How Graciela supports Latinas and Latinos AND funded her Kiva loan in less than 24 hours!
We recently connected with Graciela Tiscareno-Sato, the CEO and Founder of Gracefully Global Group LLC, located in San Francisco’s East Bay, to chat about how her business educates, informs and inspires others, and her borrowing experience with Kiva US.
Gracefully Global Group LLC publishes award-winning, multicultural books and ebooks for K-college readers, showcasing positive contributions of Latinas and Latinos in the USA. Graciela is redefining who supplies our nation’s schools and libraries with literature featuring success stories about the nation’s fastest growing ethnic group.
We’re in the business of inspiration!
“Good night, Captain Mama”, said Graciela Tiscareno-Sato’s son after observing her in her flight suit preparing for a Veteran’s Day presentation at his pre-school the next day. At his young age, he realized that “mom” wasn’t her only job. In addition to being a wife and mother of three, Graciela is a highly decorated veteran of the United States Air Force, experienced corporate marketer, bilingual STEM consultant to K-12 school districts, speaker, and educational entrepreneur.
“Captain Mama” developed into the title character of Graciela’s book titled Good Night Captain Mama/Buenas Noches Capitan Mama, the award-winning first bilingual children's book about moms serving in the military. Its sequel, Captain Mama’s Surprise/La Sorpresa de Capitan Mama, also conveys a positive message for young students: “there’s no need for fear when you’ve learned to do something well!“
Graciela’s first book, Latinnovating, showcases examples of highly-educated Latinas and Latinos who have created and lead sustainable businesses in a variety of industries.
“The case studies show that we are culturally programmed to be really smart with our resources and to be creative. What if we applied those innovation values to small businesses and created economic opportunity for our communities and jobs for Americans?” says Graciela.
Graciela has tapped into a need identified by thousands of school districts and public libraries as well as hundreds of schools on military installations: the need for inspirational, bilingual literature, featuring characters who resemble their readers. In the video below, Graciela showcases her publications and workshops, and describes her experience obtaining a micro-loan from Kiva.
Graciela became part of the Kiva community in 2012 as a lender, after hearing about the micro-lending model from a Kiva leader on an “Innovative Financing Strategies” panel at Mills College. Her interest in and support for Kiva was reignited when she heard from a group of veteran entrepreneurs that Kiva had developed a model to bring philanthropic loans to U.S.-based entrepreneurs. She decided to pursue a Kiva loan to fund expanded marketing efforts in her own publishing business.
Graciela is using her Kiva loan as working capital to hire a specialist to broaden her company’s marketing outreach into new cities by marketing to school district superintendents and large public library systems.
Graciela is one of the fastest fund-raisers in Kiva US history! Her loan was funded in less than 24 hours after it went live.
Graciela’s 5 Tips to Fast Loan Funding:
- Never make business decisions in a vacuum. Be sure to seek out other professionals to provide advice. If you don’t have expertise and you make decisions on your own, that’s called guessing.
- Find the 100 champions who believe in the business you are creating and will commit to pre-order your product or use your service as well as assist with funding your loan.
- Before you enter Kiva’s private funding period (PFP), itemize your champion list including each person’s name and email address, then draft personal, individual emails to each one.
- As soon as your PFP opens, deploy your pre-drafted emails and post your fund-raising effort on social media. (Graciela posted on Facebook and within a huge, secret group of Latina entrepreneurs called Latinas Think BIG).
- The faster your private lenders fund your loan, the higher you will appear on Kiva's "Trending Now" list of potential borrowers. This positioning offers an advantage for public funding to occur more rapidly.
Graciela’s thoughts on working with Kiva
“I am super grateful for all the love and support I received first from Andrea as he guided me through the initial process, then from the global Kiva community once PFP was complete. It is truly amazing and humbling - it’s a wonderful feeling - to have validation not only from my own supporters but also from people who had never heard of our business before this yet, who understand the importance of creating this multicultural literature when Kiva put my loan in front of them. I’m already encouraging my entrepreneurial friends in both the Latina and veteran communities, to take a look and join Kiva. Thank you!”