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Spark Tank Awards New Social Enterprises

Spark Tank 2019 was fabulous! We work with people of goodwill and good faith on projects that catalyze transformation in our city. Churches and faith filled entrepreneurs are solving community problems through the vehicle of social business. The CCT has now helped to start 48 small social businesses, many of which are employing people with barriers to employment. We use a pitch fest called the Spark Tank to start the process. Now in its seventh year, the 2019 Spark Tank Social Enterprise Pitch Fest awarded five new social enterprise ideas with start-up investments totaling $13,000. Held at Lanna Coffee in downtown Fresno, itself a social enterprise, social entrepreneurs pitched their ideas to a panel of five judges including Andrew Shinn of Fresno Pacific University, Amber Balakian of Fresno City College, Jake Soberal of Bitwise, Bryan Feil of Bitwise, and AP Armour of Neighborhood Industries. An enthusiastic crowd of more than 100 people cheered them on, and even voted a crowd favorite.

An enthusiastic crowd of more than 100 people cheered them on, and even voted a crowd favorite.The two top awards went to patriot house, a compassionate approach to meet the needs of one of the most marginalized populations in Fresno County, homeless veterans. It will provide temporary housing for homeless veterans, supportive services and life coaching for healthy, productive and independent living.

Also awarded was GD.STWRD –
(Good Steward – the crowd favorite!),
a retail space that sells eco-friendly and sustainable projects in a low package system to help decrease consumer waste. Its goal is to provide the education, resources and products necessary for individuals to live a more sustainable lifestyle, less damaging and toxic to our children, our air and our land. All award winners are fully scholarshipped to the CCT Social Enterprise Academy which begins in January.

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