Entrepreneurs Graduate Program Ready To Go Into Business

By Roger Phillips
The Record, Stockton, Calif.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Several budding entrepreneurs in Stockton are ready to get their businesses off the ground. After participating in a nine-week, 27-hour program offered by the DSA and run by Centro Community Partners, the locals learned how to start their own businesses.


Lore and Ray Romero plan to open a coffee shop on the border of Stockton and Linden where visitors can stop for a snack and young people can do their school assignments in dedicated work space.

Salina Acosta is going to open a bakery, and Destiny Oliphant will establish a spa. Kirk Williams is developing a product to aid the world’s bees.

Uniting this disparate group and several others the past few months was an entrepreneurship seminar hosted by the Downtown Stockton Alliance.

The locals are learning how to start their own businesses through a nine-week, 27-hour program offered by the DSA and run by Centro Community Partners, an Oakland-based nonprofit organization.

“At the end of nine weeks, the goal is to have them have a fundable business plan where they have access to capital and will be presenting to their peers,” Gustavo Noriega, founder of Centro, said before the first cohort of budding entrepreneurs began classes late last year.

The DSA’s Cindi Fargo said the purpose is to give aspiring merchants the know-how to get started in the hope that Stockton residents will establish new businesses and build the local economy.

Two cohorts of entrepreneurship students have completed classes. Some of the students received certificates at a downtown celebration Thursday afternoon. Here are a few of their stories.
The Romeros

“This will be her business, and I will be the helper there for her,” Ray Romero, 57, said as he stood beside his 46-year-old wife, Lore. “I used to be a maintenance worker. You get to a certain age, you want to do something less stressful.”

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