Co-founder of Manzanita Capital Collective, IFTF Equitable Enterprise Initiative Fellow
Mariela Cedeño is the product of her Venezuelan birthplace, El Salvadoran roots, and Bay Area upbringing. For the past 15 years she has cultivated local economies and resilient food systems, and catalyzed new models of investment and economic opportunity that center and uplift BIPOC entrepreneurs, farmers, and community-based organizations. She recently co-founded Manzanita Capital Collective, a collective working to advance racial and economic justice in food and agriculture by shifting power and capital. Prior to Manzanita, Mariela was the Interim Executive Director of Mandela Partners – an Oakland based non-profit organization that works to increase access to healthy food, good jobs, and ownership opportunities. In a decade at Mandela Partners, Mariela seeded and grew economic development projects, wealth building initiatives, entrepreneurship programming, and non-extractive capital resources. Mariela holds a wide breadth of experience in community rooted economic development, small business advising, alternative capital, financial planning, non-profit management, and much more.
Mariela holds B.A. degrees in Economics and International Relations from the University of California, Davis, and an M.A. in Latin American Development from Vanderbilt University. She is the chair of the Equitable Food Oriented Development Collaborative’s Community Investment Committee, on the Olamina Fund Community Advisory Committee, on Nonprofit Finance Fund’s Care Fund Advisory Committee, on California Farmlink's Board of Directors, and part of the Firebrand Stewardship Trust. Mariela is a current Institute for the Future fellow, and is also a former Common Future fellow, NALCAB Colegio alumni, and Kiva fellow. She also proudly serves Somos Famila as the Board Treasurer.