Wells Fargo Awards a $1M Grant to Caravanserai Project

By: Sharjeel Sohaib


Sep 7, 2021


Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo, through its program called Open for Business Fund 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 lnland 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 Caravanserai Project, along with IECC and IECF has been doing includes:

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

Caravanserai: An Interesting Concept

The name ‘Caravanserai’ is inspired by the role the caravanserai played throughout history. The caravanserais were well known meeting places along trade routes from Asia, 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 earl-stage social entrepreneurs. 46 mission driven individuals, and 400+ technical assistance webinars.

Wells Fargo Generously Grants Funding to Non-Profits

 Wells Fargo is actively providing grants to support small businesses, underserved communities, and non-profits. In Aug 2021, it provided $11M in grants to 19 non-profits. In another announcement, the company $2.4M for Montana small businesses.

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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