Grant Awarded to Caravanserai Project to Support Entrepreneurs

August 15, 2023

Grant Awarded to Caravanserai Project to Support Entrepreneurs

The August Coachella Valley Spotlight grant, presented by the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation, is aimed at supporting startup organizations in the area. The grant was awarded to Caravanserai Project, a nonprofit organization that is currently recruiting up to 12 mission-driven entrepreneurs in the process of launching for-profit and nonprofit ventures.

“Our 2023/2024 SEED Lab cohort will benefit greatly from the Berger Foundation grant as we will use the funds to help mobilize those area businesses and nonprofits as they become more self-sufficient,” said Mihai Pătru, Executive Director of Caravanserai Project.

Caravanserai Project’s SEED Lab is an 8-month pre-accelerator for social impact startups that runs from October to May. The program, offered in partnership with UC-Riverside Extension, has graduated 60 entrepreneurs since 2018, provides mentoring, financial training, networking and even guidance for venture capital. Many of the participants come from historically marginalized populations.

“We’re excited to watch the next group of Caravanserai Project’s Seed Lab participants as they build and elevate their nonprofits and businesses through this innovative training process,” said Catharine Reed, Vice President of Charitable Programs for the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation.

Beyond the SEED Lab pre-accelerator, Caravanserai Project holds business training and capacity-building programs as well as offers webinars for a broader audience on a wide range of topics from financial accountability, and governance to business planning, branding, and communications. Caravanserai Project is also in the process of working with more than 200 beneficiaries in the Inland Empire to help secure more than $2M micro-grants for area organizations.

“Caravanserai Project has a lofty mission – to change the world – but they are doing it at the local, grassroots level by providing business training and mentoring to local entrepreneurs who want to make a difference,” said Jerry Upham, General Manager of Gulf California Broadcast Company, which owns and operates KESQ News Channel 3 and KPSP CBS Local 2.

Caravanserai Project was featured on News Channel 3’s “Eye on the Desert,” in public service announcements and on throughout the month of August. To learn more about Caravanserai Project or to be considered for the next SEED Lab visit or call 909-827-9870.