Prospera receives Kauffman Foundation funding for economic development in rural areas
Prospera has been selected as one of 19 organizations across the country to receive 2019 Inclusion Open grants from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which received more than 750 applications from over 42 states and U.S. territories. As part of its initiative to fund pilots and programs for inclusive entrepreneurship, the grants seek to test new ideas or scale proven programs centered on inclusion and equity to remove barriers to entrepreneurship. Prospera is an economic development, nonprofit organization that helps start, sustain, and grow Hispanic-owned businesses to achieve community prosperity.
“This award from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in a very competitive national grant process serves as further validation and recognition of Prospera’s economic development model and results,” said Augusto Sanabria, Prospera President and CEO. “The funds awarded will help us enhance our existing programs and presence across the state. We are very excited that more Latinos in North Carolina will now have access to resources that can elevate their business success and the community’s prosperity.”
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation grant will enable Prospera to expand and enhance its bilingual technical assistance program to serve Latino entrepreneurs in seven rural counties in North Carolina. During the next two years, Prospera will reach across the state to deliver personalized and individual consulting services, training and access to capital to underserved Hispanics who wish to start or grow their businesses.
“Our American economy will not grow if underserved entrepreneurs don’t build and grow businesses,” said Natalie Self, program officer in Entrepreneurship at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. “We’re leaving economic potential on the table by having additional barriers for people starting businesses.”
Prospera was established in 1991 in Florida and expanded throughout the state. After 25 years of service, it began delivering services to North Carolina’s Hispanic entrepreneurs and established business owners. In July 2017, Prospera opened an office with one full-time employee in Charlotte. Since then, the organization has been able to impact economic development and the community by delivering individual business consulting to over 250 individuals, training over 500 people in business seminars presented in Spanish, marketing over $570,000 in micro-loans and helping to create and retain 186 jobs.