NASHELLY CHAVEZ THE PRESS DEMOCRATNovember 1, 2021 – Reprinted – Original article here…

As Juan Hernandez puts it, he may not come from wealth but he does come from success.

Much of that success is due to the diligence and versatility of his paternal grandmother, who worked odd jobs in the community — from lay midwife to seamstress to cook, Hernandez said, adding that each job enabled her to earn enough money to support eight kids in Houston’s Fifth Ward.

Her efforts made it possible for his father, who became a pastor, to have a brighter future than hers, he added.

“It was her entrepreneurial spirit,” Hernandez said of his paternal grandmother. “She didn’t have a job, she didn’t speak good English, but she knew how to do business.”

After nine years at the helm of La Luz, a Sonona Valley-based Latino advocacy nonprofit organization, Hernandez, 46, is taking a page from his grandmother’s book with the launch of his own business venture.

The idea? An expansion of the microloan program he started at La Luz in 2016, which gave small, low interest loans to local business owners who may not otherwise qualify for the infusion of cash offered by traditional lending institutions, such as banks or credit unions.

Called Creser Capital, Hernandez’s nonprofit is pending approval from an agency under the auspices of the U.S. Department of the Treasury to become a Community Development Financial Institution. These organizations are especially certified in order to provide financial services to low-income and underserved communities.

This type of financial institution receives funding from private investments, other nonprofits, or banks that are encouraged to give back to their communities through the Community Reinvestment Act, and through federal programs.