Seattle’s CINTLI: A hybrid approach to small business
Founded by micro-lending and economic development experts, Capitol Hill¹s Cintli uses a storefront consisting of a combination coffee shop, retail store and live music venue to fuel the growth of other small businesses while working to expand their own. Owners Beto Yarce and Rafael Sanchez provide a distribution channel to the Washington CASH clients whom they’ve mentored for years. Cintli’s highly unique, entrepreneurial business model generates a variety of revenue streams including: 1.) coffee/food sales 2.) retail sales of ethically-sourced pottery, art, novelty and gift items 3.) private events/live music Not only can you buy the ethically-sourced artwork that lines the walls, you can also take home the Mexican pottery used to serve your food and beverage, enjoy a variety of live music or book the space for a unique private event. About CASH: Washington Community Alliance for Self-Help (C.A.S.H.) empowers aspiring entrepreneurs with limited resources by providing hands-on education, in-depth support, and access to capital needed to launch and grow successful small enterprises. Quick snapshot: Since 1995, over 1,900 businesses have been started or expanded and more than $950,000 in microloans have been made by the program. When/Why did Cintli founders decide to help CASH clients? They saw the opportunity to partner with them to develop a win-win strategy. Many Washington Cash Clients are vulnerable, low income community members with great products /services. Artist Example Arturo Torres: From San Luis Potosi Mexico, Arturo is a photographer. He travels around Mexico taking photos and he making unique greeting cards, magnets and posters with his beautiful art. Food Menu Examples: Pupusas from el Salvador by Lily Quintanilla Empanadas from Chile by Rosa Parra Tamales from Mexico by El Chito Flan by Victor Diaz The Founders & Cintli Story About Cintli Cintli: The meaning behind the Name The name Cintli, in fact, refers to the mythological Zapopan Goddess of Corn. Her name is now a symbol of good luck to the two company principals.