CBU hosts a boot camp for mission-driven entrepreneurs
Riverside, Calif. (May 25, 2022) – The Department of Social Work at California Baptist University hosted a mission-driven entrepreneurship boot camp on May 21.
The department partnered with Caravanserai Project to provide 10 social entrepreneurs with training and support on business planning, strategizing their next steps and exploring solutions to challenges they face as small businesses. Participants were required to be incorporated as a nonprofit or for-profit organization in the state of California after July 2019 or be in the process of incorporation.
The entrepreneurs were students from the CBU Department of Social Work, community partners and local organizations.
Philip Breitenbucher, assistant professor of social work, said the partnership between Caravanserai and CBU led to the department being able to offer this opportunity to students and community partners.
“One of the pillars of the Master of Social Work program is social enterprise. Caravanserai offers a social entrepreneurship seed lab in which many of our alumni have participated,” said Breitenbucher, who is also the director of the office of field education. “Through that connection, the College of Behavioral Social Sciences and the Department of Social Work began a partnership (with Caravanserai).”
The boot camp included training such as planning for sustainable ventures, understanding beneficiaries and buyers, analyzing competitors and understanding business financials. Sessions were led by Caravanserai and their team of consultants along with CBU’s Department of Social Work faculty and staff.
At the end of the boot camp, students were given the opportunity to present a three-minute pitch to be eligible for a microgrant worth up to $10,000, provided by the California Dream Fund to help grow their business.
The pitch competition was judged by the CBSS Dean’s Community Advisory Council, which is made up of business, nonprofit and government leaders.
Guadalupe Buitron, an DSW student, pitched her business Financially Capable, which provides financial coaching services to first generation Latinos in the local community.
“I am a first-generation Latina and I really wanted to focus on that and give back to that community,” Buitron said. “I don’t have a business background, so a lot of the entrepreneurial information is brand new to me. With the information I learned, I am able to continue the process of growing and expanding my business.”
Roxanne Jackson, an MBA student, founded Jackson’s Kare, a business dedicated to assisting homeless veterans and the mentally disabled by finding them housing along with helping former inmates find purpose after incarceration.
Jackson said that the boot camp allowed her to connect with other like-minded organizations.
“I learned how to give a pitch, to be prepared and confident in what I’m speaking about,” Jackson said. “This event allowed me to network with other organizations that are working with the veterans and now I can partner with them.”