Project Thrive: Floreciendo tus Sueños

Project Thrive is an IM4HI program that paves the way for immigrants and others who face barriers to flourish and thrive. In 2021, IM4HI was one of eight organizations in the state to be awarded a grant through the California Department of Labor’s SEED Initiative to promote the entrepreneurship of immigrants, English language learners, and those who face employment barriers.

IM4HI’s Project Thrive; Floreciendo Tus Sueños entrepreneurial training program ran in 2021-2022 and supported people our organization has accompanied through our various programs, including immigrants, asylum seekers, and people who have experienced ICE
detention or incarceration.

Our course trainers, Silvia and Delila, taught a 6-week multi-lingual entrepreneurial course and provided technical assistance to augment the understanding and capacity of people to start or grow their small businesses as pathways for income and economic independence for their families and communities. Seventy-seven people attended the course and received an increased understanding of the options available for small business entrepreneurship, regardless of immigration status, and the major components to successfully launching and running a business.

Those who completed the 6-week course were eligible to apply for a limited number of micro-grants funded through the project.

In February 2022, twenty individuals were selected to receive microgrants to support their businesses.  Some of the awardee businesses include photography, kitchen and house repair, a taco truck, paleta (ice cream) vending, house cleaning, cosmetic sales, care for mentally disabled adults, automobile servicing and sales, custom jewelry manufacturing, pool servicing and auto transport. 

Many of the micro-grant awardees are showcased below in our 2022 celebration booklet. We invite you to support them with your patronage, and mentorship, and by supporting IM4HI’s Project Thrive: Floreciendo Tus Sueños. We celebrate their learnings and accomplishments!

Read more about Project Thrive and its wonderful participants in the 28-page PDF below.

Meet the Trainers

Silvia Guardado

Silvia Guardado | Business Development Consultant

An immigrant of El Salvador, Silvia owns an accounting firm. She has more than twenty years of experience helping small business entrepreneurs with financial and compliance needs. She has worked as an instructor with SCORE, helping beginning business owners use QuickBooks, manage cash flow, and thrive. She currently works with the National Latina Business Women Association of the Inland Empire (where she was a founding board member, treasurer, and instructor) to help small business owners obtain loans through the PPP federal loan program.

Delila Vasquez, M.A.

Delila Vasquez, M.A. | Business Development Consultant

An immigrant business woman, Delila has more than thirty years’ experience working with homeless families, immigrants, and incarcerated people in the Inland Empire. She is the founder of Demi Cocina, a small business promoting healthy food choices for Latinx families. She and Silvia co-designed this course curriculum during a Business Academy at the Camara de Comercio Hispana de Pomona and have delivered it seven business courses through SMG Business Services. Delila has served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Business Women in the Inland Empire, and was Vice President in 2017.

Registration Information

For more information contact Hilda Cruz:
909.736.0892 |

NEAT Stories

Local Leadership during COVID: Gregorio’s Story

Like so many immigrants in the community, Gregorio found himself without work when COVID-19 hit. His NEAT team from Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto (UUCPA) asked their congregation to offer him work opportunities until his regular work resumed. They also recorded Gregorio telling his story and shared parts of the video to introduce him to the congregation during the minister’s sermon on the root causes of climate change on immigration. He shared the effect on his family of drought and severe storms in Central America caused by climate disruption, and the forced need to migrate to survive.

Since Gregorio and his daughter live in an RV, the team also supported Gregorio by joining with community groups to pressure the City to open a designated Safe Parking area. The City finally opened such a place, and Gregorio was among the first to be able to move there. This way, he no longer has to move his vehicle every 72-hours to avoid $100 fines. He also acquired solar panels, so they now have electricity to operate the microwave and the refrigerator in the RV.

Gregorio has taken on a leadership role with the Reach Potential Movement, distributing food donations to fellow RV residents in the Safe Parking area. He was even featured in a San Jose Mercury News article.

This is what accompaniment is all about: working with recently arrived immigrants to lift up their stories and connect them to resources, so that they, in turn, can accompany those around them.

Gregorio distributing donations during COVID to his community living in R.V.’s
Accompaniment NEAT Stories

Accompanying family here and abroad: Marvin and Indira

Marvin, Indira and their family together at our 2020 NEAT Potluck Celebration

With Nueva Esperanza (NEAT) accompaniment by Congregation B’nai Tikvah and Temple Isaiah of Contra Costa County, Marvin, Indira, and their family have reached their goals to enroll their daughter in school, find legal assistance, and start employment.

Recently, Marvin’s sister was diagnosed with cancer and he asked the congregations accompanying him if they could help fundraise for her treatment. Please read their GoFundMe to hear their story and share to raise funds!

Help Glenda Aguilera Espinoza fight her cancer in Nicaragua. The government of Nicaragua is cracking down on any dissent from its citizens. Anyone speaking out against government repression can face violent punishment and even death. Glenda’s brother and his family have fled Nicaragua and have been granted entry to the United States to pursue an asylum claim. But the family that remains in Nicaragua is very poor and the family now in the United States is barely getting by and so has little extra money to send home to help Glenda with her cancer treatment… [read more]

Learn more about Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity’s Nueva Esperanza Accompaniment Team program.