Maria Mendez

Position: Entrepreneurship Fellow, Chicago, IL


Maria Mendez is Chicago’s first licensed “Mobile Prepared Food” Push Cart Vendor. She received a grant from Immigrants Rising’s Fund for Social Entrepreneurs (FUSE) for her project “Yo Quiero Ser Micro-empresario/a”, which helps undocumented street vendors in Chicago contribute their rich culinary culture by becoming licensed prepared food vendors and successful micro-entrepreneurs. Maria currently owns her own restaurant in Chicago, IL and will soon expand to include a shared-kitchen incubator for low-income food entrepreneurs. Her family and experience are her inspiration in her journey as an undocumented social entrepreneur.