How We (Renaissance, our Clients, and YOU) Make an Impact

For three decades, Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center has helped launch and grow more businesses (over 15,000 and counting!) than any other non-profit in the Bay Area.

We are proud to participate in The Aspen Institute’s annual FIELD Program EntrepreneurTracker. This national survey, administered to a randomly selected pool of clients, evaluates clients’ household and business circumstances one year after they complete our intensive training. Our 2017 survey results show that our small businesses have a big impact:

  • 95% of business owners remain in business
  • 82% of owners met their income goals
  • 17% average increase of household income
  • 69% of businesses have employees

On average, each business supports 4 jobs (including the owner), and the average employee wage is $23.60 per hour, more than double the California minimum hourly wage

You can view more of our 2017 survey results at www.rencenter-v3.mystagingwebsite.com/client-outcomes

Your tax-deductible donation to the Renaissance Center helps create small businesses that make a big impact in the Bay Area. We are so grateful to you for helping our clients achieve their dream of starting their own business. During this holiday season, as we celebrate our clients’ successes and impact, we hope you will give generously toward helping small business owners achieve economic mobility, contribute to the local economy, and make their communities stronger.

Renaissance Holiday Gift Guide 2017

This holiday season, we invite you to shop local and support Renaissance entrepreneurs!

When you support local entrepreneurs, your purchase delights friends and family while helping to keep our local economy vibrant and strong. Many of these entrepreneurs in this guide are graduates of our business training programs or have benefited from our financing consultations. We have selected an array of businesses that focus on quality and creativity.

  1. Fiddlesticks – Fresh take on classic kid’s clothes, toys, and books
  2. T-We Tea – Tea with heart and spunk! Handcrafted in San Francisco
  3. Love A Bee – Pure raw honey sourced from some of the most unique places in California
  4. Socola Chocolatier – Award-winning San Francisco chocolatier offering artisanal chocolate truffles inspired by South East Asian flavors
  5. Luana Coonen Jewelry – High-quality, hand-crafted jewelry made with sustainable materials and contemporary design
  6. Ryan Debonville Knitwear – High-end handcrafted knitwear for the discerning, style-conscious consumer
  7. Samudra Skin & Sea – Pure skincare harnessing the regenerative qualities of wild seaweed
  8. Sharon Zimmerman Jewelry – Jewelry that is unique in its understatement—clean and simple, yet distinctive and playful
  9. Yvonne’s Southern Sweets – Southern style specialty desserts such as pralines, sweet potato pies, and peach cobblers

…and more!

Food Catering

Jewelry

Fashion

Children’s Gifts

Packaged Treats

Beauty, Health & Wellness

Artesana: When ‘Business as Usual’ Equals Family Values

Marielos Davila or Maria as she’s better known, said it was as if “something from the universe” led her to get the help she needed to launch her artisanal sausage business. Knowing she was trying to start a business, her sobrino (nephew) sent her a picture of an advertisement he saw for Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center’s Paso a Paso (Simple Steps) class. It was exactly what she needed to take her family’s Salvadoran business to market in the United States.

The family business began when Grandma Evita, Maria’s mother-in-law, started making her now famous sausages in 1962. The business was born from her desire to work from home and be with her children. She sold her Sausages to local customers in Cojutepeque, a Salvadoran town also known as “Chorizo Town”. When her brand became a hallmark, her entrepreneurial grandson started selling her sausages to local grocers. Maria’s business goals, like Grandma Evita’s, were closely tied to the well-being of her family.

Maria and her husband Roberto moved their family to the United States to raise their children in a better environment, provide them with greater opportunities, and to carve out their niche in the Bay Area foodie economy. They now employ their daughter in marketing and their son in catering special events and creating recipes for customers. Launching Artesana Sausages in the US, however, she found to be much more challenging than operating in El Salvador.

“They call my kitchen a ‘plant!’’ Maria said, laughing about the plant number she had to acquire for commercial production. This is just one of the many hurdles she has to undertake to operate legally in the US. She sells her products at farmers markets and wants to expand her reach, but can’t yet sell to grocers until she gets another federal permit.

“Resistencia,” or perseverance, she says is a key ingredient to business success. Focusing on her dreams and goals carries her through the challenges.

One of the key challenges is to change Bay Area Foodies’ perception of chorizo, which is one of Artesana’s cornerstone products. In the US it is often sold as a low-quality product, but contrary to local convention, Artesana uses the finest and most simple ingredients—premium cuts of pork and spices: no fillers, binders, sugars, MSG or soy. Maria and her family are probably the most qualified candidates to elevate chorizo from corner-market to farm-to-table status.

Though many are skeptical before trying Artesana´s chorizo, Maria reports that 99% of the time, they say “wow!” the moment they do.

You can find Artesana at farmer’s markets and events throughout San Francisco and San Mateo counties. Visit Artesana on Instagram or Facebook for the latest updates.

Beth Pride, BPE Global

When Beth Pride was laid off from her job, her boss told her “you’re ready.” He knew that she wanted to become a CEO and felt it was time. Beth found Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center and immediately signed up for a Business Planning class. “Being unemployed was scary, but Renaissance gave me direction, took away the fear.”

Beth finished the class with a business plan for BPE Global, an import and export compliance consulting firm. She stuck to her action plan and met her goal to land her first client within six months of graduation. She used the same practice pitch that she gave in class with her first client. Unfortunately, her first client also turned out to be a practice client and didn’t end up paying. But as Beth learned in class, business plans are living documents that should continuously evolve and adapt to circumstance. She is now careful to set goals with paying clients in mind!

Keeping strong relationships with all of her clients, Beth is still in touch with her first real (i.e. paying) client, and even attended their wedding. For Beth, one of the greatest benefits of being in business is to create the kind of lifestyle, relationships, and business culture she wants. Although she has received offers to buy her out, she has always refused because she knows it would mean giving up the business and life that brings her so much fulfillment and sense of purpose.

A tour of BPE Global’s ‘world headquarters’ is a walk up two flights of stairs into Beth Pride’s apartment in San Francisco’s lower Haight District. She loves working from home in her converted living room office, as do her five remote employees.

Now 13 years and going strong as the boss, Beth gets to call the shots. She’s proud to have put in her 10,000 hours and knows her industry inside and out. She takes pride in her team being fast and efficient, but most of all she is thrilled that everyone is enthusiastic and excited about their work. “I tell clients we’re going to have fun!” Beth says. And with Beth they do.

Forever grateful that Renaissance helped launch the business she had long dreamed of, Beth continues to give back to Renaissance and the small business community. Though her target customers are medium to large companies, Beth recognizes the need that many small businesses have for BPE’s services, but can seldom afford or prioritize. As such, Beth volunteers her time as a consultant for the smaller businesses that Renaissance helps to start.

It’s not only an increase in income and revenue that Beth enjoys as a business owner, business ownership enables her to live by her core values—giving back to her community, delivering excellent products and services, and taking care of the people she loves.

 

www.bpeglobal.com

877. 264.3836

139 Pierce Street San Francisco, CA 94117

 

Amos Louis, ADF Handyman & Painting LLC

Amos Louis came to Oakland from Florida in 2000, trying to make a better life for himself. Unfortunately his dreams did not come to fruition. He couldn’t find a job and tragically spent years homeless and in and out of jail.

Amos’s luck turned when a jewelry maker business owner offered him a helping hand. He brought Amos into his shop to help with production.

A few years later Amos began taking on small handyman gigs. He learned roof patching, yard work, painting, and how to repair windows, hardwood floors, and more. His new boss noticed his potential and advised him to study to get a contractor’s license. Continuing to work and save money, Amos realized he could branch out and start his own business, but before doing so he needed to stabilize his personal life.

Finally in 2013, after years of studying, he got his state license and ADF Handyman and Painting LLC was born. Amos takes pride on how his efforts had led him here, but he knew he needed more guidance and support to prevent him from becoming distracted from his goals. In 2016, he enrolled in Renaissance Richmond, starting with the intensive Business Prep class, and built his business skills, formed a network and even created a partnership with another Renaissance client.

“Renaissance showed me how to organize, strategize, network and create goals for my business. After taking the class, I saw my own capabilities and I understood how important it is to have your business organized and make it more functional. Since enrolling in Renaissance, business is picking up, I have learned to schedule my projects better and I am now more confident to be direct with clients and realize my choices.”

Yolanda Jones, Construction Administration & Traffic Control (YCAT)

Yolanda Jones owner of Yolanda Jones Construction Administration & Traffic Control (YCAT)  built her business with her community in mind. With her roots in Bayview Hunters Point, Yolanda is dedicated to creating jobs and opportunities for local residents.

Yolanda first learned about running a small business – and caring for her community – from her father, a trucking company owner. Her goal was to follow the footsteps of strong women who came before her and worked hard to build a better future in Bayview Hunters Point:  Eliose Westbrook, Espinola Jakson, and Ruth Williams, to name a few. Yolanda believes that her business has allowed her to build on their legacy.

My passion is to hire and help local minorities who are constantly overlooked.  I have employed folks who were living on friends’ couches, transitional housing, public housing, and hotels. Now they own homes and apartments. I particularly remember hiring a gentlemen who just came out of prison, he was 52. It was his first job, and he now works at a bigger construction company. It’s like watering a plant and watching it grow,” says Yolanda. “I open my company doors everyday and watch people come to work, enjoy their jobs, improve their health. They can now afford a better lifestyle and send their kids to better schools. The society gave up on them a long time ago, but at YCAT, they are proving to the world that they are exceptional individuals who just needed a chance.”

Yolanda faced her own challenges on her way to success. She tackled them with an impeccable work ethic, persistence and her ability to garner support and resources she needed to manage and scale her business. Upon her husband’s recommendation, she contacted Renaissance Bayview and enrolled in the Center’s Contractors’ Initiative, then Women’s Program. Today Yolanda attributes her efficiency and effectiveness in communications, especially when dealing with other companies, to skills she gained at Renaissance.

When she’s not striking deals and managing her business with 22 employees, Yolanda spends time with her six children and five grand-children. With her family and community at the forefront, Yolanda defines success as, “being able to go home at night knowing that one less family is hungry.”

Yolanda’s success and a way of doing business is a testimony to the impact that small businesses make in their communities and the importance of providing small business owners with tools and resources they need to sustain and grow their businesses. Because when small business owners, like Yolanda, succeed, they create opportunities and lift up entire communities for generations to come.

 

www.ycat-c.com
415.647.2682
yjones@ycat-c.com

280 Newhall St, San Francisco, CA 94124

                             

 

Eden Stein: The Heart of San Francisco’s Mission Bernal Neighborhood

On June 18th, 2016 a five-alarm fire devastated the 3300 block of San Francisco’s Mission Bernal neighborhood, destroying six businesses – including several legacy businesses – displacing 41 residents, and causing about $14 million worth of damage. After the firefighters put out the fire, leaving the residents and business owners with the charcoal skeletons of what once were their livelihood and homes, the next emergency responder was Eden Stein, owner of Secession Art and Design. But Eden may not have been there to help had it not been for Renaissance.

When Eden lost the lease on her retail space in August of 2014, the first emergency responder to help keep Secession in the Mission Bernal neighborhood was Renaissance. In order to apply for a San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development  Invest in Neighborhoods loan from Working Solutions – a nonprofit lending organization – she needed to have a stron loan package and be able to convince a loan committee of 5 that she had a long-term vision and steadfast commitment to her business and her neighborhood. After spending hours with Renaissance’s Financing Resource Center’s managing consultant, Gwendolyn Wright, she built the confidence and financial plan to win the committee’s approval and secure a loan.

While receiving  a relocation loan was the most crucial assistance Eden received from Renaissance, she also credits improving her operations with an intensive Quickbooks Bootcamp, and workshops on inventory management, public relations, sales, and employment law.

A 20-year resident, she recommends Renaissance to other business owners in her network.

A community organizer and President of the Mission Bernal Merchants Association, Eden was a pillar of support when the Mission Bernal Fire hit. The day after the fire, she started organizing a fundraiser. She continued to work with merchants to help them when their insurance claims weren’t coming through and gave them contacts at the city planning department. She used Secession as a meeting place to help those affected by the fire, and collected needed goods such as strollers for babies, phone chargers to keep lines of communication open, and chairs for the elderly.

“People thought I was crazy to open a retail gallery space here.”

Hillary Ronen, Supervisor of San Francisco’s District 9, which encompasses the Mission Bernal neighborhood, nominated Eden for an annual recognition during Women’s History Month, that acknowledges an outstanding woman who is a courageous community leader.

She received the reward at a Board of Supervisors Meeting on  March 7th, 2017.

Eden sees Secession as something much greater than a gallery, boutique and workspace. It’s an extension of her home, a community hub, and a safe place for events where anything can happen. One moment someone might stop by just to say ‘hi,’ and the next, someone might spontaneously start breakdancing (it really happened!). She especially enjoys the moment when she helps someone find a work of art she knows they will live with and bring joy to their lives.

She is as connected to her customers as she is to the artists she represents. She plans her art shows a year ahead and, visits artists studios regularly to help guide the direction of their work to create a successful show. In fact, the first iteration of Secession ties into her sustained love of an artist’s work.

Eden’s long-term art crush on artist Heather Robinson’s work began in 2003 when she came across her art in an show organized by the nonprofit arts organization City Art Gallery on Valencia. She immediately fell in love with her work. Though she couldn’t afford it, she was determined to find some way to own a piece, and arranged to do a work-trade so that she could have Heather’s art in her home.

Then in 2007 when Secession Arts emerged as a new business with a retail component, regular events and five artists’ studios in the corner of an architecture firm, Eden invited Heather to rent one of the studios. As the business transitioned through two moves and narrowed its focus on retail and events, Heather has remained Secession’s sole artist-in-resident and has been working by Eden’s side for ten years.

Eden herself used to be an artist, making vintage beaded jewelry, but now sees Secession as her masterpiece, and the 60 plus artists and designers she represents as her muses. And these muses have lead her to follow her passions through trying times and not to be discouraged by critical nay-sayers.

When she first moved to the Mission Bernal neighborhood in 2007 she was the only retail shop on the block. “People thought I was crazy to open a retail gallery space here,” she reflects. But as she networked with community members and cross-pollinated with other businesses on Mission Street, like her neighbor, Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack, her following began to grow, and so did her neighborhood and her business. She now has one part time employee and works with about four contractors throughout the year. And of course, continues to rent a studio to her art-crush Heather.

She imagines this deep sense of community and connection must be what her grandparents’ life was like. Her grandparents had a small store in Philadelphia and were part of the fabric of the neighborhood. Like her grandparents were to their Philadelphia neighborhood, Eden Stein is part of the heart of the Mission Bernal neighborhood.

The heart of a neighborhood is not the houses, the retail shops, or the public places, it’s the people who inhabit and nurture those spaces, feel like they belong and have a sense of ownership and pride in their surroundings; the people who get to know their neighbors, organize gatherings and create community.

Like Secession, Renaissance is driven by the value of building communities and neighborhoods, and creating a safe and welcoming space for people when they need help. Whether through preparing for a terrifying loan committee, or initiating a fundraiser for fire victims, the passionate people behind small business are the heart of our vibrant Bay Area neighborhoods and communities.

Secession Art and Design

3235 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

(415) 279-3058

eden@secessionsf.com  

SecessionSF.com

 

The Diversity of Beauty in Oakland: Skincare by Feleciai

After 12 years feeling unsatisfied with her work as an Oakland-based real estate broker, Feleciai Favroth found her calling as an entrepreneur and esthetician. She was motivated to bring more diversity to the skincare and beauty industries. “It’s getting better,” she reflects, “but it’s nowhere near where it needs to be. I still see one-size-fits-all in magazines.”

When she made the first step toward her transformation by enrolling in Renaissance’s Business Planning class, she had a completely different idea in mind. Feleciai’s first business plan focused on becoming a personal stylist, but she abandoned it when she realized she hated shopping! It wasn’t until the following October of 2007 that she found her calling. She was taking a number of classes at Nova Studio in Point Richmond, learning to make soaps, scrubs, creams and other hand-crafted skincare products. Along with her sister, a physician, Feleciai created formulas using high-quality, organic, moisture-rich ingredients such as shea butter and jojoba oil. Her soaps stand out as multisensory works of art – jewel-like bars with beveled edges and swirls of earthy ochres and rustic blues. They leave the bather’s skin feeling soft, and scented with custom blends as found in her Eucalyptus Peppermint bar. With an excellent product and solid business skills in place, Skincare by Feleciai was born.

Her business is not a job, but part of the fabric of her life.

On a never-ending quest for improvement, Feleciai became the president of the trade association, Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild in 2013, and a licensed esthetician in the Fall of 2016. She hires three to four contractors regularly to help her wrap soaps in her Oakland facility, and works with a financial planner and an accountant as-needed. She is currently completely restructuring her company, rebranding with the help of a graphic designer, and trimming her product line from nearly 115 down to about 15.

Feleciai advises that owning a business isn’t the right choice for everyone. She admits that at times it takes an emotional toll, warning that you might find yourself alone, frustrated and ready to ‘throw in the towel.’ “There’s nothing wrong with a paycheck,” she tells aspiring-entrepreneurs. “You’ll know deep down inside if it’s right.” And Feleciai knows that it’s right for her.

Feleciai especially enjoys the financial and personal freedom afforded to her by owning her own business, and though she jokes about complaining when she takes work home at night, she says she’s satisfied because she’s driven by more than just money. Her business is not a job, but part of the fabric of her life. Describing her transition from a real estate broker to skin care professional and entrepreneur, she acknowledges, “this is me. All the other things I’ve done were not. You just do you.”

Skincare by Feleciai
Photo by Genessa Kealoha

Shop from Skincare by Feleciai online and at local farmers markets:

SkinCarebyFeleciai.com

Facebook.com/SkincarebyFeleciai

Twitter.com/Feleciai

Farmers Markets

Fridays from 8 – 2 p.m at the corner of 9th & Washington, Old Oakland, CA

Sundays from  9 – 1 p.m at 5300 Claremont Avenue, Oakland, CA

 

Volunteer Spotlight: A Perspective on Renaissance From Two International Volunteers

By Genessa Kealoha

Two extraordinary interns were drawn to Renaissance, inspired by our work with local entrepreneurs. We got a look into why they came to Renaissance and what they plan to do next.

Xhorxha Nikolli (pronounced Georgia) is from Albania and has a Bachelors in Psychology and a background in social justice. Before coming to the US she worked with Global Care Albania, assisting low-income women and families. She volunteered with Renaissance from June-December 2016.

Photo Courtesy of Carlos Muller

Carlos Muller came to Renaissance through the Global Training Program, an internship sponsored by the Spanish Government. His role as Development and Evaluation Intern began in January 2017 and will last through July 2017. He has a Masters degree in Executive Development and has worked with Dannon and Ernst and Young in Spain.

 

What drew you to Renaissance?

XN: I found Renaissance through a friend who came to a Renaissance Women’s Network event. I did some research and really liked the mission, especially helping others. I have a background in nonprofits so it was a good fit.

CM: I came with the Global Training Program through the Spanish Government for six months. It’s the same program that Renaissance’s Impact Data Associate-Manager, Jon Jimenez came through. They pay for the internship and let me choose from a variety of companies anywhere in the world. I liked Renaissance’s nonprofit mission of entrepreneurship. Helping other people become economically independent is great. People need it here – it’s crazy the rent is so high!

Photo Courtesy of Xhorxha Nikolli

What has stood out to you about your experience at Renaissance?

XN: I now have a clearer image of what success looks like. I loved reading and writing the client stories. They were very successful, though everyone measures success differently. I got to see what it takes and it was eye-opening. Patience, hard work and good communication are important.

CM: That the help we’re giving is really helpful! Not only the one-on-one consultations, but the courses are great. You learn a lot and you really develop your idea towards success. Taking the Lean Startup class was great. The professors were very good. The six-week course began with startup and value proposition, followed by marketing, finance and student presentations.

 

What do you plan to do next?

XN: I have lots of plans. I want to make my own story of success and hard work. I eventually want to start my own Albanian shoe business. I want to start the business to provide a more rewarding workplace for all the women I was working with in Albania. They are massively underpaid, receiving 20 cents per pair of shoes which are sold for hundreds of euros.

CM: Next steps after the Internship: I want to build my own business selling backpacks and outdoor apparel, but first I would love to get some great experience and learn from the best companies: Patagonia, North Face… It’s very difficult to match an opportunity, but I will try as hard as I can!

 

Carlos and Xhorxha remind us that the entrepreneurial spirit and the drive to help others succeed is something people share across the world. We wish them the best in their next chapters wherever they may land.

Bayview Women Brew Success

By Janice Nesamani

Starting her own southern tea business, Tea Promenade was a dream for Debbie Smith, a dream that Renaissance Bayview Women’s Program has helped make a reality.

Making southern sweet tea was something that Deb always did well. People regularly complimented her brews and suggested she sell them. So one day, Deb did just that! She made some tea, went out into her neighborhood, and sold it for $5 a jar. Deb’s herbal, sugarless teas are made with organic ingredients and generous doses of love. The results are not surprising. “Once people taste my tea, they love it. Someone even told me I would become a millionaire,” Deb says.  

Photo by Vevent Photography, Victoria Lugwig

Despite her initial success, Deb was worried about going into business. Then, she met a friend who suggested she enroll in the Renaissance Bayview Women’s Program. “The course helped a lot. I was scared of the legal and financial aspects of starting a business. Through the entrepreneurship classes, I learned business skills and the importance of social media and networking. More importantly, I know my own worth and the worth of my business. Now, I all I want are empty glasses to fill with my teas.”

Today, Deb supplies her organic teas to local offices. She believes her recipes help reduce stress in the workplace. As for the stress of running her own business, she feels it’s worth the struggle. She loves working with her daughter who is the tea taste inspector! “Making family recipes, getting creative and testing new recipes together is wonderful,” Deb says.  Next on the duo’s list is supplying bars with tea kegs so they can be used in cocktails. They also plan to reach out to event planners through sampling shows and are hoping to eventually retail their products.

Deb’s determination to succeed is not isolated. Statistics show African American women in the United States are one of the most entrepreneurial groups of people today. Since 1997, their business ownership has grown by 322%. For many entrepreneurial women in Bayview it is the same story, despite the several challenges the community faces.

Photo by Karwanna Dyson of Big Mouth Productions

Marcus Tartt, Renaissance Bayview Center Director grew up in Bayview. He has an intimate knowledge of its residents and the challenges they face. Through the years, he has seen them struggle to keep afloat financially, though they are surrounded by a multi-billion dollar economy. The Bayview community in particular has lost a significant number of African-Americans, who were forced to leave their homes and businesses to move to more affordable areas.

“Displacement has a significant impact on low-income families because it erodes their social networks. Being able to call upon a friend or family member for assistance and being able to access resources from within the community is critical to many of these families,” Tartt  says. However, he has seen people who have been displaced continue to go to church and take their kids to school in the communities where they spent a significant part of their lives, even though they may live far away from that community.

“The billion dollar question” says Tartt, “is ‘can we stay?’” Marcus, explains that Renaissance helps people stay in the areas where they currently live by helping them start and develop sustainable small businesses. In turn, this helps keep their communities alive.

To provide women with the resources they need, Renaissance developed ‘Bayview Women’ – a 14-week business training program that empowers Bayview Hunters Point women to achieve economic mobility through skill building, mentorship, networking, and peer support. Services include business planning, financial management, access to capital, networking and personal empowerment. Women are given access to successful entrepreneurs with whom they can discuss personal and business questions and develop ideas. Some of our mentors include, La Shon A. Walker, Director of Community Affairs, Fivepoint, Yvonne Hines of  Yvonne’s Southern Sweets, Brigette LeBlanc of LeBlanc and Associates, April Spears of Auntie April’s Chicken & Waffles, and Dr. Veronica Hunnicutt, Professor at City College of San Francisco and CEO and Founder at HG Inc. at University of San Francisco.

Lottie Titus, Resident Employment Service Connector of Huntersview Family Center/YMCA encourages women to expand their knowledge through the program. Lottie says, “Women of Huntersview are in need of education, training, and employment. The ability to obtain education and training on economic opportunities in San Francisco will allow sustainability and empower them. Renaissance provides an environment where women can come together to learn how to develop their gifts. We all have a ‘God-given’ gift, and Renaissance gives women the tools and resources they need to follow their dreams of having their own business while working toward making it a reality.”

“We’re learning from the women participating in the program. Together,  we’re able to develop strategies to overcome barriers and obstacles to success,” Tartt says.  So far eight women have launched and grown their own businesses. Those who already had businesses are expanding their markets, better understanding their products, and are growing their profit margins.

According to Deb, she gained a lot of knowledge through Bayview Women and that knowledge gave her the freedom to accomplish her goals. “My advice to other women is ask a lot of questions, learn and know about your business, and then do your best. Be excellent at what you do. You never know what people are looking for,” she says.

“Next on the duo’s list is supplying bars with tea kegs so they can be used in cocktails. They also hope to reach out to event planners through sampling shows and are hoping to eventually retail their products.”

Ericka Scott, Program Coordinator, refers to Bayview women as the “Hidden Gems of San Francisco.” She says, “Bayview Women graduates dispel a huge misconception of African-American women who currently live or grew up in subsidized housing. Many of these women are mothers who often juggle two or three jobs, advocate for their community, and are determined to participate in the program to realize their dreams of business ownership.”

Ericka observed that the comradery among the group is phenomenal. “They come together to discuss their dreams and goals. The participants are more hopeful about their futures and the likelihood of leaving entrepreneurial legacies for their children. It is a privilege to serve such creative tenacious women.”

Renaissance thanks the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development’s Invest in Neighborhood Program and First Republic Bank for their generous support for Bayview Women.

 

Tea Promenade

TeaPromenade.com

(650) 290-1290

DebOne19@gmail.com