EDINBURG – A lawyer, worm farmer, freelance writer, software developer and restaurant owner were among the 15 people selected to the second cohort of Hive Effect, a program aimed to help mentor and grow local business owners.

The program which is facilitated out of Grindstone Coworking and funded by the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation (EEDC) hopes to assist the entrepreneurs through economic gardening.

“How economic gardening works is you don't just plant seeds, you are planting seeds and watering the existing plants,” Grindstone Coworking founder Daniel Rivera said. “So our goal is to get existing businesses that are already functioning to work with us while also bringing in starting businesses to help them launch their business.”

A component of meeting the criteria for Hive Effect is to be committed to being an entrepreneur. Rivera, who interviews the prospective cohort said he looks for dedicated individuals.

Rene Sanchez, a compliance consultant and new member of Hive Effect said the lack of people helping one another professionally just does not happen within Grindstone Coworking.

“Lately everyone has this me, me, me mentality, whereas here the mentality is how can I help you,” she said.

A local attorney Pete Diaz echoed Sanchez and said had he could have easily succor his colleagues through a legal prospective, protecting them to reduce their individual liability as they create their businesses.

Once completing Hive Effect, members should see the results.

“It has opened a lot of networking opportunities that I would have not had otherwise, most of all my business was done online, mist of my clients were foreign,” inaugural Hive Effect member Sarah Cantu said. “So since I joined Hive Effect I have been able to bring my business to local costumers.”

The diversity among the members of the program is what impacts Hive Effect the most. Cantu said the unique environment gave her an interesting perspective because she can bounce ideas on website developers, tech specialists and digital marketers.

Hive Effect will again run for six months. As part of the program BBVA Compass will provide financial instruction.

“Through this environment we are able to come in and provide financial education for individuals that are seeking to grow in our community,” Vice President and commercial relationship manager for BBVA Compass Sam Lopez said. “That's what we are all about, helping the community.”