Wells Fargo Awards a $1M Grant to Caravanserai Project

By: Sharjeel Sohaib


Sep 7, 2021


News โ€ข Press Release
Wells Fargo

Through its program called Open for Business Fund, Wells Fargo gave a $1M grant to a partnership between Caravanserai Project, the Inland Empire Community Collaborative (IECC), and the Inland Empire Community Foundation (IECF). The Open for Business Fund provides grants to nonprofits that support small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

The Caravanserai Project supports mission-driven organizations and individuals. Key areas where this social impact organization invests resources include:

  • Social justice causes
  • Serving disenfranchised populations
  • Promoting vaccine equity to arts, culture, and education agencies in the Inland Empire

“At Wells Fargo, we are committed to assisting organizations like Caravanserai Project, the inland Empire Community Collaborative, and the Inland Empire Community Foundation that strengthen our local community by providing so many resources to our local business community members,” said Flor Tolley, Wells Fargo Social Impact & Sustainability Vice President.

How the partnership aims to use the Wells Fargo grant?

The funding will help the trio to continue supporting mission-driven organizations in the Inland Empire of California through capacity building and technical assistance programs. The type of programs that the Caravanserai Project, along with IECC and IECF, has been doing include:

  • Grant bulletins
  • Breakthrough Masterclasses
  • Social impact pre-accelerator
  • Capacity Building Academy
  • Webinars and digital strategy workshops

Caravanserai: An Interesting Concept

The caravanserai’s role throughout history inspires the name ‘Caravanserai.’ The caravanserais were well-known meeting places along trade routes from Asia and North Africa to Southeast Europe. These served as a melting pot for people from different cultures, motivations, and aspirations.

So far, the social impact organization has funded three cohorts of early-stage social entrepreneurs: forty-six mission-driven individuals and 400+ technical assistance webinars.

Wells Fargo Generously Grants Funding to Nonprofits

ย Wells Fargo provides grants to support small businesses, underserved communities, and nonprofits. In Aug 2021, it provided $11M in grants to 19 nonprofits. In another announcement, the company $2.4M for Montana small businesses.

We covered this in our Weekly Wire Roundup

Other Grants in the Inland Empire Region

I discussed in another article that California State University, San Bernardino, won a $3.8M grant from the National Science Foundation. Along with CALUSB, here’s a list of grants awarded to different entities, most notably UC Riverside.


  • Avatar Of Sharjeel

    Sharjeel joined Startempire Wire as emerging technologies editor. Earlier, he worked at Silicon Canals, a leading English language technology media source for the Benelux and wider Europe. He covered the European technology and startup ecosystem digging into latest funding rounds of startups.


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