Sonoma Clean Power (SCP), the public electricity provider for Sonoma and Mendocino counties, recently awarded their “Spirit of Entrepreneurship” Grant to students participating in the Santa Rosa Junior College’s (SRJC) Business Entrepreneurship Certificate Program.
SCP first launched the grant at SRJC in Spring 2019 to support local entrepreneurs who are choosing to place sustainable practices at the forefront of their business ventures. The partnership aims to foster a strong commitment to environmental stewardship and social equity in the next generation of local business owners.
As part of the requirements for the grant, SRJC students must demonstrate how their enterprise will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, embed themes of sustainability, and promote energy efficiency, energy conservation, or renewable energy. This year, two students were selected to receive the grant.
The first-place recipient of the contest was Laura Feil, who was awarded $6,500 for her company Terrabliss Naturals. Terrabliss Naturals is a hemp-derived CBD start-up that manufactures and distributes full-traceable wellness products from seed to shelf. The company is committed to improving and redefining wellness and skincare through sustainable, affordable, and plant-based products backed by science. They provide a holistic healing alternative to uplift those struggling to balance their health through natural and conscious products, while creating awareness of all the benefits of hemp.
“I'm overjoyed and beyond grateful to Sonoma Clean Power, not only for the grant but also for the support and opportunity to execute my business idea and make sustainability a reality. Thanks to SRJC's Entrepreneurship Program for creating this partnership and providing such qualified faculty to guide me through the process and motivate me to keep going despite the recent hardships,” said Feil.
The second-place recipient was Jennifer Friedman, who was awarded $3,500 toward her business Humane Plate, which will provide plant-based lunches to K-12 students in Sonoma County. Friedman founded Humane Plate to fill the void in schools where students who require subsidized lunches but adhere to a plant-based diet for ethical, health, and/or religious reasons have little options. Humane Plate offers plant-based lunches to Sonoma County schools to create equitable choices for students, improve nutrition, and reduce their carbon footprint.
“I am deeply honored to have been selected by Sonoma Clean Power as one of its two recipients of the 2020 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards. I am thrilled that Sonoma Clean Power has recognized my novel venture, Humane Plate, for its sustainability and social equity elements, as well as its focus on boosting the local economy in Sonoma County. Humane Plate will also be able to respond to food supply chain shortages caused by closures in animal agriculture due to COVID-19,” said Friedman.
In addition to the annual “Spirit of Entrepreneurship” Grant, SCP continues to grow an endowment with the Santa Rosa Junior College Foundation. The endowment is meant to ensure that even during periods of economic uncertainty, the program will continue to receive the financial support necessary to promote an ongoing, locally grown workforce that is dedicated to incorporating sustainable practices.
# # #
About Sonoma Clean Power
Sonoma Clean Power is the public electricity provider for Sonoma and Mendocino counties. SCP’s services and programs are practical, affordable, and inclusive, empowering everyone to be part of the transition toward a clean energy future. To learn more, visit sonomacleanpower.org or call 1 (855) 202-2139.
About Santa Rosa Junior College
SRJC was established in 1918 and has since been home to more than one million students. SRJC is known for academic excellence, superb faculty and staff, comprehensive student services and beautiful facilities. This treasured community institution enrolls approximately 37,000 students annually. SRJC is dedicated to removing barriers to students’ success and making higher education accessible to all.