LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Latin Chamber of Commerce will launch the Avanzar Small Business Accelerator Program in Spanish at the beginning of August, aiming to help local owners and entrepreneurs with their businesses.
This program is the first of its kind not only in Las Vegas but also in the entire country. If this "test pilot” is successful, it could be replicated in other cities by their respective Chambers of Commerce.
Avanzar, which translates to "advance" in Spanish, is a business accelerator program that helps participants to develop business plans, strategies, and the leadership skills needed to scale their small businesses. Course topics include streamlining operations, lowering expenses, marketing, leveraging social media, and obtaining access to capital for each business. Subject matter experts from Wells Fargo will provide the access to capital training.
“There’s such an entrepreneur spirit in the Latino community that we had to bring it [the program] in Spanish to open the doors even for more," said Peter Guzman, LCC president.
"And what is that going to do? It's going to create more jobs eventually," he added.
Throughout the Avanzar Program, the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will track and monitor certain performance metrics with the Hispanic Business Enterprises in the Avanzar Program, including jobs created, access to capital and access to contract opportunities.
Last year, around 20 participants went through this eight-session program in English, using video conferences to connect with instructors and other members. This year, around 25 participants are expected to be included.
Hans Hippert, owner of Jojo’s Jerky is one of them and says the experience was life-changing for his company. It helped him and his wife develop new areas of their business. He even shared that if he could join this program in Spanish, he would do it.
“It made me be a better leader, it made me a better listener, it made me a better part of the team and it benefited everybody," said Hippert.
"On top of it, they explore different avenues of the business that we would have never realized before and opened up our eyes for many different things," he added "and we're very grateful for that."
Registration is now open for the Spanish-language series, which is set to kick off on Aug. 3 and finish in November.
Business owners are encouraged to visit lvlcc.com to get more information and to register for the program.