The Inspiring Enterprise and its organizers hosted Cruz Cares: A Pitch Contest for Social Change on March 4, 2015 with applicant and fundraising goals. We were aiming for 20 applicants, we received over 40. Our fundraising goal was $10,000. We raised over $20,000 in cash and prizes. At the event and following the event, numerous people thanked us for hosting an event that brought social impact businesses to the forefront, displaying a prominent need and excitement for a new era of business.
We not only underestimated the event, we also undervalued the impact that the mini-grant would make to our local community and beyond. First place winner, Carmel Jud, President and CEO of Rising International, shares the impact that the Cruz Cares mini-grant made for her business and its customers.
Total local lives impacted: 558
- 10 local underemployed women participated in Rising’s Social Entrepreneurial Training and Support Program. Four were new trainees. Each trainee’s income benefited 3 family members for a total impact of 30 people.
- All 10 of these Rising Representatives managed and ran 24 Rising Poverty Alleviation Events. Event attendees were educated about the plight of women and poverty, and presented with solutions for ending it. Average attendance at each event was 22 people for a total impact of 528 people.
- Rising Representatives earned $3300 in direct income (20% of sales). This means $3300 went directly into the hands of local underemployed women. This result will continue to grow over time.
Total global lives impacted: 2500
- Rising Representatives sold $16,500 in product sales impacting over 2500 global entrepreneurs and their families.
One Highlight Story
(Name changed to protect her identity)
“Elsa had everything going for her. She was raised by a supportive family. She graduated college, and spoke multiple languages. She worked in a prestigious occupation, fell in love, and had a beautiful daughter. When Rising International met Elsa, she and her five year old daughter were living a life they had never imagined… in a homeless shelter. Elsa was a victim of domestic abuse.
With funding from the Cruz Cares grant, Rising International was able to provide Elsa with the opportunity to join Rising International’s Social Entrepreneurial Program as a Rising Representative. Rising Representatives run their own Rising Home Party Businesses. Think Avon or Tupperware for a social cause. Instead of selling plastic containers or make up at a home party, Elsa sells handcrafted jewelry and home décor, handcrafted by impoverished women around the globe. One of Elsa’s main responsibilities is to share the personal stories of Rising’s global artisans, many of which are also survivors of domestic violence and abuse. In essence, Elsa is their voice in America. ‘I love Rising International. I’m finding confidence in myself again. I know that other women are suffering too, and we need each other to be strong and not give up.’
In Rising’s program, we encourage our emerging entrepreneurs to identify and express their dreams. Elsa shared that she dreamed of going to graduate school, but didn’t see how that was possible in her situation.
We’re extremely excited to report that with the support of Rising’s network, Elsa recently received multiple scholarships to attend graduate school, acquired a computer, and has moved from the shelter to her own home near the university, where she will begin graduate school this fall! She used her income from her Rising business toward her admittance fee and the deposit on her rental home.”