The Rural Women-Led Business Fund is designed to provide access to funding and education for women entrepreneurs and small businesses in rural Colorado through loans, education, and technical assistance.

This fall the Rural Women-Led Business Fund hosted a variety of innovative programming to support women business owners in the San Luis Valley. We hosted a bootcamp in partnership with Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute and the San Luis Valley Small Business Development Center, a fall workshop series and an opportunity to receive technical assistance grants.

Technical assistance providers help the entrepreneur start-up grow or expand their business. From marketing plans to website development and help with accounting, technical assistance grants help alleviate key gaps in business needs. The awards committee – Mike Roque, Ty Coleman, and Azarel Madrigal – awarded 9 women business owners from across the San Luis Valley:

  • Laura Cordova, Box Car Espressso LLC, La Jara
  • Jessica Chacon, Sweetgrass Therapeutics, Alamosa
  • Jessica Larriva, Tumbleweed Bread LCC, Monte Vista
  • Meghan Stalzer, The Camel Chick, La Jara
  • Faleen Lobato, Lunpine Luna LLC, San Luis
  • Yula Cisneros Montoya, Yula Cisneros Montoya LLC, Alamosa
  • Wanda Sandoval, WS Company, Antonito
  • Christi Bode, Moxiecran Media LLC, South Fork
  • Sofia Marquez, Architects Outwest, Antonito

This fall, we hosted an amazing 4-part workshop series. Tania Torres spoke on discovering your superpower, our own First Southwest Bank’s Kristy Esquibel lead a workshop on financial planning, Vinrock Media taught us all about effective websites and, finally, Nya Holder walked us through how to write a great business plan.

Entrepreneurs who attended at least 3 out of the 4 workshops had the opportunity to apply for general operational seed grants to invest in their business. A huge thank you to our Awards Committee, Andrea Trujillo, Juana Rodriguez Tarango and Azarel Madrigal. Nine entrepreneurs from across the San Luis Valley received awards:

  • Jozette Sandoval, The Market at Blanca, Fort Garland
  • Olga Lujan, Yout Boutique Kloset, Alamosa
  • Amy Romero, Root 2 Rise Health and Fitness, South Fork
  • Tiffany Vigil, Elevation on Farm and Orchard LLC, Alamosa
  • Georgina “Gigi” Douglas, New Sky Ranch, Saguache
  • Dana Maestas, Jacales Fine Art, San Luis
  • Jenny Nguyen, Food Sattva LLC, Crestone
  • Breanna Ortiz, All Bre’s Cakes, La Jara
  • Erica Maldonado, San Luis Valley Language Justice Coop, Alamosa

Be sure to follow us on social media and keep an eye out for our Spring Workshop series! The Rural Women-Led Business Fund offers loans of $10,000-$75,000 and focuses on providing accessible capital to women, especially women of color in the San Luis Valley. If you would like more information, contact Program Director, Azarel Madrigal, Se habla espanol.

To see the San Luis Valley Business Launch Boot Camp graduation ceremony, click here.