Pa’lante Program

Stepping Stone in Colombia reinvented itself in June 2020!

We couldn´t let COVID-19 stop us from continue creating a positive impact in Cartagena, so we are very happy to announce our new Microfinance program – Stepping Stone P’alante

ROUND 1 – CSS Employees small business loans

As part of our training program we encouraged those interested in developing their ideas of entrepreneurship. Thanks to Caring for Colombia and Robert Graffam, who generously funded our English program this year, we have been able to redirect these funds to make their ideas into real businesses providing flexible microloans as well as mentorship.🙏🏻

All of our staff had the opportunity to apply for the microfinance loan by sending us a business proposal and how they would invest the money they needed. We then decided which of the projects were the strongest and divided them money between them. Everyone who applied for the program have and will continue to receive donations of products and mentorship form the founders and the winners received the loan, donation of products and mentorship. Find out more here.

ROUND 2 – COVID relief grants for Artists in Cartagena

In partnership with Domino Volunteers and Friends of Colombia, we fundraised by holding an online graphic novel workshop with Sarah Shaw. There was an application process and systematic assesment of each application to decide which would recieve grants up to 100.000 COP.

We were able to distribute funds to the following artistic entrepreaneurs in Cartagena

  • @somosbatambora and Corporación Cultural Kilele Son for materials for African drums.
  • @icafe.col for new lights and camera to film their dance group.
  • @ninha_colombia and Tu_La for materials to make reusable bags.
  • Creativox for new computer for graphic design.
  • @furasemprendimientofemenino for materials and packaging of their products .
  • Jorge Ramos, Hernández Steel, Kevin Álvarez, Cuidad Galería, Artes Palencia, and @rafaeldelpinomedina for paint supplies.

We are continuing to develop ways to support Cartagena’s entrepreneurs.

If you would like to help us organise another fundraiser to be able to create a third round of the Pa´lante Program, please feel free to contact us at info@cafesteppingstone.com