Newsletters

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.

Summer 2011 Newsletter

Save the Date! Thursday, November 10th

AnewAmerica’s Microenterprise Expo and Gala: Building A New Future

6pm-9pm
Scottish Rite Center
1547 Lakeside Drive 
Oakland, CA 94612

Join us for a festive celebration! The Gala will feature live music, local ethnic food, and a not-to-miss international business expo (a great opportunity to do your holiday shopping!).  This is a wonderful occasion to support AnewAmerica’s programs, celebrate our accomplishments, and enjoy unique entertainment and food.

For details, including sponsorship information, contact Larena Burno at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at (510) 540-7785 ext. 305.

 


 

Donor Spotlight: StopWaste.Org

An Interview with Meri Soll, Program Manager, StopWaste.Org

Meri SollWhy does StopWaste.Org support the work of AnewAmerica?

StopWaste.Org supports the work of AnewAmerica because we feel it’s important to outreach to as many Alameda County businesses and residents on ways to reduce, reuse, recycle and compost.  Alameda County is a very large and diverse community and we work with a variety of organizations to get our message out.  Partnering with AnewAmerica enables StopWaste.Org to better connect with the new immigrant population.

Why is it important to teach low-income new Americans microenterprise development skills that are environmentally-friendly?

It is important to educate all residents and businesses to be good stewards of the environment. However, it is especially important to reach low-income new Americans because their access to this type of education is limited and they are constrained with additional pressures of learning a new language and culture.  As a result, environmental stewardship can take a back seat in regards to their priorities. We need to provide new Americans with the tools and resources to be good stewards of the environment.

What does StopWaste.Org view as its role in cultivating ecologically-conscious individuals and entrepreneurs?

StopWaste.Org has a variety of resources to support individuals and entrepreneurs in developing sustainable businesses.  Our grants, loans, market development and business partnership programs provide both technical and financial resources to forward thinking businesses and individuals interested in reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills.  Visit www.StopWaste.org for more information.

AnewAmerica very much appreciates StopWaste.Org’s support to promote the long-term economic empowerment of new Americans – new citizens, immigrants, and refugees – and to encourage their full participation in the political, social and cultural growth of America.

 


Welcome Reception for Viola Gonzales, Hosted by the East Bay Community Foundation

On June 22nd, AnewAmerica threw a welcome reception for our new CEO, Viola Gonzales. The event, hosted by the East Bay Community Foundation, featured live music and hors d'oeuvres made by AnewAmerica's food entrepreneurs.  Many friends and funders joined us at this lively and spirited event to welcome Viola and to show their commitment to supporting AnewAmerica's mission to provide comprehensive microenterprise development services to new American immigrants and refugees in the Bay Area.

Nicole Taylor (President & CEO, East Bay Community Foundation) provided the opening remarks, followed by Dr. Sandra Hernández (CEO, San Francisco Foundation).  Xavier Abrams (Chair of AnewAmerica's Board of Directors), and Robert Lattimore, (AnewAmerica's Chief Operating Officer), provided introductory comments for Viola Gonzales. Viola spoke about her experience with the new American community and her commitment to leading AnewAmerica into a new era of growth and success.  Viola emphasized her dedication to green business practices and her vision for the increasingly green future of AnewAmerica. She stated, "We can't just talk about being green, we have to embody the experience of it and set a real example for the communities we serve."  Click here to view more pictures from the event.


Entrepreneur Spotlight

Elva Aguilar: Promoting Healthy Living through Green Cleaning 
AnewAmerica Entrepreneur, Class of 2010

Ten years ago Elva Aguilar and her six-year-old daughter immigrated to California from El Salvador to start a better life away from the unstable economic situation of their home country. Elva arrived in Richmond in 2001, speaking no English. She began cleaning houses to support herself and her daughter.

After cleaning houses for five years, Elva got very ill. She states, “I realized I had been using these toxic chemicals without knowing what was in them and how they were affecting me. From then on, I have only used non-toxic cleaning supplies in all of the houses I clean.”

Elva continued to clean houses for four years using only non-toxic supplies while expanding her clientele and informing people of the benefits of non-toxic cleaning, but she still felt like her business needed more stability. Then, she enrolled in AnewAmerica’s microbusiness development program. After completing the twenty-five week certificate program in Business Planning and graduating in December of 2010, she began planning for her new green business, Vitta’s House Cleaning. Elva states, “The program has empowered me to go further with my work than I ever knew I could. I really feel a sense of control over my new-found business and a path for a better future. AnewAmerica gave me the tools I need to expand my business.”

Through AnewAmerica, Elva learned how to better market her green business utilizing web-based communication tools. Since completing AnewAmerica’s certificate program, Elva has increased her revenue by twenty-five percent and has hired two workers to help her clean. She is learning how to plan for her retirement, and continues to support her family and others in need in El Salvador and Richmond. As part of Elva’s long-term business plan, she wants to hire more employees and move into a managerial role so that she can create new jobs for others and achieve her personal goals.

Elva’s business is an AnewAmerica Certified Green Business. Elva continues to try new green products and to customize cleaning programs for each house, apartment, and commercial establishment she cleans in the Bay Area. You can visit Elva’s website to find out more about what she does at: http://www.greenmaidtoday.com. You may get in touch with Elva Aguilar by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone: (510) 734-2035.

Story written by Alison Fischman. Photo (above) taken at the San Francisco Green Festival, courtesy of Amanda Barnes.


Recent Events

Café Gabriela Turns One Year Old!

PennyThis spring, Penny Baldado, AnewAmerica Class of 2009,  celebrated the one year anniversary of her business, Café Gabriela.  Penny realized her vision of opening an environmentally-friendly café after completing AnewAmerica’s 25-week course in Business Planning. Penny learned how to write her business, asset and marketing plans. She also learned about all of the Bay Area green business resources that could assist her in opening her dream green café.

Penny is committed to supporting local and organic suppliers. She serves the famous Blue Bottle Coffee, as well as an assortment of locally-made pastries, soups, salads and sandwiches, including Penny’s take on the traditional Filipino adobo dish.

Café Gabriela is an AnewAmerica Certified Green Business. It’s located in downtown Oakland, at 988 Broadway, between 9th and 10th Streets.

Microlending Symposium a Big Success

On May 19th, AnewAmerica, alongside the U.S. SBA and Citi, hosted a symposium on “The Best in Micro-Finance: Micro-Lending and Our Entrepreneurs.”  Industry experts from a variety of backgrounds presented on the financial resources available to microentrepreneurs. Special remarks were given by Lola Robinson, U.S. SBA (pictured left), and Steve Dial, AnewAmerica Board of Directors, and Citi. Following, a panel moderated by AnewAmerica CEO Viola Gonzales featured Oliver Scott, OBDC Small Business Finance, Anthony Nguyen, Southeast Asian Community Center, Agnes Cheung, TMC Working Solutions and Clinton Etheridge, CEDLI. The event was a big success thanks to all of the dedicated participants and attendees.

SparkPoint West Contra Costa Center Ribbon Cutting

On June 2nd, AnewAmerica participated in the ribbon cutting celebration at the SparkPoint West Contra Costa Center in Richmond. AnewAmerica is a Signatory Partner in this project created by the United Way of the Bay Area.

 

 

 

AnewAmerica Participates in Immigrants Rights Day in Sacramento

On May 24th, AnewAmerica participated in the annual Immigrants Rights Day at the state capitol building in Sacramento.  “One California: Many Peoples, One Future.” was the theme of this year’s event. AnewAmerica staff and entrepreneurs met with their legislators to talk about current bills that affect the health and safety of immigrant communities.  The event was in alignment with AnewAmerica’s emphasis on civic education and participation as a form of social responsibility. Each year, AnewAmerica will participate in a joint staff and entrepreneur project to honor the memory of César Chavez.

AnewAmerica staff pictured: Connie Klink (General Manager-San Jose) and Jeff Butler (Director of Women’s Business Center).

Healthy Roots Gardening Update

Healthy Roots, AnewAmerica’s Gardening and Food Justice Program for Early Childhood Education Entrepreneurs has had an active early growing season. Recently, participants in San Jose hosted a workshop to discuss creative alternatives in the garden by recycling and reusing. AnewAmerica entrepreneur and day care owner, Delia Suarez (pictured fourth from left amongst other participants), demonstrated how to reuse products destined for the landfill to help bolster garden productivity.  In the next class, participants will learn how to prepare compost at home, and how to plan for the lifecycle and maintenance of their gardens. The food that is produced in these gardens will provide the children they care for with nutritious organic snacks and meals.

Join AnewAmerica's "100 for $100" Campaign!

Help us reach our goal of 100 individuals contributing $100 (or more!) before December 31, 2011!
Click here to donate now!

 

 

Spring 2011 Newsletter

Springtime at AnewAmerica

This springtime at AnewAmerica we are celebrating, improving, and growing our dedication to cultivating environmentally and socially-responsible businesses.

Since 2008, AnewAmerica has offered Green Business curriculum to entrepreneurs enrolled in our Business Planning Classes. Our entrepreneurs are implementing green business strategies in a variety of creative ways to offer consumers healthy goods and services.

AnewAmerica Certified Green Businesses are involved in a diverse array of industries. The most popular green industry is cleaning services, which represents 24% of AnewAmerica Certified Green Businesses. Other popular industries include day care (13%), food businesses (13%), and retail, apparel and office spaces (7%)

Change of Leadership at AnewAmerica

Viola Gonzales

At the beginning of the year, AnewAmerica welcomed our new Chief Executive Officer, Viola Gonzales. Viola comes to AnewAmerica with a strong small business background and a long history of serving the new American population. She has a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard University. She has previously owned her own small business; worked in the accounting and regulatory arms of a larger corporation; advocated within city government on local policies and strategies to support small business development; and has managed non-profits. Viola has served as Executive Director of the Latino Community Foundation, a Northern California regional philanthropic institution, and the Executive Director of Latino Issues Forum, a California based public policy and advocacy institute. In addition, Viola serves on a variety of community boards.

Viola states, “ I look forward to leading AnewAmerica as it continues to broaden its capacity and reach in supporting small business formation and expansion, and supporting new American families to build their assets and realize their own American Dream.”

Donor Spotlight: Steve Dial

Vice President, Citi At Work Relationship Manager, Citi
Member of AnewAmerica’s Board of Directors and Donor Since 2005

Steve Dial

What inspires you to support the work of AnewAmerica, as a Board member and as a donor?

As a Board Member and donor, I am proud of AnewAmerica's commitment to empower individuals to take charge and build their own financial business and personal wealth in a manner that also emphasizes social responsibility.

What do you view is the importance of AnewAmerica’s work? How does AnewAmerica’s work to empower new Americans to lift themselves and their families from poverty fit within your values?

AnewAmerica's work is important because it gives entrepreneurs the tools to build businesses that not only personally benefit them, but also strengthen the vitality of the economic growth and development of the greater community at large. This coincides with my belief in giving individuals access to the education and tools that can help them build and improve their economic opportunities and thus create a stronger economic community at large. AnewAmerica gives individuals the tools to build themselves, their families and the overall community.

What do you view is the role or importance of giving during these challenging economic times?

During these challenging economic times that a great number of people are experiencing, support at all levels becomes vitally important for organizations like AnewAmerica. Because of the nature of AnewAmerica’s work, being a donor is, in effect, participating in the economic turn around, since each successful new business will lead to new employment opportunities for others.

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Cleaning Green For the Planet

Maria Potter, AnewAmerica Entrepreneur, Class of 2010

Maria Potter

“I want to run a cleaning business that is totally environmentally conscious!” exclaims Maria Potter. Maria’s road toward her entrepreneurial vision has been long and adventurous. She first traveled to the U.S. from her home country of El Salvador as a student. Maria established her new home in San Francisco, where she graduated from high school and went on to complete her college degree. Then, she returned home to El Salvador.

In 1980, when civil war erupted in El Salvador, Maria fled her home for Guatemala. She lived in Guatemala for a few years, where she learned how to run a restaurant and hotel. When violence increased in Guatemala and business owners were being murdered, Maria fled to the U.S., fearful that if she stayed she would be killed.

Over the next few decades, Maria followed her passion for travel and entrepreneurship. She operated businesses in Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, and El Salvador. Maria states, “I had a good friend in El Salvador who showed me the benefits of being a business owner and helped me learn what I needed to know to operate a business in Latin America.”

In 2002, Maria moved back to San Francisco, and found a job as a household manager and child care provider for a large family. Maria’s duties included house cleaning, and she immediately became aware of the impact of conventional cleaning products on children’s health.

Maria states, “I started using all green products because of the children. It has been proven that many children are allergic to conventional cleaning products, and that the onset of childhood asthma is due to all of the unnecessary chemicals we use in our home environment.”

This experience inspired Maria to pursue environmentally-friendly cleaning as a business. While Maria had owned and operated many businesses in the past, she was not familiar with how to create and maintain one in the U.S. She states, “I was scared to start a business here because I didn’t have the experience.”

In 2010, Maria enrolled in AnewAmerica’s three-year holistic microenterprise development program, Assets for New Americans: Virtual Business Incubator. She completed the twenty-five week certificate program in business planning offered by AnewAmerica at Holy Names University in Oakland. During the course, Maria used the AnewAmerica and Comcast Computing and Communications Lab, where she had access to state-of-the-art technology to help her plan her business. Maria states, “Even though I had managed several businesses in my life, I had never taken a business course. AnewAmerica really opened my eyes. They showed me how to do it. The most important skill I learned was how to manage cash flow. For me, the most difficult aspect of operating a business is understanding how to balance my income and expenditures. Also, I had never written a business plan before. AnewAmerica gave me all of these skills, and more. AnewAmerica put me on my feet.”

Maria’s business, Gaia Natural Cleaning, is an AnewAmerica Certified Green Business located in Richmond. Maria is dedicated to using safe, environmentally-friendly and biodegradable cleaning products. Maria states, “I am very concerned about the state of the planet. In every way possible, I want to implement steps that lead to less environmental impact and less waste. I drive a Prius and I recycle everything. You name it, I know how to recycle it.”

Maria has clear aspirations for the future of her business once it has grown large enough for her to hire employees. She states, “I want to operate a business where everyone working for me enjoys their work because they are paid a living wage and they enjoy a healthy working environment.”

Maria is just one of many AnewAmerica entrepreneurs whose commitment to operating a socially and environmentally-responsible business is reshaping the power of microenterprise. To have your home or office cleaned by Gaia Natural Cleaners, contact Maria at (510) 406-8461.

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Cultivating Healthy Entrepreneurship

Francis Casenas, AnewAmerica Entrepreneur, Class of 2010

Francis Casenas

Ever since Francis Casenas was a young child, he wanted to be an entrepreneur. He states, “My grandfather was a successful businessman, and he has been my role model. Like him, I want to be my own boss, to be in control of my time and the level of success I am able to achieve.”

While growing up in the Philippines, Francis developed an interest in natural medicine. He states, “Through interest in maintaining my health, I became educated about the value of natural and herbal medicine. I believe in finding a holistic solution to basic ailments before turning to synthetic medications.” Over time, Francis realized that his passion for health was a potential avenue for his entrepreneurial ambitions. He states, “The more I learned about natural supplements, the more passionate I became about sharing my knowledge with others. I want to encourage everyone to try natural products.”
Francis moved to the U.S. in 2004 to reunite with his mother and sister. He wanted to live in a country with more economic opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Francis’s questions about how to launch a business in the U.S. were answered when he discovered AnewAmerica’s office in San Jose as he was walking past the San Jose Innovation Center building. When he met AnewAmerica’s staff, he knew immediately that he had found the resources he needed to help him develop his business ideas.

Francis joined AnewAmerica’s three-year holistic microenterprise development program, Assets for New Americans: Virtual Business Incubator, and completed AnewAmerica’s twenty-five week program in business planning. Francis states, “The course educated me about all aspects of running a business: writing a business plan, developing marketing strategies and asset plans, networking, and how to green my business. AnewAmerica continues to provide me with information about financial support for my business, technical training, professional coaching and advice, social and cultural teaching, and overall encouragement to keep pursuing my business goals.”

Francis’s business, Francis Enterprises, focuses on marketing and selling organic herbal supplements. Francis sells his products in five retail locations in the South Bay. He is dedicated to selling organic products, and because he believes strongly in the principles of environmentally-friendly living, Francis takes extra care to re-use and recycle resources. His business is an AnewAmerica Certified Green Business.

Two years ago, Francis purchased a home. He is using the profits from his business to help pay his mortgage. He plans to continue to expanding Francis Enterprises so that he can leave his current job and focus solely on his primary passions: natural medicine and entrepreneurship.

If you are interested in purchasing natural supplements from Francis Enterprises, you can contact Francis at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 408-375-9736.

Upcoming Green Events

Join AnewAmerica at the following upcoming events!

Upcoming Events

Berkeley Earth Day
Saturday, April 24th, 12pm-5pm
MLK Civic Center Park, Berkeley

Oakland EarthEXPO
Wednesday, April 13th, 10:pm-2:pm
Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakland

AnewAmerica at the San Francisco Green Festival
Saturday, April 9th, 10am—7pm & Sunday, April 10th, 11am-6pm
SF Concourse Exhibition Center
635 8th Street (at Brannan)
San Francisco, CA 94103

Save the Date! AnewAmerica’s 12th Anniversary Gala & Microbusiness Expo
Thursday, November 10th, 2011