Passion, hard work and fierce determination to invest in themselves, their families and communities - that's what our clients bring to Renaissance.
They are caterers, bakers, plumbers, and pickle makers. They own cafés and restaurants, sell mannequins, design jewelry and much, much more. While their industries differ, they all share one critical trait – the desire to start and grow their own businesses as a means to achieve economic mobility, build assets and establish a solid foundation for future generations.
Through the English and Spanish language training and support services Renaissance delivers in our Centers in South of Market, Bayview Hunters Point, East Palo Alto and Richmond, and offsite programs in Oakland and San Jose, our clients develop the technical and "soft" skills, and confidence, they need to turn their dreams into reality.
Theresa Wallace, a Veteran of the Merchant Marines, joined Bayview Women, our entrepreneurship and empowerment program for women in the Bayview Hunters Point Community. Although Theresa recently experienced family tragedy and is currently dealing with chronic pain, she persevered. "Renaissance changed my life. I was isolated and through Bayview Women, I met fabulous supportive women, learned cost, pricing, and marketing, wrote a business plan and began to think like an entrepreneur."
"No matter where you are in your journey, you can find your place at Renaissance. Sometimes your biggest critic is yourself and to walk into a place like Renaissance where there is so much support and positivity – where I heard, we know you can do it - meant the world to me. I am now the proud owner of Royaltees, where I make and sell customized canes and floral arrangements for special occasions.
Renaissance serves over 1500 English and Spanish speaking Bay Area residents each year, the majority of whom face systemic barriers to economic opportunity due to gender, race, economic background, sexual orientation, immigration status, or former incarceration. They are 85% lower-income, 76% women, 72% people of color, and 31% immigrants.
During the last year alone, our clients launched and grew over 500 small businesses, and created more than 750 quality jobs for themselves and other residents.
Your continued support will help to transform the lives of our entrepreneurs. In the year ahead, we will continue to deepen our engagement with our entrepreneurs, expand our programs into San Jose and East Contra Costa County, and increase our services for formerly incarcerated persons.
Your tax-deductible donation will help to ensure that all Bay Area women and men
who want to achieve economic self-sufficiency through small businesses will have access to the training, resources, and networks all entrepreneurs need to succeed.
Thank you again, for your being a vital part of the Renaissance community.
Your gift today will create economic mobility and prosperity for Bay Area communities and populations most in need.
Very best wishes to you and your family for a happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous New Year!
Sharon Miller, CEO