Image: Amy Alaman, one of the Artisanal Manufacturing Entrepreneurship Program participants in front of The Crucible.
SAN FRANCISCO – SFMade has received a $275,000 Wells Fargo Open for Business grant to launch a pilot program that will assist low-income black, indigenous, and people of color, residing primarily in Oakland, and surrounding areas in Alameda County to launch artisanal manufacturing businesses.
With support from this grant, SFMade will partner with The Crucible, an Oakland based non-profit industrial and fine art school, to help BIPOC individuals who want to build, launch, and scale an artisanal goods manufacturing business. SFMade will provide participants with business planning and technical assistance including tailored advising, educational workshops and education around access to capital. The Crucible will provide support in fabricating industrial arts products, and instruction and skill building across a variety of disciplines, as well as access to tools, equipment, and studio space.
“SFMade creates shared prosperity by preparing and connecting low-income individuals to living wage employment, and to entrepreneurship opportunities in the manufacturing sector. We are thrilled to receive this Wells Fargo grant and to be partnering with the Crucible on this pilot-program, utilizing their incredible facility in the heart of West Oakland, their deep connections to the surrounding community, and the many disciplines that are available from jewelry making, to glass blowing to metal and woodworking, “said Co-Founder and Chief Operating & Impact Officer Janet Lees.
“Having access to trusted experts can be a critical turning point for aspiring small business owners facing financial hardships and other business challenges,” said Christina Pels-Martinez, region bank president, Wells Fargo. “Through the Open for Business Fund, we’re enlisting the expertise of SFMade and other nonprofits to offer a mix of resources and support systems that can help diverse business owners & entrepreneurs launch their small business and navigate the economic impacts of COVID-19.”
About the Wells Fargo Open for Business Fund:
Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund is a roughly $420 million small business recovery effort created to help entrepreneurs stay open, maintain jobs and grow. Through this initiative, Wells Fargo is deploying grants to nonprofits and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to provide small business owners with greater access to capital, technical expertise and recovery resources, with an emphasis on supporting small businesses most disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Small business owners looking for support can visit wellsfargo.com/together for tips and ideas.
Established in 2010, SFMade is a nationally recognized, San Francisco-based, 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation focused on supporting and building the Bay Area’s manufacturing sector. SFMade’s comprehensive suite of services are geared to helping makers and manufacturers produce locally made products, encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation, and creating quality, middle-income jobs and career pathways for a more diverse, equitable workforce. In addition to providing direct business support and workforce programs for manufacturers in the San Francisco Bay Area, SFMade also runs the Bay Area Urban Manufacturing Initiative, a 32-city collaboration working to grow the region’s manufacturing ecosystem.
For more information, visit https://sfmade.org/
About The Crucible:
The Crucible is the largest nonprofit industrial arts education facility in the county, dedicated to making the fine and industrial arts accessible for all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. Our work is centered in Oakland and the East Bay, where we provide high-quality, fun classes and workshops to thousands of people each year. As part of celebrating and empowering Oakland, we also offer free programming, scholarships, and paid leadership opportunities for BIPOC and/low-income youth and families who live locally and otherwise could not participate.
For more information, visit: https://www.thecrucible.org/