Spark Tank promotes social enterprise with over $17,000 in prizes

By wayne.steffen on December 5, 2017 @ 9:38am
Spark Tank winners holding giant checks

A standing room only crowd of more than 150 people interested in local solutions to unemployment attended Spark Tank, hosted by the Center for Community Transformation.

The CCT is part of Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary, a school of Fresno Pacific University. The fifth annual event took place November 16, 2017, at Bitwise South Stadium, 700 Van Ness Ave., Fresno.

A non-lethal version of TV’s Shark Tank, Spark Tank promotes social enterprises, organizations—often faith-based, always local—that use the mechanism of business to address community problems.

Winners and the amounts they received were:

  • La Cocina ($6,000), which will serve elotes and Hispanic food while employing teen moms involved in Community Youth Ministries in Reedley.

  • Our Street ($6,000), which will repurpose an abandoned building in Merced into an event center, non-profit advancement center and coffee shop, bringing economic transformation to a neglected part of town.

  • Single Mom Solutions ($3,000), which will create curriculum and activities to address the stresses of families headed by single females.

  • MCC Thrift ($1,500), which will employ people from the Robinson neighborhood in central Fresno.

  • Central Valley Creations ($600) in Malaga, which repurposes discarded objects and creates art, providing a revenue for people in need.

All recipients also receive a full scholarship to the CCT Social Enterprise Academy, which launches in February (a $600 value). Selections were made by CCT staff and a panel of judges from FPU, Fresno City College and the local business community. The CCT thanks Wells Fargo, The SG Foundation, the Roddis Foundation and private donors for making this investment possible.

Photo: Winners with (third from left) Randy White, D.Min., executive director of the Center for Community Transformation, and (third from right) Carlos Huerta, CCT program director for community initiatives.