Andrea Chen

Entrepreneur Champion

Andrea Chen witnessed firsthand the commitment and care that long-term residents and volunteers put forth to rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Now, in her role as executive director of Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation, she works daily with entrepreneurs to shape the city’s future.

Founded in 2009, Propeller is an incubator for socially conscious startups and nonprofits that target systemic problems in New Orleans. The four areas of focus are water, health, education and healthy food access.

Propeller had generated more than $20 million in revenue and helped establish 60 ventures including community farms, a food hub, a wetlands kayaking tour company and a maternal healthcare collective.

- Sponsors -

Earlier this month, Propeller was awarded a Kauffman Foundation grant of $420,000 over two years to support women and minority entrepreneurs. Propeller was one of 12 recipients selected from 376 applicants across the country. In a letter announcing the grant award, Chen said that Propeller will use the money to start a neighborhood-based consulting program for businesses along the Washington and Broad commercial program.

“We envision New Orleans as a city not only known for its entrepreneurship and its comeback in the wake of disaster, but also for social justice to right our country’s greatest wrongs, and for economic empowerment that creates equitable and inclusive growth,” she said.

Digital Sponsors / Become a Sponsor

Follow the issues, companies and people that matter most to business in New Orleans.

Email Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter