SIA Scotch Whisky, an award-winning spirits brand founded by a first-generation Hispanic entrepreneur, is partnering with activist, actor and producer Wilmer Valderrama to launch The Entrepreneurial Spirit Fund by SIA Scotch. Spearheaded by SIA’s founder Carin Luna-Ostaseski, and inspired by her journey of building the brand from the ground up, this initiative aims to challenge conventions and inspire others to achieve the unexpected.
This disruptive new grant program will deploy a quarter of a million dollars to multicultural small business owners in need of support, especially after the additional challenges they face because of COVID-19. It will also offer recipients access to mentorship opportunities with SIA’s founder, who is one of the first Hispanic people in history to create a Scotch Whisky, and who faced a myriad of challenges during her own entrepreneurship journey.
“SIA Scotch Whisky was born out of passion, determination and perseverance – the same characteristics that drive many other entrepreneurs. As a first generation Cuban American, I experienced so many uphill battles, from securing funding to dealing with regulations and securing investors,” said Luna-Ostaseski in a press release. “But, after finally getting crowdfunded on Kickstarter and seeing those first bottles on shelves, I knew my purpose was to help inspire other underrepresented entrepreneurs achieve their dreams too. I am so proud of The Entrepreneurial Spirit Fund and its mission to embrace the cultural diversity that helps define our country.”
“Throughout my career I have always pushed for inclusion and diversity in everything that I do,” said Valderrama, who has worked tirelessly over the years to push for this mission. “Supporting the progress and perseverance of multicultural entrepreneurs who are trying to achieve their dreams and disrupt the status quo is incredibly important to me. I’m so honored to partner with SIA Scotch Whisky on The Entrepreneurial Spirit Fund and I believe that their work will make a big impact, especially during these difficult times.”
The Entrepreneurial Spirit Fund by SIA Scotchlaunches in partnership with Hello Alice, a free online platform that guides business owners through the growth of their company and matches individuals with the resources to make their dreams a reality.
“Now, more than ever, it’s important to recognize the impact that multicultural small businesses have on their communities,” said Elizabeth Gore, president & cofounder, Hello Alice. “In the last 10 years, multicultural entrepreneurs have represented over 50% of new businesses started and created 4.7 million new jobs, yet they are largely excluded in funding, receiving only a 2% share of venture capital annually. We are thrilled to be continuing our support for this community in partnership with SIA Scotch Whisky.”
The Entrepreneurial Spirit Fund by SIA Scotchwill award $10,000 grants to 25 qualifying entrepreneurs who self-identify as people of color, for a total of $250,000. To apply, visit siascotchfund.helloalice.com. To be eligible, the business owner must be a citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States, 25 years or older, and must operate in at least one of the following states where SIA is sold: California, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New York and/or Texas. For complete eligibility criteria and important restrictions, visit the application site. Applications are open now through August 10, 2021, grant recipients will be announced by September 14, 2021 and funding will be distributed by October 8, 2021.
SIA Scotch Whisky is a multi-award-winning brand, which scored an impressive 96 points at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge (2016) and a Double Gold at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition (2014), thanks to its unexpected blend for the modern palate. When getting into the entrepreneurial spirit or when sipping on actual spirits, SIA encourages consumers of legal drinking age to drink responsibly.