Three Longmont businesses won grants from a local nonprofit for entrepreneurs in this year’s round of funding.
EforAll, also known as EparaTodos, graduated 15 small local businesses from the Entrepreneurship for All Summer 2022’s free accelerator programs. Of the companies that graduated, seven participated in the English program and eight participated in the Spanish.
“The whole premise of what we do is based on really supporting underrepresented communities and individuals from those communities that have ideas, dreams of starting their own business, but maybe haven’t been afforded access to education, mentorship and capital to do so,” Executive Director Caroline Hafele said.
These 15 businesses set up displays to showcase their products and services, pitching their businesses to a slate of judges. Six entrepreneurs won a combined total of $14,000, with a first, second and third place winner selected from both the English and Spanish cohorts.
Linda Bueno, a Longmont resident who owns Dulcería Bom Bon on Main Street, was awarded $2,500 for her party supplies store offering Mexican candy, piñatas, homemade cakes and themed event services.
Vulture Collective, founded by Jessica Shaver and Jackie Eubank in Longmont, also won $2,500 to use toward their regenerative textile enterprise that provides education and workshops on how to upcycle clothing. Melissa Blumenshine, from Longmont, received $1,500 to help her with creating a roller skating rink in the city.
Other winners included Maria Guillen of Tacos el Cuate, a Denver-based Mexican catering company; Antoinette Elbert of Brandwith Connections, a Fort Collins company helping emerging brands get onto supermarket shelves; and Federico Ulbrich of Dashboard, a Fort Collins digital marketing business serving Hispanic business owners.
Hafele said this grant has previously helped several new businesses to grow, along with the free year-long accelerator programs.
“It has been, for some companies, instrumental in them being able to take the next steps,” she said. “For some it’s really just helping them move along and move forward with whatever plans they have.”
Since EforAll launched in Longmont in January 2020, 70 new local businesses have participated, of which 80% are active and growing, 78% are female-owned, 55% are BIPOC-owned and 58% are immigrant-owned.