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To-date, SIA Scotch Whisky has Donated Over $350,000 to Minority Entrepreneurs, Helping Them Challenge Conventions and Achieve the Unexpected

NEW YORK, Aug. 1, 2022 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — SIA Scotch Whisky, an award-winning spirits brand founded by first-generation Hispanic entrepreneur Carin Luna-Ostaseski, is bringing back The Entrepreneurial Spirit Fund by SIA Scotch for the second consecutive year. The groundbreaking initiative provides entrepreneurs of color with access to the capital and mentorship that will help them take action, build stronger companies and have a positive impact on their communities. 

SIA Scotch Whisky has Donated Over $350,000 to Minority Entrepreneurs

This year, the grant program will focus on growing businesses specifically within the brand’s own world – the food, beverage, and hospitality sector [1]. This space has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, and its small business owners continue to face massive barriers, such as adapting to consumers’ ever-evolving preferences and spending behaviors, adjusting to increased at-home demand, and facing supply chain disruptions. As a brand built from the ground up, SIA Scotch Whisky truly understands the importance of supporting these often-overlooked small business owners along their entrepreneurial journeys.    

“As an entrepreneur from a historically underrepresented and underserved community, gaining access to funding and mentorship during my startup journey was always an uphill battle,” said founder Luna-Ostaseski. “The food, beverage and hospitality space is very competitive, and I know from firsthand experience how game-changing support can be. SIA Scotch Whisky was born out of my perseverance and passion, and to this day our purpose is to inspire other entrepreneurs of color to achieve the unexpected – just like I did. I am so proud of The Entrepreneurial Spirit Fund and its continued commitment to paying it forward.” 

However, success is not easy to come by. Entrepreneurs of color tend to face more obstacles when it comes to raising capital and are far more likely to get shut out of financing completely. Despite approximately 18.7% of all U.S. businesses being minority-owned [2], representing over 50% of new businesses started and creating 4.7 million new jobs, this group is still largely excluded in funding – receiving only a 2% share of venture capital annually over the last decade [3].

The Entrepreneurial Spirit Fund by SIA Scotch is inspired by Carin Luna-Ostaseski’s entrepreneurial journey and launches in partnership with Hello Alice, a free online platform that connects its community of nearly one million small business owners with the capital, tools and education they need to grow their businesses.

“Entrepreneurs of color are an economic force in the U.S and recognizing their impact in our communities is of great importance,” said Elizabeth Gore, co-founder and President, Hello Alice. “In our most recent survey, 89% of small business owners claim access to capital is limiting their business growth potential. Along with our partner SIA Scotch Whisky, we are excited to continue this groundbreaking grant program to help support this underserved community and provide the resources, tools and additional exposure that these businesses need to succeed.”

The Entrepreneurial Spirit Fund by SIA Scotch will award $10,000 grants to 11 qualifying entrepreneurs who self-identify as people of color, for a total of $110,000. To apply, visit https://hialice.co/siascotchfund now through Sept. 26, 2022. To be eligible, business owners must be 25 years of age or older (as of November 1, 2022) and a legal U.S. resident. Businesses must be owned 51%+ by person(s) of color, a for-profit business producing less than $5M in annual gross revenue, not be an alcohol beverage wholesale or retail license holder or a business which makes/distributes/imports alcohol, and must operate and/or conduct business in at least one of the following states: CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, IL, MA, MN, NJ, NV, NY, RI and/or TX. For complete eligibility criteria and important restrictions, visit the application site and terms & conditions. The final grant recipients will be announced on Nov. 1, 2022, kicking off National Entrepreneur Month.

The Entrepreneurial Spirit Fund is a continuation of SIA Scotch Whisky’s nearly decade-long commitment to donating a portion of sales to organizations that help support underrepresented entrepreneurs – the dreamers, movers and shakers who are shaping the future. When getting into the entrepreneurial spirit or when sipping on actual spirits, SIA encourages consumers of legal drinking age to drink responsibly.

About SIA Scotch Whisky: 

SIA is an unexpected blend for the modern palate and everything you’d never expect from a scotch whisky. Since its launch on the crowdfunding site kickstarter.com in 2012 and appearing on shelves in 2013, SIA Scotch Whisky has been challenging conventions and inspiring others to achieve the unexpected. As one of the first scotch whisky brands in history to be launched by a Hispanic entrepreneur, SIA has an approachable taste profile that features warm vanilla, salty-sweet caramel, refreshing citrus, clover honey, buttery toffee, and just a hint of smoke. Distilled, blended, matured, and bottled in Scotland, SIA Scotch Whisky is a multi-award-winning brand, scoring an impressive 96 points at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge (2016) and a Double Gold at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition (2014) – and called “one of the best in its style” by Whisky Advocate Magazine (2015). SIA is delicious in cocktails, neat or on the rocks, and is best served in places and spaces where potential is poured and friendships are celebrated. Look for SIA Scotch Whisky on ReserveBar.com, as well as in your local liquor stores, restaurants, and bars. For more information follow us on Instagram @SiaScotchWhisky or visit our website siascotchwhisky.com.  

About Carin Luna-Ostaseski: 

In a terrific twist of fate, 1st generation Cuban American Carin Luna-Ostaseski set out to create a Scotch Whisky brand that would change the way people think about the category. She decided to seek these new horizons in the form of a grand tour of her local whisky purveyor – 300 bottles of whiskies and countless tasting events later, she became a dedicated student of this sublime spirit. Carin eventually left her 17-year career as a Creative Director and successfully funded SIA Scotch Whisky on kickstarter.com, pursuing her dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur and one of the first Hispanic people in history to create a Scotch Whisky company. 

About Diageo: 

Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan’s whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc, and Ketel One vodkas, Casamigos, DeLeon and Don Julio tequilas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Tanqueray, and Guinness.

Diageo is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (LSE: DGE) and its products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit www.diageo.com. Visit Diageo’s global responsible drinking resource, www.DRINKiQ.com, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practices. Follow Twitter and Instagram for news and information about Diageo North America: @Diageo_NA. 

About Hello Alice:

Hello Alice is a free, multichannel platform that helps businesses launch and grow. With a community of nearly 1M small business owners in all 50 states and across the globe, Hello Alice is building the largest network of owners in the country while tracking data and trends to increase the success rate for entrepreneurs. Our partners include enterprise business services, government agencies, and institutions looking to serve small- and medium-business owners to ensure increased revenues and promote scale. A Latina owned company, founded by Carolyn Rodz and Elizabeth Gore, we believe in business for all by providing access to all owners including women, people of color, veterans, and everyone with an entrepreneurial spirit. To learn more, visit www.helloalice.com, as well as TwitterLinkedInInstagram, and Facebook.

Food, beverage, and hospitality industry includes businesses who offer products and services such as: kitchenware, glassware, barware, cocktail mixers, at-home entertaining/party planning, food trucks, cafes, food and beverage blogs, recipe curation and more. Businesses which hold an alcohol beverage wholesale or retail license and those which make/distribute/import alcohol are ineligible. There is a strong preference for applicant businesses to be involved in the food, beverage, and hospitality industry, but not a requirement.

2 Source: U.S Census Bureau; Annual Business Survey 2020

3 Source: Hello Alice

SIA Scotch Whisky Bottle


Carin Luna-Ostaseski, Founder of SIA Scotch Whisky

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SOURCE SIA Scotch Whisky