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Dream Weaver

Latino funding program helps a small-business wish come true.

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This story appears in the April 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Guillermo Alvarado remembers collecting bottles in an alley with his brother to raise money for movie tickets. Though the tickets cost 50 cents each, they could only raise enough money for one. So they went to Woolworth's, bought a pin for 49 cents, stood outside the door and sold it for a dollar. Then they went back inside, bought two more and sold those for a dollar each. That gave them money for popcorn.

Despite his ingenuity, it took Alvarado, 52, decades to start his own Chicago business. "I could just never put two nickels together," he says.

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