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Turn Your Passion into A Real Business with the Help of Centro Community Partners

03.12.2021

All Aspiring and Current Entrepreneurs Welcome

Do you have a dream of waking up every morning and going to work at a business that you own? Maybe you’ve given tapping into your creativity and turning your passion into a living some serious thought. Whether you have a love for creating sweet confections, a passion for photographing life’s best moments, or anything in between, Centro Community Partners can help you get one step closer to being your own boss. Read our blog to learn more — and who knows? One day, you might even own your very own brick and mortar in the heart of Downtown Stockton. 

What is Centro Community Partners?

Centro Community Partners is a 501c3 non-profit organization, and their mission is to, “build thriving communities by providing undeserved, low-income entrepreneurs with entrepreneurship education, one-on-one business advising, mentorship, and access to capital.” In other words, they work to provide education, skills and opportunities to aspiring business owners who need a little help turning their dreams into reality. If you’ve ever considered being your own boss but didn’t feel ready to step out of your comfort zone, we’ve got a helpful solution: check out Centro’s programs! They currently offer the following programs to aspiring entrepreneurs: the Basic Entrepreneurship Program and the Advanced Entrepreneurship Program. The best part? They’re absolutely FREE of charge to join this year. 

Programs For the Aspiring Business Owner and Established Business Owner 

The Basic Entrepreneurship program is aimed towards aspiring business owners who have made the decision to dedicate themselves to the path of owning a business — no prior experience or specific level of education required! If you’re willing to put in the work, Centro’s team will be more than willing to help guide you in your journey! In this program, you’ll expand your knowledge of business concepts, develop your own business concept, broaden your professional network, and more. Sound interesting? Click here to view a schedule of an upcoming program, and register today. 

The Advanced Entrepreneurship program, on the other hand, is designed for established business owners who aim to grow their small businesses to reach $100k in annual revenue. So if you’re already working as a small business owner, this may be the program for you! Here, you’d work with fellow entrepreneurs and advisors to analyze your current business, develop improvement goals, and execute action plans to achieve these goals. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to further grow your business! Register for an upcoming program here. 

A Familiar Face

If you do decide to sign up for an upcoming program (we definitely recommend it – we’re rooting for you!) you may see a familiar face: the DSA’s Economic Development Director, Courtney Wood! Courtney, armed with her MBA Degree and years of experience in economic development, also serves as a trainer for the local Centro programs. Luckily, she was able to share more details with us about Centro:

How would you describe your experience so far as a mentor/trainer for Centro Community Partners?

“Being a trainer for Centro for the past 4 years has been a very rewarding and educational experience. Each entrepreneur has their own story, vision, and motivation for pursuing entrepreneurship, and yet they face many common struggles or obstacles that must be navigated in order to achieve their dreams. I enjoy helping entrepreneurs think deeply and critically about how to solve their business challenges and reach their goals; and I love seeing the amazing creativity, idea-sharing, and collaboration which grows out of the think-tank kind of environment that Centro programs cultivate.”

In your own words, why would you encourage an aspiring entrepreneur to participate in Centro’s programs?

“Centro offers a few types of workshops suited to the needs of entrepreneurs at different levels of support: 

Business Planning Bootcamps are great for people looking to quickly and easily create a very basic version of their business plan (2 days!), whether they are just in the idea phase or are already in operation.

Basic Entrepreneur Workshops are best for helping entrepreneurs (or aspiring entrepreneurs) create a more robust, polished business plan (which may be needed in preparation for a loan); develop their business pitch; and cultivate a basic understanding of the moving parts of running their business, from market analysis to business finance.

Advanced Entrepreneur Workshops are best for those entrepreneurs already in business who are looking for support in trying to take their business to the next level – it is a very action and task-oriented workshop where entrepreneurs are pushed to achieve their goals by the facilitator, each other, small business advisors, and themselves!

While the focus of each program is slightly different, attendees of all Centro programs receive core benefits:

  1. Aid in forming a solid, business-plan based foundation upon which they can securely build
  2. A supportive group environment where each entrepreneur can feel comfortable sharing their triumphs, tips, and struggles
  3. Access to 1:1 advising 
  4. Connection with other resources or organizations that can also help them on their entrepreneurial journey, including access to 0% interest lender Kiva

Bonus: In Stockton, Centro partners with the Mexican Heritage Center & Gallery in downtown. Due to the pandemic, all programs have transitioned to a fully virtual format and are being offered entirely for free through 2021.”

Are there upcoming programs?

“Yes! Upcoming Stockton-focused programs are:

Mar. 9th – Apr. 27th – Advanced Entrepreneur Workshop (In English) – This program has already begun, but we are still accepting registrations through Monday March 15th.
May 18th – June 15th – Basic Entrepreneur Workshop (In English)
Apr. 24th & 25th – Business Plan Bootcamp (En Español)

Keep up with future Stockton program dates here.

Finally, Centro is also offering free 1:1 advising for businesses needing support due to the pandemic. If interested, either fill out this form, call +1 (510) 556-4249 , or email  [email protected]

We Wish You the Best!

Now that you’ve learned a little more about Centro Community Partners and the amazing work they do for aspiring small business owners, we hope you take advantage of their programs and register for upcoming classes. If you need some motivation, check out these success stories. Now, you’re one step closer to owning your own business!

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