Pilot Program Aims to Boost Hispanic Business Owners

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Ryan Marques is the chairman of the Hispanic Business Council. Ryan Marques is the chairman of the Hispanic Business Council.

The Indy Chamber’s Hispanic Business Council is launching a program to provide management training to Hispanic business owners in central Indiana. Accelerate Latinx is a partnership with national economic development nonprofit Interise. The seven-month program, slated to begin in September, provides participants with education in business strategy, financial planning and sales and marketing, among other topics.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, HBC Chairman Ryan Marques said he hopes participants walk away with a good skillset they can add to their businesses.

"I think this programs allows the opportunity for a lot of Hispanic businesses owners that maybe didn't have the time or resources to attend an MBA course, so providing that opportunity, that 'post-secondary' opportunity for a lot of Hispanic business owners is huge," said Marques. "The neat thing about is that they're able to collaborate with other business owners, to share their stories on maybe how they got here to the States, how they started their own business, how they became certified."

Last year, the HBC commissioned an analysis from the Indiana Business Research Center that identified nearly 5,000 Hispanic-owned businesses contributing $1.1 billion to the regional economy. However, Indy Chamber Executive Director of Entrepreneur Services Rick Proctor says while the numbers are impressive, they aren't close to capturing the total economic potential for Hispanic-owned businesses. 

The chamber says the centerpiece of the program is Interise's StreetWise MBA curriculum, which is tailored to growing established employers. The program, according to Interise, supplies specific knowledge needed to translate growth ambitions into actual revenues, profitability and expansion among Latinx employers.

"Latinx-owned businesses contribute over $700 billion to the American economy every year," Darrell Byers, chief executive officer of Interise, said in a news release. "And while Latinos start businesses at a higher rate than non-Latinos, they start smaller and stay smaller compared to other businesses. This initiative will contribute to Interise’s ongoing work by showing how we can close the Latinx entrepreneurship gap in a major metropolitan economy."

To be eligible for the program, business owners must have operated their business for at least two years and grossed $250,000 to $5 million in annual revenue. The company must also have at least one full-time employee other than the owner.

You can learn more about the Accelerate Latinx pilot program by clicking here.

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