The newest building at Fresno Pacific University hosted the latest winners of the Valley’s premier social enterprise/microbusiness event.

The Center for Community Transformation (CCT) hosted its ninth Shark Tank presentation and its third Microbusiness EXPO June 16, 2022, in the Warkentine Culture and Arts Center, FPU’s recently completed arts facility, featuring the latest innovations in music, theater and events for the main campus and surrounding community. CCT is part of Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary, a school of FPU.

Five local entrepreneurs received start-up funds and other support:

  • Scott Johnston for Pee Pipe ($8,000)—A single-use urinary device for people who use wheelchairs or spend significant time sitting.
  • Adrianne Hillman for Salt + Light ($6,000)—A candle company employing women coming out of homelessness.
  • Rudy Martinez for Hope Now for Youth ($4,000)—A food truck hiring men coming out of gangs through the Hope Now for Youth Program.
  • Cynthia Smith for Smitty’s Secret Sauce ($3,500)—A company that makes sauce and offers suicide-awareness resources.
  • Ashlie Platt for Second Chances ($2,000)—A thrift shop that employs people in recovery.

Both Spark Tank winners and EXPO participants are entrepreneurs whose innovations focus on people and the planet as well as profit. These projects have catalyzed more than 50 social enterprises and nurtured more than 60 to bring economic shalom—complete peace and wellness in body, mind, soul and spirit—to the Valley.

Exhibitors included: Tab’s Bookkeeping, Tagua Fair Trade, Cornerstone Industries Kings Gospel Mission, Black Mama Squad, Dom’s Bomb Gourmet Popcorn, Thrive Cleaning Services, Fresno Area Community Enterprises (FACE), The Lighthouse Recovery Center and GD.STWRD, plus the five new Spark Tank winners.

Several community organizations provided generous sponsorships: Educational Employees Credit Union, Self-Help Federal Credit Union, Plumb Signs, Cen-Cal Business Finance Group, Beneficial State Bank, Lanna Coffee Co., Career Nexus, Winco Foods, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, Valley PBS, Bank of the West, Sunnyside Delicatessen and Wawona Frozen Foods.

PHOTO (from left): Randy White, D.Min., executive director of the Center for Community Transformation; Scott Johnston, CEO of Pee Pipe; and Carlos Huerta, associate director of CCT, celebrate Johnston's win at the Shark Tank presentation and Microbusiness EXPO.

Author

Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations

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