February 7, 2019

Second Successful Cohort Graduates as Part of the Woodforest Foundry in San Antonio, TX

The Woodlands, TX (February 7, 2019) – Recently, Woodforest Foundry, a small business growth initiative of Woodforest National Bank, graduated its second entrepreneurship cohort working with Maestro Entrepreneur Center and The San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Eighteen entrepreneurs (representing 14 small businesses) participated in a 10-week curriculum-based mindset and business development cohort program in San Antonio.

The Foundry strives to help entrepreneurs turn their passion into action and test their ideas and their ability to run a business. Overall, it's a program to enhance local entrepreneurial ecosystems which revitalizes underserved communities and helps businesses grow. At its core, the Woodforest Foundry provides an action-oriented environment for entrepreneurs to create, collaborate, test, iterate, launch and grow ideas in a curated space supported by local Woodforest Bankers.

"It's exciting to see our second cohort graduates learning about the Woodforest Foundry and how it gives them the tools and resources to start or scale their businesses. Participants who become part of the Foundry and join the cohort don't just take classes; they become part of a growing and thriving local entrepreneurship ecosystem that gives back to other entrepreneurs and helps strengthen and sustain their city. The Foundry in San Antonio has been a successful prototype, and we are thrilled to expand the Foundry to new cities across the Bank's footprint later this year," said Doug Schaeffer, EVP, CRA Executive Director, Woodforest National Bank.

"The Foundry continues to inspire me. Small businesses that participate are getting stronger and becoming part of a special peer community. We are seeing huge results in such little time and we are so excited about it. Our small businesses are growing, hiring more employees and increasing their revenue. Having mentors and trusted guidance from successful business owners who face the same challenges and can share tools and lessons they've learned is invaluable," said Julissa Carielo, Maestro's President and Founder. "Many thanks to the Woodforest Foundry and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for their continued support. With partners like them, Maestro Entrepreneur Center will continue to make an impact in our community and build a better tomorrow."

"The San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is proud to be a partner of the Maestro Entrepreneurship's 10-week cohort for small-, minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses along with Woodforest National Bank. The cohort helps accelerate business growth and provide these business owners with the support, resources and tools they need to scale up within the Woodforest Foundry at the Maestro Entrepreneur Center," said Rebecca Quintanilla Cedillo, Interim President & CEO, San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Since 2017, over 40 entrepreneurs have participated in the cohort, providing trusted guidance to 20-plus small businesses, all of which have shown revenue growth from 10% to 75%. To date, 88 new jobs have been created in a historically underutilized (HUBZone) area of town, the poorest zip code in San Antonio. Plus, there have been 120-plus educational sessions held at Maestro since 2017, with over 2,200 entrepreneurs and other attendees.

About Maestro Entrepreneur Center™

Maestro Entrepreneur Center™ is a nonprofit small business incubation and accelerator center founded in May 2016 in partnership with the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Located in a HUBZone, Maestro Entrepreneur Center™ serves small minority, women and veteran owned businesses in the City of San Antonio and metro area by offering unique Accelerator Program along with business to business mentoring and connecting our businesses to opportunities. Clients range from diverse industries such as the industrial, Construction, Businesses in Arts and Cultural, professional services and culinary catering services. Visit MaestroCenter.org for details.

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