EWDD Stories of Inspiration and Success

Deandrea Jones, owner of Wah Gwaan Jamaican Restaurant and Bar in Leimert Park, receives her Community Loan from the VSEDC
The South LA BusinessSource Center (BSC) helped Deandrea Jones, owner of Wah Gwaan Jamaican Restaurant and Bar, apply for a loan to open her first brick-and-mortar location.

After operating a successful Jamaican food catering company for more than five years, Deandrea was encouraged by her customers to open her first restaurant. Deandrea discovered a rare opportunity to lease a prime location in

Boyle Heights YSC participant Alexandra Granados learning about soil management during her intership with North East Trees Nursery
EWDD's 14 YouthSource Centers help connect young Angelenos with internships that allow them to build work experience, explore careers and contribute to their local community.

In early March 2022, several interns from the Boyle Heights Technology YouthSource Center (YSC) started their hands-on internship hours at Ascot Hills Park with

Owner of Sam's Kebabs, Samvel Dumanyan (second from left) poses with his wife and two daughters inside his Van Nuys restaurant location
Samvel Dumanyan previously owned a well-known restaurant in Armenia, and he was searching for help to start a food business in Los Angeles. In January 2020, he discovered the West Valley BusinessSource Center (BSC).

With extensive guidance from business consultant Elya Narinyan, Samvel was able to open Sam's Kebab in

Sustainable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development (SEED) founder and CEO Sabrina Williams
EWDD provides financial support to early-stage entrepreneurs through cohort-based, accelerator style incubator programs. The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), which was created with a mission to create a more equitable green economy in the City of LA, recently helped a local agriculture tech startup.

Far too often, women and people of color are overlooked and underrepresented in the startup and cleantech worlds. SEED founder and CEO Sabrina Williams is why

"My goal is to continue to work and help make my city a more beautiful place." quote from Carlos, a LA:RISE and CRCD program participant
Carlos was recently paroled and feared becoming homeless. He did not see many opportunities for himself until he was connected to the LA:RISE program.

Through LA:RISE social enterprise partner CRCD Enterprises, Carlos received

Marielle Castorena, owner of the Speed Rolling Performance auto shop in San Fernando Valley
The North Valley BusinessSource Center (BSC) assisted Marielle Castorena, owner of the Speed Rolling Performance auto shop, with obtaining total loan forgiveness for a PPP loan that helped keep her business stay afloat during COVID-19.

Marielle established her business in January 2019. After gaining more than ten years of experience closing contracts with