CIELO Awarded $50,000 AHEAD Grant from Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco
Gift will enable nonprofit to expand local entrepreneur development program
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., December 5, 2016 — The Community for Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Leadership & Opportunities (CIELO) recently received a $50,000 AHEAD Program grant, the highest level awarded this year, to help expand its efforts to develop successful start-up entrepreneurs by unleashing innovation, creativity, and passion.
CIELO empowers entrepreneurial-minded visionaries from low-income Orange County communities to build solid, successful business ventures by surrounding them with a network of experts dedicated to helping cultivate their skills and creativity. CIELO primarily targets economically disadvantaged individuals who may have lost sight of their dreams or need outside help to achieve their goals. Through several partnerships with community organizations, CIELO connects their services directly to their partners’ clientele. CIELO guides clients to a path of ﬁnancial health by offering high quality entrepreneur development services, with the ultimate goal of helping them achieve economic self-sufﬁciency.
AHEAD grant funds are being used to increase CIELO’s capacity to serve a greater number of clients by expanding its Microenterprise Coach to a full-time position. This vital role is responsible for: guiding clients through the process of starting their small businesses, providing training and mentorship to clients, helping them develop and implement business plans, and working with viable businesses to develop career paths and partnership opportunities.
“Since launching CIELO last year, we have discovered a large demand for our services. The next critical step in enabling us keep up with the growing demand is to expand our Microenterprise Coach to a full-time position. This role is central to CIELO’s case management approach to entrepreneur development and offers personalized training and ongoing support to ensure that clients are always at the center of CIELO’s mission,” said John Hobson, CIELO CEO. “The AHEAD grant will allow CIELO to continue success in empowering low-income community members to launch their own small businesses.”
The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco awarded $1.5 million in grants this year through its Access to Housing and Economic Assistance for Development (AHEAD) Program. The grants, which are made through the Bank’s member financial institutions, are given in support of nonprofit organizations in Arizona, California, and Nevada for projects and programs that foster economic development and promote community stability and self-sufficiency. Pacific Western Bank, a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco(FHLBSF), sponsored the grant application for CIELO. This application is one of two AHEAD applications that were awarded to Pacific Western Bank in 2016. Pacific Western Bank provides commercial banking services to small and medium-sized businesses. The bank has an active community redevelopment program and has received several awards from FHLBSF under their Affordable Housing Program.
CIELO was born out of a need to develop initiatives that aid residents in reaching financial prosperity. The Community for Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Opportunities (CIELO), was founded in 2015 by a collaboration between Oak View Renewal Partnership (OVRP) and Golden West Community College. What began as a vision to create economic impact in the one-square mile community of Oak View in Huntington Beach, Calif., today stands as an example of creative minds and dedicated leaders coming together to develop economic solutions that impact our region. CIELO’s ﬁrst year of operations has proven to be a success by launching ﬁve businesses and placing 65 program participants in new jobs.
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