Santa Clara University


Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative (NPI)

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 Garrett Jensen

Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014

I write hours after our first meeting with Yacanex Posadas (small business consultant) and Yolanda Arteaga at the business (Yolanda’s Market and Catering) we will working with for the next two months in the Wells Fargo Revitalization grant program. 

It was a rush. It was real. We were discussing with a real business owner and a real small business consultant on the ways we can improve their business. I couldn’t believe it. We are undergraduate students. This is unheard of and I am so thankful for the opportunity that NPI provides. 

There was so much energy and passion and drive and desire. Nothing was simulated. It wasn’t historical or theoretical. It was real business affecting people’s lives and we had a say in how to make it better: store/shelving displays, energy audits, health compliance, space efficiency, POS systems, Square implementation, marketing, lost prevention, the list goes on and on. We will start first with creating her business plan. Identifying her mission and goals are paramount before delving in.  

We were so crazed with ideas, we had to remember to take it easy. These things take time. While we had clear visions, we understood that our vision must meld well with Yolanda’s, the business owner. We must not overwhelm her. My team of three is extremely excited to get started to improve the business in whatever way we can and providing Yolanda with what she needs to be successful. And success is defined in her terms. We discussed delicate issues and challenges that businesses face both internally and externally. We talked about resources that could help, laws, regulations and codes that must be followed. And at the end of our intriguing discussion I simply said, “Now, where do we start?” There is not a syllabus guiding us. We are just going to jump in, get messy, and learn lessons from each other along the way and I couldn’t be more pleased about it.   

Garrett Jensen, ‘14
Accounting and Political Science


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