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Economic Impact: Spanish-Speaking Small Businesses and the Mission of the New Caravan SBDC"

by Jenny Lopez Lowe


The recent inauguration and ribbon cutting of the Caravan SBDC project, under the visionary leadership of Carolina Rosas Saavedra, marks a significant step forward for the Caravanserai Project. Housed at the new Caravanserai Project Offices in Palm Springs, this venture promises to be a catalyst for positive economic advancement in the Coachella Valley. Caravan SBDC is a specialty center that is part of the Orange County Inland Empire  SBDC network serving the Spanish-speaking startup community.  It represents a strategic partnership that aims to provide crucial support and access to funding for local businesses, particularly those owned by minorities, it aligns seamlessly with the Caravanserai Project's mission of fostering entrepreneurship in underserved communities.

As an immigrant, Carolina Rosas Saavedra has a firsthand understanding of the transformative influence that business education and networking incentives can have on small business owners. Her involvement in the local SBDC center is dedicated to serving not only the entrepreneurs themselves but also their families. Carolina recognizes the profound impact that small businesses wield on our economy and acknowledges the intricate connection between family dynamics and the success and longevity of these enterprises.

Caravanserai Project, co-founded in 2016 by Mihai Patru, has been at the forefront of empowering individuals from marginalized and under-resourced communities. The organization's educational programs focus on helping individuals launch and strengthen  both for-profit and nonprofit organizations, with the ultimate goal of generating financial security, economic mobility, and systemic change. The new Caravanserai Project Offices in Palm Springs serves as the epicenter of this transformative endeavor. This strategic location ensures proximity to the local business community, allowing for more direct and impactful engagement. 

The inauguration of the Caravan SBDC at the new Caravanserai Project Offices in Palm Springs signifies a momentous stride towards economic empowerment and inclusivity and partnership with local government. Through targeted support and access to funding, this collaboration aims to unlock the full potential of minority-owned businesses, fostering a more resilient and thriving local economy.

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