AnewAmerica Celebrates Immigrant Microentrepreneurs and Small Businesses As Key To California’s Economy

Alameda, California (EastBayDaily) — AnewAmerica Community Corporation will host its annual Microbusiness Expo and Celebration at the Albert H. Dewitt Officer’s Club in Alameda, CA on Thursday, November 15, 2012 from 6:00-9:00 p.m. The event will be a festive celebration of AnewAmerica, its new American micro-entrepreneurs, loyal sponsors, and dedicated community members. The evening will feature more than 30 graduates of AnewAmerica’s Business Incubator program, who will market their goods and services at the Micro-business Expo.

California leads the country in immigrant entrepreneurship. According to a recent study, immigrants own one-third of California’s small businesses. AnewAmerica offers a comprehensive three-year microenterprise development program to immigrants and refugees from throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. As a result of their program, new Americans start businesses and create jobs. They also find encouragement for integration in social, cultural and political life in the United States and envision new future possibilities in this country.

“We salute our entrepreneurs’ success in creating jobs, building assets, growing green microenterprises and promoting economic and social justice,” states AnewAmerica CEO, Viola Gonzales.

Julio Leiva, owner of Lotus Cleaning Services, is the recipient of this year's Richard Winnie Mentor Award. Lotus Cleaning Services is an environmentally-conscious cleaning service, providing professional green office and housecleaning services throughout the Bay Area. Julio is dedicated to using the most eco-friendly products and machines available. He is committed to paying his employees a living wage. In addition, Julio organizes Eco-Amigos, a support group of AnewAmerica entrepreneurs and alumni who meet regularly to talk about the challenges and successes they encounter launching and maintaining green businesses. We salute Julio for his dedication to helping low-income immigrants realize economic self-sufficiency through microenterprise.

Other entrepreneurs to receive awards at the event include: *Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Award, South Bay: Carmen Rengifo, Arepas La Caleñita *Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Award, East Bay: Tina Fergusson-Riffe, Smoke Berkeley *Green Business of the Year: Delia Suarez, Delia’s Little Angels *Volunteer of the Year Award: Dilyara Dzhabbarova *Volunteer Group of the Year Award: Undergraduate Marketing Association at UC Berkeley

AnewAmerica Community Corporation is a 501(c)(3) regional nonprofit organization, a designated Small Business Administration Women’s Business Center, and a Community Development Entity (CDE). Our mission is to promote the long-term economic empowerment of new Americans – new citizens, immigrants, and refugees – and to encourage their full participation in the political, social and cultural growth of America.

For 13 years, AnewAmerica has provided linguistically and culturally-effective microbusiness education and technical support to new American immigrants and refugees in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Region. Our unique three-year model successfully integrates business training, job creation, asset development, and community empowerment strategies for low-income new Americans.


Larena Burno
AnewAmerica Community Corporation

Heidi Pickman

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