We recently awarded our annual “Spirit of Entrepreneurship” grant to a student participating in the Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) Business Entrepreneurship Certificate Program.
SCP launched the grant at SRJC in Spring 2019 to support local entrepreneurs who place sustainable practices at the forefront of their business ventures. The partnership aims to foster a strong commitment to environmental stewardship and social equity in the next generation of local business owners. This year, one student was selected to receive the grant.
The sole recipient of the 2021 pitch contest is Tori O’Neill, who was awarded $10,000 for her company, The Bark Yard.
The Bark Yard is a dog park that provides a safe and social place for humans and canines to unwind, complete with cool-down stations, small obstacles, and room to run.
The dog area is visible to an outdoor eating/drinking patio where refreshments, food, and dog treats will be served. The space will host events, bringing dog owners (and wishful owners) together in a fun environment promoting the love of dogs.
I am so honored and thankful to Sonoma Clean Power for creating the Spirit of Entrepreneurship grant to support local entrepreneurs like myself. I am excited to be the recipient of this award, as it will help to develop The Bark Yard’s proof of concept project. With the award funds, we are planning a dog park takeover event to formally test the idea in the market and confirm that this business model can be profitable in Sonoma County.
Creator of The Bark Yard
Recipient of SCP's Spirit of Entrepreneurship grant
“Tori’s professionalism, long-term commitment to her enterprise, detailed business plan, and integration of sustainability really stood out. It has been amazing to see the variety and quality of ideas brought forward by the SRJC entrepreneurship students each year. We are excited to support these future local business owners and can’t wait to see what proposals students come up with next year,” said Nathan Kinsey, SCP’s Commercial Accounts Manager.
In addition to the annual Spirit of Entrepreneurship grant, SCP continues to grow an endowment with the Santa Rosa Junior College Foundation. The endowment is meant to ensure that even during periods of economic uncertainty, the program will continue to receive the financial support necessary to promote an ongoing, locally grown workforce that is dedicated to incorporating sustainable practices.
Check out last year's grant recipients!