AnewAmerica Community Corporation Celebrates Bay Area Microentrepreneurs and Small Businesses

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AnewAmerica is hosting its annual Microbusiness Expo and Celebration on August 29th. Awards include Green Small Business, Emerging Entrepreneur, and Volunteer of the Year.

Irma Villa, owner of Villa's Tailor Shop

"I want to help take care of the planet and to set an example for society and my children." -Irma Villa, Villa's Tailor Shop, Green Business of the Year

AnewAmerica Community Corporation will host its annual Microbusiness Expo and Celebration at the Kaiser Center Roof Garden on Thursday, August 29th 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 Microbusiness Expo.

California continues to lead the country in immigrant entrepreneurship. About one-third of California’s small businesses are owned by immigrants. 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 launching and expanding their businesses. They are creating jobs, building assets, growing green microenterprises and promoting economic prosperity,” states AnewAmerica CEO, Viola Gonzales.

Irma Villa, Owner of Villa’s Tailor Shop, is being honored with AnewAmerica’s “Green Business of the Year” Award. This annual award is given to an entrepreneur who has taken exemplary strides to green their business practices and services. Irma owns and operates her shop in the Fruitvale Public Market in Oakland. Irma’s design and sewing talent is at the heart of her business. She provides custom tailoring, alterations and embroidery services to her loyal clients. Irma is dedicated to making her business eco-friendly. She was among AnewAmerica’s first AnewAmerica Certified Green Businesses in 2008. This program provided a stepping-stone for her to obtain the regional Bay Area Green Business Program Certificate, which she received this year. Irma states, “I want to help take care of the planet and to set an example for society and my family. I always think consciously about the question, ‘Are we leaving to our children a better or worse planet by our actions?’”

Other entrepreneurs to receive awards at the event include:
Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Betty Bedregal, Betty’s Butterflies
Volunteer of the Year Award: Nga Do
Volunteer Group of the Year Award: San Jose State University Bridge2Success Internship Team

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). Their purpose is to promote the long-term economic empowerment of immigrants and other low-income communities through asset building and green business development.

For 14 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. Their unique three-year model successfully integrates business training, job creation, asset development, and community empowerment strategies for low-income new Americans.

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Laura Woltag

Heidi Pickman
CAMEO
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