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Avanzar Program Aims to Help Hispanic Small Businesses Grow

Photo: Courtesy of Rocio Gonzalez

There are more than 4.7 million Hispanic-owned businesses in America.  

To help more businesses scale, the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) launched a pilot accelerator program called Avanzar (Spanish for advance) in partnership with Wells Fargo in January of 2019.  

Two new flagships 

Working with local Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, the Avanzar program launched in two cities — Albuquerque, New Mexico and Charlotte, North Carolina, and identified 40 entrepreneurs primed for growth potential to coach and prepare for scaling their businesses. The USHCC just announced that the Avanzar program will be expanding in the summer of 2020 and launching in five additional markets: Las Vegas, Nevada, Phoenix, Arizona, Orlando, Florida, Los Angeles, California, and Atlanta, Georgia.  

What’s in the box? 

An eight-month accelerator program, Avanzar teaches capacity building, leadership development, how to access capital, and strategic planning. After much research, the USHCC and local chambers of commerce developed an innovative bilingual curriculum featuring expert speakers to train the participants to overcome barriers to success in order to scale their businesses and build sustainable enterprises. 

“We are thrilled to see the success of this new program rooted in our steadfast commitment to the Hispanic business community,” said Ramiro Cavazos, USHCC President and CEO. “Hispanic entrepreneurs start businesses three times faster than the average American, but they often face undue barriers to scaling. If Hispanic-owned businesses scaled as quickly as non-minority-owned businesses, there would be an additional $1.47 trillion dollars in the American economy. Wells Fargo and the USHCC are committed to helping the Hispanic business community reach its full potential,” he added.  

The alumni are talking

One of the proud graduates of the program was Guadalupe “Lupita” Barrera, co-owner of a family-owned and -operated restaurant in Davidson, North Carolina called Mestizo Contemporary Mexican Cuisine. Lupita and her family are from Mexico City and opened their restaurant in 2004 with a focus on creating authentic dishes, beverages, and overall culture, including art and light-fixture pieces from Mexico City.  

“The Avanzar program was a life-changing experience for me!” said Barrera. “The program helped me learn how to use marketing tools like social media to improve our publicity, and it helped me grow my business by learning more financial resources,” Barrera explained.   

Avanzar is one of several programs led by the USHCC, America’s largest Hispanic-business organization representing more than 260 chambers of commerce and the voices of 4.7 million Hispanic business enterprises throughout the country. 

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