NEW ORLEANS — Local non-profit, Propeller, started in New Orleans back in 2011 and has since been known for its support of local entrepreneurs.
In 2017, the organization launched its propeller social venture fund: A $1 million loan fund to give out loans to women entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs of color and groups that are working to tackle issues in a number of areas.
In New Orleans, those areas include food, water, health, education, and community economic development.
"We're looking for companies that are tackling issues around our coast and coastal land loss and coastal water management. In food, it's a lot around improving food access and health access to healthy foods," said Andrea Chen, Propeller's executive director.
Propeller gives out loans anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000 to eligible entrepreneurs.
Bhoomi, a company that makes plant-based hydration drinks from sugarcane, got its start with help from Propeller.
"What we're trying to do is bringing an alternative to artificially sugary drinks and also, supporting Louisiana sugar cane farmers. We primarily work with Louisiana sugarcane farmers and are trying to reinvent the story of sugarcane in the U.S.," said Arpit Bhopalker, founder of Bhoomi Cane Water.
One of Propeller's goals is to help entrepreneurs get on their feet and then advance to getting fundraising of their own.
Bhoomi recently raised $750,000 for their company.
You can find their drinks in Dryades Public Market and other stores across Louisiana and Texas.
Propeller's social venture fund is accepting applications on a rolling basis for eligible entrepreneurs in Orleans Parish.