SANTA MARIA, Calif. – Women’s Economic Ventures and Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project, otherwise known as ‘MICOP’ teamed up, to launch a program for aspiring entrepreneurs within the indigenous and Latino community in Santa Barbara County.
Rudy Quintanilla is a longtime Guadalupe resident with a landscaping business.
His dream is to grow generational wealth.
“My dream is to be a successful businessman and to provide service that is satisfying to the customers,” said Quintanilla.
Mixteco Indigena Organizing Project or MICOP and Women’s Economic Ventures will help people like Rudy with a program called, “Los Emprendedores” Program. It is an initiative to help the indigenous and latino communities start a business or grow an existing small business.
“Empower people with the skills they need to launch their own businesses and that is working to effect change in the most marginalized populations,” said Women/s Economic Ventures’s Ashley Goldstein.
$500,000 were granted to both organizations. Over half of the grant will be used to fund approximately 80 entrepreneurs in Santa Barbara County.
“It's an opportunity for the indigenous community to participate in entrepreneurship training for the community that has talents,” said MICOP Program Director Ana Huynh. “Maybe they are artisans, weavers.”
Dalia Garcia is an aspiring entrepreneur who would like to open her own jewelry business, as she hand-makes oaxacan earrings.
She said Los Emprendedores Program will help her get there.
“We have this heritage, this knowledge that we have for many years as an indigenous community,” said Garcia.
The organizations said the Santa Barbara County applications are closed but the Ventura County Applications for the Los Emprendedores program will soon open.