SAN ANTONIO — It’s the American Dream - owning and running your own business. It’s something thousands across San Antonio try and some even succeed. San Antonio’s Maestro Entrepreneur Center is a group bridging the gaps and making this dream a reality for aspiring entrepreneurs.
"Painting, carpentry, inside, outside, and remodeling.”
That’s what Hope Barela’s family business Restoration Company provides for people across San Antonio for 25 years.
“My husband and my son were providing good services, but I knew there was more to running a good business than providing good services,” said Barela.
In 2019 Hope prayed for guidance – asking how to improve their business to provide for their family for generations to come. Those prayers were answered in the form of an email from the Maestro Entrepreneur Center.
She was invited to a business conference to learn how to better run their business and to live without fear.
“To not be afraid, step out, and just do it and to not be afraid of failure. Because if you fail, you learn something from it and keep going,” explained Barela.
That’s exactly what Maestro set out to do since opening its doors in 2016. Now a partnership with the City of San Antonio will allow them to put guidance and grant money into the hands of more Black, Latino, and historically underserved entrepreneurs.
“In our outreach efforts we hear on a daily basis from citizens on the west side and the east side that they aren’t getting the same amount of access to resources,” said Director of Programs Leslie Rangel.
And through this 10-week program, they’ll get mentoring from business leaders, webinars, and up to 20 thousand dollars in grant money. Getting the hand up that so many successful businesses might already have.
“A lot of times they don’t have that access, they don’t have to opportunity, they don’t have the connections. So that’s why we're targeting those groups of people because they are the backbone of the entrepreneurial community in San Antonio,” said Maestro Communications Director Samantha Salazar.
It’s help Hope Barela says changed her life.
“Last year we more than tripled our business and that was during COVID and I know that was due to the Lord and Maestro’s coaching and encouragement,” said Barela.