5 Questions with Caroline Hafele, ED of EforAll Longmont

Jul 11, 2022

Caroline Hafele is the Executive Director of EforAll Longmont, leading the organization’s development efforts and bilingual programming in Colorado. In addition to her experience in nonprofit management, Caroline is a small business owner and has held leadership roles at various startups in Mexico, Spain and in the US. Caroline is fluent in Spanish and holds an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Seth Levine, Co-Founder of Foundry Group and Co-Author of "The New Builders", is the EforAll Longmont Board Chair. 

01. Give us the elevator pitch for EforAll.

The mission of Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) is to accelerate economic and social impact in communities nationwide through inclusive entrepreneurship. We believe that the best way to revitalize communities that face economic challenges is to fuel the dreams and ambitions of entrepreneurs who live in and near these underserved areas.

02. How does EforAll create a more diverse and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem?

Starting a business in any environment is a daunting prospect. For someone without a financial safety net, a professional network, or familiarity with topics from marketing to bookkeeping, it can seem impossible. EforAll's programs are designed to meet entrepreneurs where they are and help them turn their dreams into reality. The year-long business accelerator is free, available in English and Spanish, and the class schedule takes into account that these budding entrepreneurs have other commitments. EforAll helps participants learn how to address critical early-stage business challenges and uses mentoring and peer support to build confidence and a local network. With access to small business tools and a solid support network, EforAll companies are creating stronger, more diverse small business communities across the US. 

03. How will support from the Techstars Foundation and the Techstars network further the mission EforAll?

The mission of the Techstars Foundation and its Accelerate Equity program is very aligned with the mission of EforAll. Support from the Techstars Foundation will help us grow and strengthen our programs, with the mutual goal of developing a more diverse and inclusive entrepreneurial community. By participating in the AE program, we hope to meet with other mission-aligned organizations and individuals looking to partner and support our work in helping people turn dreams into businesses. 

The Techstars network consists of many brilliant minds, not only with entrepreneurial experience but with a "Give First" mentality. The success of our model is dependent on the support of volunteers from the community. We hope to engage network members in Colorado and on a national level- as mentors, class speakers, judges, and more! 

04. How did you come to do this work and why is it important to you personally?

In January of 2021, I volunteered to lead the first Spanish-language accelerator class in Colorado. I was working for a technology startup at the time and had also just launched my own small business on the side. Even though I spent the majority of my career working with startups and studying business around the world, it was still an intimidating experience. I was so inspired by the group of entrepreneurs that I met during that first class. The group consisted of strong, intelligent women with ideas to launch businesses that would strengthen our community (i.e.-A Spanish language fitness studio; a Spanish-speaking mental health practice focused on serving the LGBTQ community; a fruit-based Mexican-style ice cream store; and many more. 

As a volunteer, I was able to see firsthand how the EforAll program was working to break down financial, cultural, and technical barriers to business ownership. I really do believe anyone with a good idea should have an opportunity to turn it into a business, regardless of gender, race, socio-economic status, or any other group that has historically been underserved and overlooked. Our work directly impacts the lives of many individuals, and in the long term will create a truly inclusive entrepreneurial community. 

05. Tell us the story of an entrepreneur you are proud to have supported.

Diego Montemayor was introduced to the entrepreneurial world and mindset by his father. He always believed that working for yourself and creating something from the ground up was the ultimate success in life. Diego took it a little further as he wanted a business that could positively impact his community, especially during the pandemic. In 2020 he co-founded Chamba, an app that connects companies of any size to the Latinx workforce in the USA. 

When he learned about the Longmont CO Summer 2020 Business Accelerator, he thought it would help him understand the ropes of growing his recently founded company and was looking forward to meeting with similar-minded individuals. “I wanted to find and connect with a community of people who also had big missions to create an impact on the world through entrepreneurship,” he recalls. 

At the end of the program, he was thankful for the startup community he met and his mentor team. “My mentors guided me through the process of building a company. They were committed to my growth and always open to answering my questions to the best of their knowledge,” said Diego. 

Chamba now has more than 60,000 app users with a steady monthly growth of 22%. They are in the process of expanding their community reach with plans to offer a website with the same app functionalities soon that will assist even more Latinx job seekers. Chamba was also a part of the Techstars Workforce Development Class of 2021! 

EforAll is a participant in the Accelerate Equity program of the Techstars Foundation in 2022.

Donate now and advance equity through entrepreneurship with the Techstars Foundation.