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Wednesday, March 17, 2021

11:00am to 2:15pm
Zoom Webinar

Registration Link:

Register Here

Event organizer: Dr. Christine Trost: ctrost@berkeley.edu

One year after the coronavirus outbreak, nearly 30% of California’s small businesses remain closed. Women- and People of Color (POC)-owned businesses have been disproportionately impacted, with thousands expected to close permanently. This virtual summit brings together small business owners and advocates, providers, community lenders, and policy makers from across the state to examine the impacts of COVID and recovery efforts on women- and POC-owned small businesses in California, and how to create an equitable and robust ecosystem that supports diverse entrepreneurs in California.

11:00-11:15am         Opening Remarks

G. Cristina Mora, IGS Co-Director

Jenny Flores, Head of Small Business Growth Philanthropy, Wells Fargo


Keynote Panel: COVID and Economic Recovery Efforts in California: Impacts on Diverse Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners

This panel will examine the impacts of COVID on women- and People of Color (POC)-owned small businesses and diverse entrepreneurs in California and the efficacy of recovery efforts currently underway (e.g., California Rebuilding Fund, PPP, CA Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program). How are current efforts helping small business owners in underserved communities recover, and what more is needed to save these businesses?

California State Senator Anna Caballero (SD 12)

 Luis Granados, CEO, Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)

Tara Lynn Gray, President & CEO, Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce (FMBCC) and The FMBCC Foundation

Steve Troutner, Head of Small Business Banking, Wells Fargo

Moderated by Sara Razavi, CEO, Working Solutions

12:15-12:30pm        Break


Expanding Equitable Access to Affordable Capital for Micro and Small Businesses Owned by Women and People of Color (POC) in California: On the Ground Experiences, Strategies and Successes

This panel will discuss the structural and financial barriers to diverse entrepreneurship in California, along with success stories and strategies for overcoming these barriers. What can be done to create an equitable and robust ecosystem that supports new and growing women- and POC-owned micro and small businesses? What is needed to ensure more equitable access to affordable capital?

Xiomara Peña, VP for Engagement, Small Business Majority

Yery Olivares, COO, Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation

Robert Lattimore, Executive Vice President – Diverse Markets, Main Street Launch

Patti Chang, CEO and Co-Founder, Feed the Hunger Fund

Moderated by Leticia Corona, Central California Regional Lead Advisor, CalOSBA

1:30pm                     Closing Remarks

Eric Schickler, IGS Co-Director

1:45-2:15pm            Break out rooms for Diversity and Entrepreneurship Initiative mentors and students.

This event is supported by a generous grant from Wells Fargo.