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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. 

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