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New About Us - NU Project
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WHO WE ARE

WHO WE ARE

NuProject works to build generational wealth via the legal cannabis industry for the communities most harmed by cannabis criminalization – Black, Indigenous, and Latina/o/x communities. NuProject helps diverse entrepreneurs grow their cannabis businesses by providing funding, financial coaching, and network connections NuProject has funded more than $2.3M in loans and grants and delivered nearly 2000 hours of entrepreneur coaching to a network of 135 founders.

100% of NuProject’s loans have been funded to socially and economically disadvantaged-owned businesses across six U.S. states and Canada. We’re more likely to call these owners “historically-excluded, business” which references the long-standing systematic inequities that have kept certain groups of entrepreneurs from participating fully in the wealth-building asset of business ownership. Culturally responsive and mission driven, NuProject’s lending approach was designed for equitable funding, which means distributing business capital to owners who receive less than their fair share of funding like Black and female entrepreneurs. More than 60% of NuProject loans have gone to Black-owned businesses and 50% of loans have gone to women-owned businesses.

Founded in 2018 in Portland, OR to invest City of Portland’s cannabis tax revenue into support and services for the communities most harmed by the war on drugs, including funding cannabis businesses owned by minorities. Since then, other funders have joined our mission including cannabis companies like Wyld, Kites, and Ben’s Best Blnz to fund expansion to six states (Colorado, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, and Canada). NuProject’s newest economic justice fund is the State of CO’s $1M revolving Cannabis Loan Program for social equity licensees.

NuProject is committed to redirecting the typical flow of capital so that small business owners in the cannabis industry, especially those who’ve been historically excluded from access to capital, can access the resources they need to grow their businesses.

NuProject was started by the founding co-chairs of the Minority Cannabis Business Association, including Jesce Horton (LOWD), and NuProject’s board is composed of cannabis industry leaders, equity experts, and 3rd generation entrepreneurs.

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Meet the Team

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Jeannette Ward

President & CEO
Faith Anderson

Faith Anderson

VP Of Finance & Operations

Dadrianna Kinley

Business Development & Marketing
Dadrianna Kinley

Ashley Roche

Operations Staff Accountant

Ivan Canicosa

Executive Assistant
Ivan Canicosa
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Jeannette Ward

Jeannette co-founded NuProject in 2018 in Portland, OR. Since founding, Jeanette has grown the organization’s funding footprint across the U.S. and Canada and evolved the organization into a mission-based lender. When Jeannette launched NuProject, she was also leading marketing and public relations for a publicly-traded cannabis technology company she joined in 2015. Jeannette entered the cannabis industry following 15 years in communications and marketing roles at Fortune 100 companies, including a 10-year “fun-run” at The Coca-Cola Company. Jeannette is particularly excited about the potential of cannabis industry revenues as a pool of economic justice funding for Black communities. Arrested for a cannabis-related charge at 20, and a personal observer of the criminal injustice system’s intrusive, pervasive and insidious impact on Black families, Jeannette is passionate about repairing the economic impact of the criminal injustice system.

Faith Anderson

Faith has more than 20 years of finance and accounting experience with non-cannabis and cannabis companies. Her cannabis finance experience includes accounting lead for a handful of companies and five years as head of finance for a vertically-integrated cannabis company in Maryland. Faith knows cannabis finance inside and out and has a passion for helping new business owners understand their financials. Faith believes all cannabis businesses should protect themselves by having rigorous and compliant accounting. She also wants to help our clients heal from their money trauma. Schedule a meeting with Faith.

Dadrianna Kinley

Dadrianna is a highly motivated and focused business development professional with over 10 years of non-profit operations experience and progressive experience in relationship management, client support, and marketing. She excels at fostering and maintaining relationships with the company’s most valuable clients, supporting both their success and the long-term objectives of the business. With her expertise in utilizing customer relationship management techniques, she can optimize productivity, efficiency, and service quality. She is adept at understanding client goals and objectives, increasing product adoption and usage, and identifying solutions that meet our founders needs.As an exceptional leader and client advocate, she is passionate about building and maintaining relationships with our founders.

Ivan Canicosa

With over a decade of professional experience starting in 2007, with a fervent passion for finding solutions that truly benefit others. His expertise spans customer service, sales, and technology-related services. Ivan’s unwavering commitment to delivering outstanding experiences drives him to build strong brands and nurture relationships on both professional and personal levels. With exceptional problem-solving abilities and proficiency in leveraging technology and systems, he streamlines processes to optimize efficiency. This empowers Ivan to dedicate more time and resources to crafting innovative solutions that address the unique needs of clients and customers. Guided by a genuine desire to make a difference, he takes pride in providing tailored and effective solutions, fueling the growth and success of the organizations he serves. Ivan’s adaptable nature, strong work ethic, and passion for problem-solving make him a valuable asset to any team he joins.