Sonoma Clean Power gives $10,000 entrepreneurship grant to Santa Rosa Junior College student

Sonoma Clean Power, the public power provider for Sonoma and Mendocino counties, recently awarded its annual “Spirit of Entrepreneurship” grant to a student participating in the Santa Rosa Junior College Business Entrepreneurship Certificate Program.

The recipient of the 2021 pitch contest is Tori O’Neill, who was awarded $10,000 for her company, The Bark Yard. It is a dog park that provides a safe and social place for humans and canines to unwind, complete with cool-down stations, small obstacles and room to run.

The dog area is visible to an outdoor eating and drinking patio where refreshments, food, and dog treats will be served. The space will host events, bringing dog owners (and wishful owners) together in a fun environment promoting the love of dogs.

“Tori’s professionalism, long-term commitment to her enterprise, detailed business plan, and integration of sustainability really stood out,” said Nathan Kinsey, Sonoma Clean Power commercial accounts manager. “It has been amazing to see the variety and quality of ideas brought forward by the SRJC entrepreneurship students each year. We are excited to support these future local business owners and can’t wait to see what proposals students come up with next year.”

The power agency launched the grant at SRJC in spring 2019 to support local entrepreneurs who place sustainable practices at the forefront of their business ventures. The partnership aims to foster a strong commitment to environmental stewardship and social equity in the next generation of local business owners.

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