Maestro program helping minority entrepreneurs build businesses

10 Black and Hispanic businesses owners selected for pilot program

The Maestro Entrepreneur Center, partnering with the City of San Antonio, launched a program designed to give minority and women business owners a boost by providing guidance and grants.
The Maestro Entrepreneur Center, partnering with the City of San Antonio, launched a program designed to give minority and women business owners a boost by providing guidance and grants.

SAN ANTONIO – Ten small business owners now have a big opportunity. The Maestro Entrepreneur Center, partnering with the City of San Antonio, launched a program designed to give minority and women business owners a boost by providing guidance and grants.

“We really want to give a space and give an opportunity for these minority businesses to really have access to education and have access to grant dollars,” said. Mari Zavala, executive director for Maestro.

Out of 200 applicants, 10 were chosen. They run the gamut from beauty businesses to cooking to gardening. Maestro hopes to bolster businesses that didn’t get as much pandemic-related support as others.

For the next several weeks, they’ll get an accelerated course in business modeling, networking, marketing, and more.

“It is so important for them to have marketing strategy, and some of them don’t even know where to start,” Zavala said.

In addition to learning business financial skills, they will have access to capital. Each will get up to a $20,000 grant.

But, it’s the educational component that Zavala sees as priceless.

“A lot of the businesses that we serve have not had the opportunity to go to a four-year, a higher education, or they haven’t had the opportunity to get certifications or get training,” she said. “That’s why we’re here.”

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About the Authors:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.