Solution Overview

Solution Name:

Centro App: Democratize Entrepreneurship

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One-line solution summary:

An inclusive app empowering women and minorities to pursue entrepreneurship as a pathway towards employment and a secure financial future

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Pitch your solution.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted small businesses and has disproportionately affected minority owned small businesses, as well as minority held jobs. The current situation requires rapid response to save small businesses and promote entrepreneurship as a pathway towards economic opportunity. As part of our solution, Centro will:

1) Connect aspiring entrepreneurs or existing businesses with service providers such as micro-lenders or business service providers via the Centro App

2)  Train non-profits in rural communities to build capacity and utilize Centro’s technology and curriculum to scale their services, serving women and minority owned businesses.

3) Provide online entrepreneurship education in English and Spanish

We will drive systemic change to create economic stability, financial inclusion and asset ownership amongst vulnerable individuals empowering them to build economic resilience. As these individuals start or grow small businesses, their participation in economy will drive job creation, raising wages and reducing poverty.

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Film your elevator pitch.

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What specific problem are you solving?

Small business ownership offers itself as an economic opportunity that can create generational wealth, transforming communities. According to recent report by McKinsey, the 1.1 million minority-owned small businesses in the US are an essential job source, employing more than 8.7 million workers and annually generating more than $1 trillion in economic output. While small businesses form the backbone of the US economy, they face considerable hurdles to grow sustainable businesses.

The current micro-enterprise development ecosystem is not well-equipped to support the growth prospects of small businesses in the US. This problem is more prevalent amongst entrepreneurs of color who continue to face racial barriers in starting or growing small businesses. According to Aspen/FIELD report (2017), the contributing factors are: (1) Lack of access to entrepreneurship training programs that are culturally relevant; (2) Lack of knowledge and access to capital sources; (3) Lack of access to mentorship or business networks that cater to the needs of this specific demographics. Further, the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected minority and women led small businesses who were already facing challenges due to the above issues.

Our proposed solution seeks to address these systemic challenges.

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What is your solution?

Designed to utilize the best practices in adult education and mobile technology, our solution is the Centro App. Our unique Centro App helps aspiring entrepreneurs or existing business owners to:

1) Create their business plan and define their business models.

2) Create their Personal and Business Financial statements.

3) Plan for a new or growing small business without having any formal entrepreneurship training.

4) Connect with local small business micro-lenders and support resources.

Users can download the Centro App for free from the Apple App Store or Google Android Store on their smart phones or tablets and access three different features available:

1) Business Plan: This section features basic business modules that allows entrepreneurs to create a business plan by completing a series of engaging activities.

2) Funding: The Funding section offers need-based solutions to entrepreneurs by providing access to micro-loans to help entrepreneurs with their capital needs, build or improve their credit or build assets using savings products.

3) Resources: This area connects entrepreneurs with a network of business advisors or nonprofit micro-enterprise development organizations (MDOs) for business support services.

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Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

The Centro App is primarily designed to serve low-income women, minority and immigrant entrepreneurs. The profile and characteristics of the Centro App users are:

· Low-income background with 58% earning less than $50,000 per year;

· About 50% are women

· Ethnically diverse including: Latinos (40%), Black (40%), Asians (10%) and Caucasian (10%)

· Immigrants with English as the second language;

· 15% are ages 16 to 24; 70% ages 25 to 45; 15% ages 45 to 65.

The Centro App democratizes access to quality unbiased entrepreneurship training, financial literacy programs, vetted nonprofit micro-lenders and business advisory service providers. The Centro App can be:

1) Utilized as a stand-alone tool by individuals to draft business plans, access capital and connect with small business service providers.

2) Combined with Centro’s curriculum to be used as a learning tool by non-profits providing technical assistance programs.

3) Utilized to create virtual micro-enterprise development ecosystems across the US connecting underserved entrepreneurs with resources to spur small business development and asset building.

We strive to meet our entrepreneurs where they are, keeping our ear to the ground and listen to community needs. We learn directly from the entrepreneurs, incorporating feedback and making constant improvements and adjustments to our Centro App.

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Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Drive resources and support to Black, Indigenous, and Latinx entrepreneurs and innovators
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Explain how the problem, your solution, and your solution’s target population relate to the Reimagining Pathways to Employment in the US Challenge and your selected dimension.

In the US, long standing racial and gender injustices continue to hinder women and minority entrepreneurs from pursuing entrepreneurship to achieve financial stability. Our solution addresses the gaps in the small business development ecosystem to support Black, Indigenous and Latinx entrepreneurs and connects them with the resources to start or grow small businesses.

With the Centro App, we have successfully tested and deployed a scalable solution that can be used to promote entrepreneurship as a pathway towards employment, build economic resilience in local communities, catalyze growth of small businesses, facilitate access to capital, create jobs and grow household income.

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In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?

Oakland, CA, USA
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In which US state(s) will you be operating within the next year?

  • California
  • Florida
  • New York
  • Texas
  • Washington
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What is your solution’s stage of development?

Growth: An organization with an established product, service, or business model rolled out in one or, ideally, several communities, which is poised for further growth
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Who is the team lead for your solution?

Arturo Noriega, Founder and CEO

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How many people work on your solution team?

Our team is comprised of 15 people. We have our core full-time team of six (6) and nine (9) trainers. We also have two (2) contractors that engineer our technology solution, besides one (1) marketing consultant and one (1) human resource consultant.

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: What is your approach to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization?

We recognize that the success and the well-being of our staff and beneficiaries grows from a culture of inclusivity, equity, excellence and we embrace diversity, which includes a full spectrum of attributes, backgrounds, cultures, identities, abilities, beliefs, and ideas that enrich communities. We believe that each one of us want to know that we belong and we are seen, heard, and valued. We want to be acknowledged for our unique perspectives and work and learn together side-by-side embracing our differences. At Centro, we value inclusion and diversity and we strive to empower the marginalized members of our community to help them reach their full potential.

Our staff and board are comprised of Latinos, African-Americans, Asians, Native Americans and Whites with 30% men and 70% women. We only collaborate with organizations that practice diversity, equity and inclusion because it is a part of Centro’s values, greater vision and advocacy efforts.

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More About Your Solution

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new application of an existing technology
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Describe what makes your solution innovative.

Centro’s innovative approach is driven by industry data and research published by the Aspen Institute, Federal Reserve, Opportunity Finance Network, Association of Enterprise Opportunity, and the Milken Institute.

By providing entrepreneurship education and inventing new ways to integrate training with mobile technology to reach low-income women and minority entrepreneurs, we were able to innovate. With the launch of the Centro App, we have taken an innovative leap forward to create virtual micro-enterprise development ecosystems accessible to women, minority entrepreneurs and underserved communities nationwide. As supported by research and our recent impact report, the participation of these entrepreneurs in the economy will create jobs, build assets and alleviate poverty in underserved communities.

To our knowledge, no other organization is linking entrepreneurs with enterprise building tools, small business lenders, and business resources on one platform like Centro. Our competitors include Dreambuilder (Thunderbird School of Global Management) and FastTrak (Kauffman Foundation). Both require participants to be in a classroom with a computer to receive the trainings. The Centro App is unique as it is a stand-alone micro-enterprise development ecosystem providing business planning, access to capital and business advisory services, all-inclusive in one free app. It can be easily scaled and replicated nationally to catalyze business ownership and alleviate poverty.

There are other complimentary service providers such as the Mission Asset Fund in San Francisco, (recently launched myMAF app to provide financial literacy education, tools, and resources) and myWay to Credit in Washington DC (an online marketplace to connect small businesses with credit options).

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Describe the core technology, if applicable, that powers your solution.

We decided to focus on creating a solution that meets our entrepreneurs where they are. The vast majority of the entrepreneurs we serve are more likely to have access to a mobile device than a computer with internet.

The front-end of our app uses Xamarin, which allows us to leverage the open source technology to maintain 80% code sharing - which means the majority of code is used for both Android and iOS versions of the app.

For our backend, we use a combination of Ruby on Rails, Heroku, Postgres, AWS, and Mandrill.

For debugging and analytics, we use Google’s Firebase, Crashlytics and Data Studio, as well as MixPanel.

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Provide evidence that this technology works.

The Centro App has become a key component of our curriculum in California and New York, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic requiring online programing. As evidence of our success, we track several metrics to measure our impact. As per our recent survey analysis of our graduates:

1) When entrepreneurs start in Centro’s program, over half (52%) were in concept stage. Within the first year, 56% of the graduates reported having started their business.

2) 28% or 11 entrepreneurs reported to have started paying themselves something.

3) 17% or 41 entrepreneurs reported to have hired someone else to help them.

4) 16% or 38 entrepreneurs reported to have started filing business taxes.

5) 18% or 43 entrepreneurs reported to have received their first loan within the last 12 months

Besides measuring impact from last 12 months, Centro also conducted impact studies asking entrepreneurs that graduated from its entrepreneurship training programs more than 1-year ago. Following are the results:

1) Annual Sales: 68% reported having sales, generating a total annual revenue of $3,975,000 and an average annual revenue of $52,304.

2) Investment in Jobs: 40% shared that they incurred labor costs over the last 12 months, resulting $1,704,000 in total labor costs and an average of $37,872 per business

3) Access to Capital: 25% of the entrepreneurs reported having accessed capital since graduating Centro’s program, representing a total of $1,358,950. Combined with data gathered prior to these surveys, Centro graduates have accessed $2,497,715 in micro-loans.

For success stories, please visit www.centrocommunity.org/blog

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What is your theory of change?

We believe that if we can fuel the imagination and the will of low-income and underserved entrepreneurs with the right education and financial tools, we can break the cycle of poverty and change entire communities. Besides serving individual clients, our systemic approach adds value and fill the gaps in a fragmented small business development ecosystem through the provision of augmenting tools, connecting systems, and increasing the capacity of existing service providers.

The Centro App facilitates access to high quality technical assistance training programs and services to empower individuals  and up skill them with entrepreneurship training and financial education. The Centro App teaches basic business functions, helping clients prepare business plans, access capital and gain confidence in their ability to help them with their entrepreneurial ventures. Building upon their business plan and resources that catalyze small businesses, our clients start new businesses (or grow existing businesses) create local jobs, increase revenue, increase household income/savings and pursue loans, thereby contributing to local economy and transforming entire communities.

Besides serving individual clients, our solution also supports building capacity in local small business ecosystems, empowering non-profits, micro-enterprise development organizations (MDOs) and community development financial institutions (CDFIs). The Centro App is a scalable solution for MDOs and CDFIs to market their programs/services and connect with entrepreneurs in their community. Clients can connect with MDOs and CDFIs via the Centro App and avail their services for their businesses (such as one-on-one business advisory services, business planning assistance, small business loans). Using the Centro App as a platform, organizations can lower their operating, reduce marketing and client acquisition costs, scale their services, streamline their operations, increase their business revenue and become financially sustainable to provide curated solutions to address the needs of the small business community in their respective geographies. As these MDOs and CDFIs thrive, they add value to the local micro-enterprise development ecosystems supporting small business development and building economic resilience in local economies.

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Select the key characteristics of your target population.

  • Women & Girls
  • LGBTQ+
  • Rural
  • Urban
  • Poor
  • Low-Income
  • Middle-Income
  • Refugees & Internally Displaced Persons
  • Minorities & Previously Excluded Populations
  • Persons with Disabilities
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How many people does your solution currently serve? How many people did your solution serve in 2019? 2018? 2017?

As of November 10, 2020, we have served a total of 5,250 entrepreneurs. Following are the numbers for last three years: 2019: 863 people, 2018: 849 people, 2017: 1002 people

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What percent of the people you served in 2019 were between the age of 15 and 30?

  • 61-80%
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What are your goals within the next year and within the next five years?

We plan to scale within the next year as follows:

1) Using the Centro App as a platform, we will continue building virtual ecosystems across the US, partnering with 150+ micro-lenders, community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and micro-enterprise development organizations (MDOs) to strengthen local micro-enterprise development ecosystems

2) We will partner with national level membership-based organizations - the National Association of Latino Community Asset Builders and the Association of Economic Opportunity providing train-the-trainer trainings to nonprofit members to scale their programs.

3) We will curate a Learning Management System facilitating MDOs access our curriculum, teaching tools and methodologies to scale their programs.

Over the next five years, our strategy is to expand nationally and fill the gaps in the micro-enterprise development ecosystem. We would also:

1) Use the Centro App to help entrepreneurs find and connect with entrepreneurship programs and micro-lenders that deliver curated services.

2) Create virtual ecosystems to increase the number of entrepreneurs that CDFIs and MDOs are able to connect with and enable them to expand their outreach in rural communities.

3) Replicate Centro’s success and solution in communities, thereby offering a scalable solution that is accessible for underserved entrepreneurs. 

4) Collect relevant impact data and metrics to better understand the indicators that lead to entrepreneurial success for BIPOC and women entrepreneurs. The data will also allow us to gain insights into the journey of entrepreneurs and inform policy makers.

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What barriers currently exist for you to accomplish your goals in the next year and in the next five years?

Following are some of the current barriers that exist:

· Lack of funding: It’s a challenge to raise funding to develop innovative technology as a nonprofit and build capacity. The majority of economic development funders focus on funding programs and not on innovative solutions.

· Delay in development of technology: As a team of dedicated professionals, we understand the needs of the economic development sector and can propose solutions or programs. However, we lack the engineering expertise in our team which hampers our ability and causes delays.

· Marketing: We lack a dedicated marketing team to amplify our solution to connect with entrepreneurs in vulnerable communities.

· Quality Assurance in the Centro App: As we build an ecosystem by adding more organizations to the Centro App, we need to ensure that these organizations provide quality support to entrepreneurs.

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How do you plan to overcome these barriers?

· Lack of funding: We raised more than $500,000+ in grants to support the development of the Centro App. We are expanding our grantor pool to include foundations or funders focused on supporting innovative projects and technological solutions.

· Delay in development of technology: Centro has hired professional developers to build and maintain the product.

· Marketing: Centro will hire a marketing specialist to help create and execute a go-to-market and promotion strategy that can help us reach entrepreneurs in vulnerable communities.

· Quality Assurance of the Centro App: We have developed and implemented a standardized vetting process of nonprofit organizations participating in the Centro ecosystem to provide verifiable, up-to-date information on their programs.

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What outcomes data would you like to be collecting that you are not yet able to collect?

While we are already collecting rich data regarding the entrepreneur journey milestones and impact metrics by our program participants, we have not yet applied this data collection to everyone using our app to start and grow their businesses. By incorporating this functionality into the app, we’ll be able to:

1) Understand our incremental positive impact (rather than simply measuring how many complete their business plans) and

2) Increase the pool of people providing this feedback by more than 10x.

Our vision is to use machine learning to help us pinpoint success factors to help guide our product improvements, and inform other organizations providing similar support and policy makers.

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About Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?

Nonprofit
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How many people are on your leadership team? (Of these, please provide the number of individuals from your leadership team that are full time, part time, and volunteer)

2 full-time

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What is the number of individuals from my leadership team that attended community college for at least one year?

1

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What is the number of individuals from my leadership team that received a Pell grant as a college student?

1

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In what year was your organization founded? How many years have you worked on your solution?

Centro was founded in 2010 and we have been working on our solution since 2013 or for 7 years

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Why are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

Our team is comprised of experts in technology, education and economic development serving beneficiaries for 10+ years. Our value proposition lies in our experience and expertise. Following are our team members responsible for delivery of the solution:

Arturo Noriega, Founder & CEO: With 30 years of experience as a management consultant, specializing in economic development, strategy, entrepreneurship, risk management and finance, Arturo leads Centro.

Naldo Peliks, COO: Naldo is responsible for managing operations and leading Centro’s technology development. He brings 17 years of business strategy and product development experience in technology, banking, retail, and education.

Daniel Healy, Senior Program Manager: Daniel is responsible for managing and developing educational content for Centro’s programs and the Centro App. He brings over 12 years of experience as a professional trainer and advisor, having worked in the education, economic development and governments sectors.

Estefania Cardona, Program Manager: Estefania manages programs,  the entrepreneurship trainers, and partnerships. She coordinates a team of 10 to run almost 40 programs per year in multiple time zones that leads to the graduation of about 300 entrepreneurs.

 A key factor to our organization’s success is our involvement with the communities and the low-income entrepreneurs we serve. We learn directly from the entrepreneurs, incorporating feedback and making constant improvements and adjustments to our programs and our Centro App based on this feedback loop. We hire people from the community because we want our entrepreneurs to be well connected and we want our trainers to understand the needs of their cohort participants.

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What organizations do you currently partner with, if any? How are you working with them?

Centro is currently partnering with micro-lenders, community development financial institutions (CDFIs), micro-enterprise development organizations (MDOs) and non-profits. This is how we work with them:

1)    With other non-profits or technical assistance service providers

The cost of providing technical assistance (TA) services in the US is very high for the non-profit sector. According to recent report from ASPEN institute, its costs $4,500 per entrepreneur per year for a non-profit or MDO to provide TA services. Using Centro’s turn-key solution (The Entrepreneurship Suite or E-Suite), Centro’s partners have successfully scaled their programs and lowered their cost of providing technical assistance programs

Centro is currently partnering with 15 non-profits or technical assistance service providers using its Entrepreneurship or E-Suite.

2)    With CDFIs, micro-lenders and MDOs featured on the Centro App

Using the Centro App as a platform, Centro has built localized virtual micro-enterprise development ecosystems, hosting service providers such as CDFIs and MDOs. We engage with local service providers in our target geographies to host their services on the Centro App under the Funder and Resource section. For example, in the Bay Area, an entrepreneur can utilize the Centro App to connect with Main Street Launch (an Oakland based CDFI) or Kiva for their capital needs. If they need business assistance or advisory services, they can connect us (Centro Community Partners) or ICA – Fund Good Jobs (a local accelerator that educates and invests in small businesses)

Centro currently partners with 50 non-profit MDOs providing technical assistance programs and 30 micro-lenders or capital providers.

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Your Business Model & Funding

What is your business model?

Even though women and minorities have emerged as one of the fastest growing segments of new business creation in the US, they face greater hurdles accessing resources. We believe that the development of healthy small businesses, is one of the most effective sources of economic and social benefits. These benefits flow efficiently from entrepreneurs to families and neighbors, transforming entire communities. This theory informs all our signature programming as well as the value proposition we offer via our programs and services.

Given our experience in the sector, Centro offers the following services:

1. Centro App

The Centro App is a free app to users and that walks entrepreneurs through a series of modules to produce a micro-loan ready business plan. Micro-lenders featured on the app are willing to pay a membership fee.

2. Basic Entrepreneurship Program

This is a 9-week in-class program that teaches women and minority entrepreneurs about basic business functions resulting in a business plan. We currently provide the program online and charge a small fee.

3. Advanced Entrepreneurship Readiness Program

This is a 10-week in-class program that prepares entrepreneurs to launch and grow their businesses plan to reach $100,000 in annual revenue within three (3) years. We currently provide the program online and charge a small fee.

4. Entrepreneurship Suite (E-Suite)

The E-Suite combines the Centro App, entrepreneurship and financial literacy curriculum, facilitator’s guide and an online train-the-trainer program to train non-profits on Centro’s methodologies. We conduct the training program online and charge an annual licensing fee.

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Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, or to other organizations?

Individual consumers or stakeholders (B2C)
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What is your path to financial sustainability?

Centro derives its revenue from grants (90%) and fees-for-service (10%). Centro secures its grants from corporations, foundations, financial institutions, and in-kind donations. In addition to grants, Centro has also developed a fees-for-service model by selling annual subscription licenses and training of its Entrepreneurship Suite to other non-profit organizations for use of Centro’s proprietary Centro App Portal and program curriculum, and by providing train-the-trainer and other customer support services as a turnkey solution.

The restrictions on the grant funds make it difficult for Centro to innovate or provide our talented and experienced staff complete compensation packages that includes market rate salaries, medical benefits, and retirement accounts. Since innovation is a part of our strategy and business model, Centro decided to start increasing its fees-for-service from 10% to 30% in the next two years to pay for innovation and compensation packages There are three revenue opportunities:

1) Centro already collects fees from MDOs that are trained and are provided access to Centro’s technology and resources to support entrepreneurs in their communities.

2) Centro will receive referral fees (1%-3% of total loan funded) from CDFIs for every entrepreneur that is referred by Centro’s App and becomes a micro-loan borrower.

3) We will collect data for government policy improvement to better help women and BIPOC and share our findings in reports.

The revenue generated from these opportunities will allow us to continue our work and cover our expenses.

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If you have raised funds for your solution or are generating revenue, please provide details.

Centro has raised over $500,000 for development and launch of the Centro App, primarily through grants. Following are the details as requested:

Year 2013: Philanthropy Ventures Foundation: $10,000

Year 2014: eBay Foundation: $75,000

Year 2015: Google.org: $100,000 and Vodafone Americas Foundation: $50,000

Year 2016: JPMorgan Chase: $50,000 and Vodafone Americas Foundation: $50,000

Year 2017: NBCUniversal: $15,000 and Water and Elise Haas Fund: $25,000

Year 2018: Vodafone Americas Foundation: $25,000

Year 2019: Sobrato Family Foundation: $75,000 and TechStars Foundation: $50,000

Year 2020: AARP Foundation: $50,000

We have not earned any revenue from the Centro App in the past 12 months but expect to pursue revenue generating opportunities in year 2021 with the launch of the current version.


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If you seek to raise funds for your solution, please provide details.

By end of current fiscal year (ending June 30, 2021), we expect to raise $250,000 for our solution to add additional features and enhance its capabilities such as impact measurement, hosting additional micro-lenders or service providers and market our solution nationwide for women and minority entrepreneurs.

To reach our budget target, we are engaging with our current funders and initiating conversations with new funders to explore funding opportunities for technology development, receiving a positive response. Based on our initial conversations, we expect to submit $175,000 in grant proposals to support of our solution. 

Due to the confidential nature of our conversations, we cannot disclose additional details here but can share in private if requested.

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What are your estimated expenses for 2021?

Our estimated budget for our proposed solution for 2021 is $250,000. Following is a breakdown of the major components and costs involved:

Learning Management System (LMS) to Support Workshops and Partners Networks ($100,000):

Our aim is to deploy a LMS that can offer our programming across the US in underserved communities. The LMS will enable Centro to scale our programs, creating efficiencies in program management by using a centralized platform for program participants, Centro’s trainers, Centro’s partnership network and our program management team.

Integrate Centro App Survey Tool to Measure Impact in Real Time ($70,000)

Collecting impact data is one of the most challenging tasks for nonprofit organizations in our industry. By integrating surveys in the Centro App, we will be able to better gauge how many people are achieving positive results by measuring the incremental progress of our entrepreneurs.

Automated System to Scale & Manage Lenders and Business Resources on the Centro App ($40,000)

For now, we manually add lenders and resources on the Centro App that support entrepreneurs in locations where Centro provides workshops or where we’ve had the greatest number of Centro App downloads. As we look to significantly scale our reach, we will design a process for nonprofit micro-lenders and resource organizations to input and update their information themselves.

 Marketing the Centro App nationwide ($40,000) To market our solution nationally, we will launch a marketing campaign utilizing a variety of media outlets and platforms to reach women and minority entrepreneurs across the US.

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Partnership Opportunities

Why are you applying to the Reimagining Pathways to Employment in the US Challenge?

We are applying because we are a part of a national movement that builds equity and social justice that helps workers. As a tech-based non-profit, we address the barriers head on to scale solutions to help millions of workers.

We believe that innovation, entrepreneurial drive and motivation is distributed equally regardless of race or gender but opportunity and resources to exercise that innovative and entrepreneurial spirit are not due to institutional racism in the economic development system. Centro seeks to support Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) entrepreneurs by providing them access to resources and financial tools. Impacted individuals can exercise their self-determination and change their communities by breaking the cycle of poverty through their own drive and entrepreneurial spirit.

Latinx and African-Americans have emerged as the fastest growing demographic segment in the US, demonstrating the highest rates of entrepreneurship. For their families, small business ownership offers an opportunity to achieve financial stability, build generational wealth, sustain household income and contribute towards positive economic and social benefits. These benefits flow efficiently from entrepreneurs to neighborhoods, transforming entire communities. The current small business development ecosystem faces several challenges including lack of access to culturally and linguistically relevant programs, appropriate capital products, and expertise amongst providers in these sectors in terms of working with and establishing relationships with BIPOC communities. These systemic and racial challenges deny BIPOC communities the opportunity to pursue entrepreneurship in an equitable way.

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In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

  • Funding and revenue model
  • Board members or advisors
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Marketing, media, and exposure
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Please explain in more detail here.

We are looking for partners who can provide us with advice and mentorship in following key areas:

Funding and Revenue Model: The Centro App as a platform provides us with opportunities to generate revenue and lower our dependence on grants. As such, we need assistance to explore revenue streams from offering the Centro App as software-as-a-service or SaaS.

Board Member or Advisors: We are currently recruiting Board Members, as well as Advisors, who are experts in areas of technology development, nonprofit governance and fiscal management. We

Monitoring and Evaluation: We would also like to connect with data management or impact consultants to assist us with our data management and impact analysis processes.

Marketing, media and exposure: To market our solution nationally, we need assistance to execute a marketing campaign and use a variety of media platforms to engage with women and minority entrepreneurs, CDFIs and MDOs nationwide

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What organizations would you like to partner with, and how would you like to partner with them?

Centro would like to pursue partnerships with the following organizations to help us advance our solution:

1) Ecosystem Partners: As we plan to execute a national rollout of the Centro App, we would like to collaborate with ecosystem partners who can adopt our solution to serve their mission or objectives and introduce us to their member organizations or chapters nationally. Some of the organizations that we would like to partner with include United States Small Business Association (SBA), Women’s Business Centers, Small Business Development Corporations (SBDCs), Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), Urban League and Aspen Institute

2) Marketing Partners: To spread the word regarding our solution and promote it nationally, we would like to partner with Univision, Comcast and Netflix

3) Funding Partners: Given our focus to promote entrepreneurship as a pathway towards building resilient economies and supporting women and minorities, we align well with giving focus of prominent funding organizations that we would like to partner with. We would like to pursue funding from Kauffman Foundation, Kellogg Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation and collaborate with them to pursue funding opportunities to support our solution for national rollout.

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Solution Team

  • Arturo Noriega Founder and CEO, Centro Community Partners
  • Naldo Peliks COO, Centro Community Partners
 
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