill/Dorchester
- Ruby Chan – FreshZen/Dorchester
- Sarah Wasser – Infuse the Booze LLC/Lexington
- Dominque Gutierrez – Infused Kreyol/Malden
- Alexander Khitrik – Inna's Kitchen/Dorchester
- Andres Jaramillo – Perros Paisas/Revere
- Mona Ahmad – Mona's Curryations/Saugus
- Margarita Carreto – Mr. Tamole/Dorchester
- Matthew Gray – Neighborhood Produce/Somerville
- Jarriffe MacKenzie – Oasis Vegan Veggie Parlor/Dorchester
- Paulo Almeida – East Boston Farm Stand/East Boston
- Jason Melmed – Papi's Stuffed Sopapillas LLC/Boston
- Heather Rogers – Powerhouse Juice/Woburn
- Tam Le – Reign Drink Lab/Dorchester
- James Guerrier – Ripple Coffee/Dorchester
- Quisha Papla – StrEAT Food Rx/Framingham
- Pattanan Ketthin – The Rootastes/Somerville
- Edwin Johan – The Spaht Food Truck/Roslindale
- Grace Anna Tracey – Tru Provisions/Boston
- Hersson Villatoro – Villatoro Resaurant & Café/Marlboro
- Juan Giraldo – Waku Inc./Wellesley
For more information about the program visit www.CultivateSmallBusiness.com.
Santander Bank, N.A. is one of the country's largest retail and commercial banks with $74.2 billion in assets. With its corporate offices in Boston, the Bank's approximately 9,600 employees, over 600 branches, more than 2,000 ATMs and 2.1 million customers are principally located in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. The Bank is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Madrid-based Banco Santander, S.A. (NYSE: SAN) - one of the most respected banking groups in the world with more than 125 million customers in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America. It is overseen by Santander Holdings USA, Inc., Banco Santander's intermediate holding company in the U.S. For more information on Santander Bank, please visit www.santanderbank.com.
SOURCE Santander Bank