ESO Ventures is an entrepreneurial support organization focused on providing the confidence, competence, and capital for any Black and Brown person to become an entrepreneur. 


Is Entrepreneurship the way?

ESO says an emphatic, “Yes!”

ESO Ventures provides underserved communities with the opportunity to benefit from the power of business ownership that creates civic pride, engagement and investment. ESO’s goal is to create communities where their residents want to live, work and buy.  ESO has a goal of creating a sustainable business everyday for the next 10 years that generates over $3B in revenue and 60K new jobs in underinvested communities.


ESO’s programmatic structure is centered on the following: 


Confidence: underserved communities have higher failure rates at early stage entrepreneurship without the ability to bounce back. While they have an entrepreneurial spirit and mindset; they lack the network, role-models and support system.  ESO builds confidence by connecting aspiring entrepreneurs, building authentic relationships and encouraging genuine support of each other.


Competence: entrepreneurs must know the fundamentals of building a great business. It is well documented that underserved communities house a broken education system that results in a school to prison or factory/service jobs pipeline.   ESO teaches anyone how to establish and run a successful business.  Strategic partnerships with community colleges allow entrepreneurs to receive vertical training to round out their competence. 


Capital: makes the opportunity real.  Underserved communities do not have access to friends and family money as household income is 1/15th the value and home values are undervalued by a $48,000 national average when compared to other communities.  ESO provides qualifying entrepreneurs access to a revolving loan fund to start their businesses.  


To deliver its 3C model, ESO runs a 10-week incubator that has attracted over 150 applicants since the Fall of 2020.  After running 2 successful incubators, ESO Co-Founders: Martha Hernandez, Ben Wanzo, and Alfredo Mathew III incorporated ESO to become a recognized B-Corp.  

Why Entrepreneurship?

Because of what Entrepreneurship does for the person:

  • Drive: Purpose-driven self-esteem and empowerment

  • Autonomy: Market-driven unbridled creativity and ingenuity

  • Fulfillment: Action beyond hope


Because of what Entrepreneurship does for the profit:

  • Wealth Gap: Owners close the wealth gap

  • Reinvestment: Owners reinvest in the community

  • Social capital: Owners extend the reach for new opportunities


Because of what Entrepreneurship does for the place:

  • Paradigm shift: Owners become engaged leaders and mentors 

  • Opportunities: Owners hire folks who look like them

  • Self-love: Owners instill pride, respect and vision in a community 

The Founders

Benjamin Wanzo
Co-Founder and Partner, ESO Ventures
Focus: Platform and Customers


Martha Hernández
Co-Founder and Partner, ESO Ventures
Focus: People and Infrastructure


Alfredo Mathew III
Co-Founder and Partner, ESO Ventures

Focus: Business Development and Partnerships


Ecosystem Funders & Partners

Developing successful entrepreneurs is a team effort.  We are building a network of municipalities, education institutions, capital providers, and catalytic philanthropic partners to make it easier for anyone to say yes to entrepreneurship!