Department MembersEdit


Client SnapshotsEdit

Tahania CunninghamEdit

She recently opened “Symbol of Love”, a childcare center. With four children, no stable employment, and rapidly expiring welfare payments, Tahania knew that she needed to make a change - and contacted Elmseed for help. Elmseed’s board knew that she was a high-risk client, but concluded that her determination, ambition, and the potential impact of a loan far outweighed the risk of default. Elmseed consultants guided Tahania through applying for the proper insurance, meeting state childcare requirements, passing licensing inspections, and opening a business bank account. Tahania received an Elmseed loan, which she used to renovate a church basement for her childcare business.

Antoine ScottEdit

“Our goal is to give the drivers a chance to really make a living for themselves and their families. With most ground transport, and not just the cab and shuttle business, they tend to exploit the drivers by paying very little.”

Antoine scott

Entrepreneur Antoine Scott with 2012 Elmseed COO Sinye Tang

Antoine Scott, an entrepreneur with over thirteen years of experience in the transportation industry, had always aspired to own his own business. In 2010, Scott was working as a limousine driver when he realized that there was a large and underserved market for transportation between New Haven and major airports serving New York City. He wanted to start a business to meet that need, but wasn’t sure how to start or where to obtain the necessary funds . He turned to an organization he had read about in a newspaper that seemed to offer the help he needed: The Elmseed Enterprise Fund. 

Working with Elmseed consultants Noah Sheinbaum and Dan Friedman, Scott refined his business idea, crafted a business and marketing plan, and developed his independent contractor business model. He was then approved for an initial $2,000 Elmseed loan to start QCONNShuttle , a service offering fast and reliable transportation between New Haven, Bridgeport, and New York. 

After repaying the first $2,000 loan, Scott also applied for and received a second $5,000 loan in early 2012 in order to purchase a third vehicle to meet the growing demand for QCONN’s services. Thus far, Scott has made each one of his loan payments on time and is on track to fully repay the loan by 2013. The business is small but growing, and Scott plans to expand it to include more airports and destinations in the future. Thanks to his hard work and dedication, supplemented by the funding and assistance provided by Elmseed, Scott now operates a successful small business that gives him greater independence, personal satisfaction, and financial security

Jean and BobEdit

“Mama, in her Jamaican kitchen, would rub down the chicken with a mixture of fresh herbs and seasonings before jerking the chicken and pork, and so do we. Maybe that is why we were voted “Best Jerk Chicken” in Connecticut by Connecticut magazine in 2009. Mama used fresh coconuts to make her Rice and Peas, not canned coconut milk, and so do we. Every day, we make our meals just as she did, using fresh, natural ingredients, cooking in the home style”

Jean and Bob operate a Jamaican restaurant, Tropical Breeze Jamaican Kitchen , in West Haven, and came to Elmseed to determine whether moving locations to the downtown New Haven area would be beneificial for their business. We are continuing to work on developing a marketing plan with Jean and Bob.

Cheryl (LAST NAME?)Edit

“When I think back to when I was younger, Sunday dinners always put a smile on my face, especially memories of helping my mom cook dinner and make dessert. Now that I have my own family, I have continued that tradition. Seeing the smiles and enjoying the memories that desserts can create started me on my business adventure. Sunday dinners brings families together and make memories, and that is what Simplicity Treats wants to accomplish, bringing families and friends back to eating, sharing stories, getting to know each other and most of all creating memories.”

Cheryl’s specialty at Simplicity Treats are her unique non-baked “dirt cakes”. Cheryl came to Elmseed with a unique product popular at church and neighborhood events. We have since worked with Cheryl to meet food regulation requirements, create attractive packaging options, develop a marketing plan, and develop a web presence to sell her delicious treats.



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