The Tenderloin Economic Development Project (TEDP) is partnering with Executive Path, a non-profit research group, and the San Francisco Ho Chi Minh City Sister Cities Committee (SFHCMCSSC) in a program that is bringing five overseas Guest Mentors to the United States to assist local Tenderloin businesses. The majority of these mentors will be from Vietnam and will be matched with Vietnamese-owned businesses that can benefit from business, computer science, and hospitality skills offered through a six-week intensive mentoring process. The program will be kicked-off the first week in June, right after the May 28th Ho Chi Minh City Sister Cities Committee May 26th “Bridging Two Cultures” Celebration.
TEDP’s role will be to identify Tenderloin small businesses that wish to participate and work with the mentors. TEDP will pair small businesses with mentors based on the business interest and needs and the mentor’s skills. Executive Path is the sponsor of the mentors. The role of SFHCMCSSC is to promote understanding and cooperation and act as a nexus between the United States and Vietnam.
Pairing mono-lingual small business owners in the Tenderloin with skilled mentors from their native countries, will bridge the linguistic isolation that is so often a significant obstacle to the growth and development of these businesses. Carmela Gold, President of TEDP said, “The Tenderloin Economic Development Project believes our local Vietnamese businesses will benefit from the skills and expertise of native Vietnamese mentors who share their cultural heritage and speak their language.”