FRESNO, California (KGPE) – Doug Davidian, a local businessman, passed away on April 11th, but his legacy lives on through Fresno Pacific University’s Doug Davidian Memorial Micro-Enterprise Scholarship fund.
“So, we set the fund up, I think so far we’ve already raised more than $11,000 and these will go directly to those participants who’ll want to benefit from the Launch Central Valley program,” said Dr. Randy White, the Executive Director for the Center for Community Transformation at FPU.
The program consists of 10 weeks of training to help individuals who want to start a business or need help improving their business–something Davidian was passionate about.
“He helped us conceive it, he helped us form the curriculum, then he helped us launch it, and then he was a coach in it and that process took about a year, and then he made it through about three cohorts of young entrepreneurs before he passed away,” said White.
The program allows for 12 aspiring entrepreneurs at a time and is taught with the Fresno Pacific University Center for Community Transformation or CCT.
“Doug very much thought business was a vehicle for transformation in not only people’s lives but also their families and in their communities and so we want to continue to embody that through our program and through this scholarship fund,” said Carlos Huerta, the Associate Director for the Center for Community Transformation at FPU.
Amid a pandemic, the fund is coming at a perfect time.
“I think part of the beauty and success of the program has been an opportunity for entrepreneurs who maybe have lost their job or have seen reduction in employment to try something new and take a risk on something that’s always been an idea in the back of their mind,” said Huerta.
So far, the program has helped jump start and improve 32 businesses.