Newsletters

Winter 2012

Happy 2012 from AnewAmerica! This first newsletter of the new year will focus on AnewAmerica's entrepreneurs and volunteers in the South Bay. AnewAmerica's office in San José is a vibrant hub of microenterprise development and education.  The center houses AnewAmerica’s three-year comprehensive microenterprise development program. Entrepreneurs also visit the center for workshops in financial literacy and foreclosure prevention, one-on-one technical assistance, and Business Action Circles, which provide specialized coaching to entrepreneurs on various areas of business operations and growth. In addition, the location also houses the AnewAmerica Computing and Communications Lab, sponsored by Comcast.

With the support of AnewAmerica's San Jose team, four of our entrepreneurs were recently granted funding from the City of Sunnyvale's NOVA Microenterprise Development Assistance Program. This newsletter features two of these exceptional entrepreneurs from Colombia, Juan Lindo and Yamile Santos. While AnewAmerica serves immigrants from 46 countries, this issue salutes these two Colombian entrepreneurs in the South Bay. This issue also includes a "Donor Spotlight" interview with Jeremey Williams, from Bank of America,  as well as a "Volunteer Spotlight" featuring San José volunteers, Jayashree Burgala  and Vijaya Terupalli.

Donor Spotlight: Bank of America

An Interview with Jeremey Williams, Community Relations Manager, Global Corporate Social Responsibility

1.    AnewAmerica recently received the Neighborhood Excellence Initiative Award (NEI) from Bank of America, which recognizes organizations working to improve their communities. Why does Bank of America choose to support the work of AnewAmerica?
Every year, in the East Bay and more than 40 other communities across the country, Bank of America recognizes, nurtures and rewards high-performing nonprofits through its signature philanthropic program, the Neighborhood Excellence Initiative (NEI). "Neighborhood Builder"
recipients are locally-based organizations that are chosen by a committee of local Bank of America executives and community leaders because they are creating a significant impact in the local community.

NEI provides them with the resources they need to stabilize and grow, including a $200,000 unrestricted grant for general operating support and access to a specially designed leadership development program for its senior executives and emerging leaders. In 2011, the NEI selection committee in the East Bay chose AnewAmerica as one of two organizations deserving of this special recognition.  

2.    How does AnewAmerica's work align with Bank of America's community investment goals?
Bank of America's community investment goal is to collaborate with other organizations in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to build healthy, vibrant neighborhoods where people have opportunities to pursue their dreams. AnewAmerica's innovative model, combining business incubation, asset building and social responsibility to support and encourage local entrepreneurs provides individuals with the tools they need to succeed in their chosen enterprise so that they can thrive personally and, in turn, contribute to the health of their local communities. 

3.    Why is it important to enable low-income new Americans to learn
microenterprise development skills?

The most pressing need in our communities today is jobs, and small businesses are our most reliable engine for job creation. Microenterprise is a critical component within the small business segment because people can access the relatively small amounts of startup capital they need, even if they have only modest resources. But they need to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to start and run a business, and that's where AnewAmerica has proven to be so successful.

4.    What do you see as the value of AnewAmerica's work?
Helping people overcome economic and cultural obstacles so they can achieve their dreams.

Entrepreneur Spotlight:
Yamile Santos and Juan Lindo, City of Sunnyvale NOVA Awardees

Yamile Santos: Serving Children in the South Bay
AnewAmerica Class of 2012

Yamile moved from Colombia to the U.S. in 2003, as her home country lacked the economic opportunities she needed to survive. When Yamile arrived in the U.S., she worked in the assembly and cleaning industries, and began to study English.  After a short period of time, Yamile realized that she wanted to start her own daycare business as a means toward fulfilling work and economic self-sufficiency.  She enrolled in a certificate program to study early childhood education.

(Pictured, from Left to Right: Connie Klink, General Manager San Jose, AnewAmerica; Yamile Santos, Owner, Eagle’s Nest Daycare; Priscilla Jang, Client Management Program Coordinator, AnewAmerica; Rhonda Pryor, Business Liaison, NOVA.

When Yamile discovered AnewAmerica, she had just launched her business, Eagle’s Nest Daycare, in Sunnyvale. However, the daycare wasn’t reaching its full potential.  Yamile enrolled in AnewAmerica’s Assets for New Americans:  Virtual Business Incubator program, and completed our twenty-five week certificate course in Business Planning.  Yamile states, “Before AnewAmerica, I didn’t have many children in my daycare. Now, my daycare is full. AnewAmerica helped me to write my business plan and encouraged me to expand my business. They also helped me to receive a wonderful grant from the City of Sunnyvale.”

In November 2011, Yamile was awarded with a grant from the City of Sunnyvale’s NOVA Microenterprise Development Assistance Program.  This funding enabled her to purchase new educational enhancing equipment and instructional supplies for Eagle’s Nest.  Yamile was also the recipient of AnewAmerica Business Grant, made possible by the support of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Job Opportunities for Individuals, program designed to expand businesses and create jobs. She used this funding to improve the infrastructure of her daycare (see the roof addition pictured right). The daycare currently employs one full-time and one part-time staff-person. 

Yamile’s entrepreneurial vision does not end with one daycare; she has plans to open a preschool this summer, in partnership with her son and sister.  “We want to create a center to assist kids,” she states, “and this new center will enable me to serve a greater number of children.”

Yamile is an AnewAmerica Certified Green Business.  She takes measures to reduce waste, and she purchases organic food. She also makes social responsibility a feature of her business by providing one full scholarship to her daycare for a child from a low-income family.


For more information about Eagle’s Nest Daycare, visit http://eaglesnest.schools.officelive.com/default.aspx.  Eagle’s Nest Daycare is located at 793 Blue Sage Drive, Sunnyvale, CA, 94087.

Juan Lindo: Outfitting the Pros
AnewAmerica Class of 2009

“I am an artist; I am a creator,” says Juan Lindo.  “I always dreamed of becoming a fashion designer and having my own storefront and my own brand name.”   Speaking to the power of visions and hard work, today, Juan is the owner and designer of Zooni Leathers.  Zooni specializes in designing custom leather motorcycle suits for recreational motorcyclists and professional racers.

Since Juan graduated from high school in his home country of Colombia, he has channeled his creative energy into being an entrepreneur.  He opened a shop in Bogota where he made and sold custom-designed jackets.   In the late 1970s, Juan moved to the U.S. to expand his business. However, he confronted major linguistic, cultural, and political barriers. Instead, he pursued an Associates degree in fashion, and worked for a leather jacket shop in Palo Alto, where he gained experience designing custom leather motorcycle suits.

Eventually, Juan broke out on his own to launch Zooni Leathers.  He states, “I could make the best leather suits there were, but I didn’t have knowledge about important aspects of running a business, like sales or marketing.”  During the economic downturn in 2008, Juan recognized that this missing knowledge was threatening the survival of his business. He states, “Because my product is custom-made, it’s considered a luxury item, and these were the first things consumers cut from their budgets.” 

Juan turned to AnewAmerica for the education he needed to enable his business to survive the economic downturn.  Juan states, “AnewAmerica taught me how to write a professional business plan. They have taught me about marketing and advertising, and how to use social media to market my business through classes at their computer lab.”

Recently, Juan was the recipient of a NOVA Microenterprise Assistance Program grant for $10,000, which enabled him to establish a storefront in Sunnyvale. The NOVA grant is designed by the City of Sunnyvale to assist microbusinesses, support their growth and increase their potential for success.  Juan used these resources to help him secure and renovate a storefront, obtain inventory and produce marketing materials.

Juan’s business supports his family in the U.S. and in Colombia. He states, “My business has given me the opportunity to pay for my children’s education.”  As an AnewAmerica Certified Green business, Juan is selective about the materials he uses in his designs: he only uses leather that is processed with plant-based materials and that is recycled from the meat industry.  He also uses the success of his business to give back to the community.  Juan tutors other new American entrepreneurs with their English skills. He states, “I know from experience that learning English is the biggest challenge for immigrants to integrate themselves within American society.”

Juan’s suits were awarded “five stars” by Cycle World Magazine, and he has the strong support of elite professional motorcycle racers.  To see Juan’s remarkable designs, visit Zooni Leathers at 905 W. El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA, 94087. Or, learn about them more online at www.zoonileathers.com.

Volunteer Spotlight: Jayashree Burgala and Vijaya Terupalli

1.Why did you decide to volunteer with AnewAmerica?

Vijaya: I found out about AnewAmerica through Jayashree, and I was very excited to use my passion for art while volunteering for an organization that helps small businesses to have an online presence.
Jayashree: I learned about AnewAmerica through a friend who had previously volunteered there. After hearing about her experiences with the organization, and learning about the organization's mission to create new businesses for low-income families, I decided to volunteer. In my view, this is the best way to give back to society: to help organizations create more jobs.

2.What projects were you involved with as a volunteer at AnewAmerica?
Vijaya: I help AnewAmerica's entrepreneurs create logos, business cards, and assist in website development.
Jayashree: I am involved in building websites for AnewAmerica entrepreneurs. Projects at AnewAmerica give me an opportunity to utilize my skills and knowledge to promote my own growth as well as the growth of the entrepreneurs by helping them to promote their businesses through the web.

3.What have you observed about the challenges facing new American entrepreneurs in the Bay Area? As a volunteer, what have you observed is the importance of AnewAmerica’s work in new American communities?
Vijaya: The challenges that I observe facing new American entrepreneurs is the awareness of basic web technologies. AnewAmerica helps low income entrepreneurs, who without affordable help, wouldn't have a website in par with modern ways of conducting business. AnewAmerica provides a platform and encourages low income small businesses.
Jayashree: AnewAmerica's entrepreneurs are facing a tough situation because of the high unemployment rate. AnewAmerica is helping these entrepreneurs to overcome this situation by providing them with necessary training and coaching to start their own business and at the same time this creates jobs which will improve the economy.

4.Anything else you would like to add?
Vijaya: Thank you very much Priscilla, Connie, Laura for the great opportunities you have provided to us.
Jayashree: I can just say that AnewAmerica is giving entrepreneurs the hope and strength necessary to think out of box to achieve their goals.