Social Entrepreneurs for Economic Development Micro-Grants

Social Entrepreneurs for Economic Development (SEED) is an initiative funded by California’s Employment Training Panel aiming to support the entrepreneurship of immigrants and limited English proficient entrepreneurs who face significant employment barriers, increase California’s economic diversity and help spur business innovation across the state. 

The SEED Initiative provides entrepreneurial training, technical assistance to target populations and micro-grants of up to $ 7,500 to support them in starting or maintaining a small business in California aimed at addressing a social problem or meeting a community need.

Caravanserai Project, in partnership with Uplift San Bernardino at the Making Hope Happen Foundation and Get in Motion Entrepreneurs, joined the SEED Initiative in June 2022 and was awarded a $2 million grant. The SEED Initiative is a 24-month program and our goal is to support over 200 Latin@ entrepreneurs in the Inland Empire of California.

As part of the SEED Initiative, Caravanserai Project and its partners will provide entrepreneurial training and technical support to Inland Empire based Latin@ entrepreneurs (for profit, nonprofit or sole proprietor). The successful graduating entrepreneurs are eligible for micro-grants of up to $ 7,500

Eligibility for the Entrepreneurship Training Program

  • Individuals with limited English proficiency independent of their U.S. citizenship status/immigration status
  • Individuals who are neither U.S. citizens nor lawful permanent residents (including those who may not be lawfully present in the U.S., and individuals who have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Temporary Protected Status (TPS), etc.
  • Participants must be residents of the State of California and preference is given to Inland Empire based early-stage or advanced Hispanic entrepreneurs;
  • Participants can be for profit, nonprofit or sole proprietor entrepreneurs.
  • Must have a decision-making role in the venture (founder owning at least 51%, CEO, Executive Director etc.)
  • Individuals located in California.
  • Applicants must be fluent in Spanish language. 

Eligibility for the SEED Initiative Micro-grants (up to $7,500 each)

  • Attend and graduate the Business Readiness Training Program  and the technical assistance coaching program (16 hours over 8 weeks);
  • Be in compliance with California’s regulations regarding small businesses;
  • Preparing a business plan and comprehensive strategy about the venture’s next steps and use of funds;
  • Proven track record (filed taxes, business permits, investments, banking relations, sales, invoices, payroll, contracts, leases, documents that show that the venture has been active etc.) is required.
  • Provide invoices demonstrating the use of funds.
  • Agree to inform Caravanserai Project about the progress of their business for at least one year or until the business is no longer operating.
  • The applicants and businesses must be located in California.
  • The micro-grant will be awarded in installments. 

How to join

1. Apply to the SEED Initiative

2. Selection of Applicants

A selection committee will review the applications

3. Notifications Sent to Applicants

Acceptance emails and cohort group sent soon after applying.

3. Attend the mandatory Entrepreneurship Training Program and coaching

Multiple cohorts (in person and online) will be available throughout the SEED Initiative program. (Scroll down to learn more)

4. Submit Required Documents

Upon completion of the training and coaching sessions, meeting the program's requirements, and submitting required documents, successful graduates will be considered for a grant of up to $7,500

6. Micro-grants awarded

Distribution of the micro-grants is made by Caravanserai Project

Business Readiness Training Program 2.0

The Business Readiness Training Program 2.0 aims to provide Latin@ early-stage and more advanced entrepreneurs (for profit, non profit or sole proprietor) from historically marginalized and underserved communities the tools to launch and/or grow their small businesses. 

The program is highly interactive and is designed to create an inclusive and supportive environment for the participants in order to incentivize them to take action and apply in real time the information and tools acquired. The participants have cohort-based workshops as well as ongoing small groups (4-5 participants) meetings and coaching (16 hours over 8 weeks). At the end of the training, the participants are expected to present to the cohort their business based on a predetermined structure that reflects the topics discussed during the training and a clear road map showcasing the entrepreneur’s next steps and plans. 



Basic concepts of business and entrepreneurship


Epiphanic methodology for customer discovery


The art of winning in business


Innovation & technology for entrepreneurs


The company's vital signs


Learn to captivate your clients


The roadmap to materialize business ideas


Tips for growing as an entrepreneur


Review and application of concepts discussed in class


Project presentation round


applications open December 1, 2022

January – March

  • Profile: general entrepreneurs
  • Format – TBD (online or in  person)
  • Language: Spanish
  • Applications close on January 3rd.


  • Profile: hospitality
  • Format – TBD (online or in  person) 
  • Language: Spanish
  • Applications close on February 28th.

April – May

  • Profile: arts and culture
  • Format – TBD (online or in  person)
  • Language: Spanish
  • Applications close on March 28th.

June – July

  • Profile: health, wellness & sustainability 
  • Format – TBD (online or in  person)
  • Language: Spanish
  • Applications close on May 30th.

July – August

  • Profile: technology, science, innovation
  • Format – TBD (online or in  person)
  • Language: Spanish
  • Applications close on June 30th.

Contact us at seed2@caravanseraiproject.org with any questions or comments.

Frequently Asked Questions

Awardees can receive up to $7,500 in installments based on performance metrics shared in advance.

Yes. As SEED Initiative Partner, Caravanserai Project and it partners are selecting the recipients of the micro-grants and disbursing the funding to selected awardees.

Yes. Only entrepreneurs who successfully graduate the Entrepreneurship Training Program and attend the mentoring sessions and meet the rest of the criteria are eligible for micro-grants.

Up to $7,500 will be awarded as micro-grants.

No. The entrepreneur are eligible to receive only one micro-grant.

Any nonprofit or for-profit enterprises, including sole proprietors, are eligible to apply as long as they fulfill the requirements for the SEED Initiative. 

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