The Compass CBS Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization that focuses on developing resources to help strengthen a diverse, inclusive, and sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem in Arizona. Our founding board members have been doing economic development work in the state of Arizona since 2011. In 2018, the Compass CBS Foundation was established to continue to better serve and meet the needs of minority entrepreneurs and small business owners. We have been in operation for over 3 years as a non-profit organization in Arizona.
Our training programs help advance equitable economic recovery, and increase generational wealth for Black and Latinx small business owners for a more inclusive economy in Arizona. For over 10 years, we have helped launch over 1,700 small businesses in the Latinx community across the state of Arizona. We have had the privilege of serving over 20K+ entrepreneur program attendees and approximately 75% of our program attendees are Spanish-preferred.
We have vast experience providing business readiness programs for the City of Phoenix and government agencies. Our founder, Edgar R. Olivo, helped create the first version of the Business Readiness Program for the Burton Barr Library Hive@Central, and he facilitated workshops in English and Spanish to close to 3,000 program participants. That work led to creating our organization to expand support for other startup initiatives across the state, such as Entrepreneurship Outreach Network (EON) Buckeye Public Library System, City of Scottsdale Civic Center Library, Arizona Commerce Authority and many more.
Today, the Compass CBS Foundation creates rapid response resources for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the CARES Act Readiness Program, Reopen Safely Program – CDC Training, and the Going Green and Going Smart Program. These programs are currently offered online via a learning management system and promoted through state and local economic development agencies, as well as English and Spanish media such as Univision Arizona and InBusiness Magazine.
Phoenix is the 5th largest city in the United States. This is a moment for leading big change. Business ownership is a critical means to build community and individual wealth. Yet, there are significant ethnic gaps in the business ecosystem, and COVID-19 hit harder Latino-owned businesses. We truly believe family-owned businesses are a cornerstone of our economy and are the most vulnerable. Small businesses produce jobs, donate to local community groups, and let’s face it, take the biggest risk when it comes to building a business that could create wealth for generations to come.