Hispanic Heritage Month: Exploring Business Resources in Northern Ohio

Every year, Americans commemorate National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

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National months are dedicated to bringing awareness to important or overlooked causes, campaigns and communities. Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15 because it is the anniversary of independence for the Latin American countries of Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala.

As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month to recognize the achievements of Hispanic Americans who have inspired others to achieve success, JumpStart would like to highlight programs and resources that are available to local Hispanic/Latino entrepreneurs in Northeast, Ohio.

Historically, JumpStart has observed a two-tiered system of access when it comes to small business support resources for the Hispanic/Latino community, especially for those who primarily speak Spanish. After conducting a structural analysis, we identified current resource gaps through hundreds of conversations with community members, entrepreneurs and organizations.

As JumpStart’s first Hispanic Business Advisor, my main responsibilities are serving the community and ensuring resources are reaching Hispanic entrepreneurs. One of the most pressing challenges within the Hispanic and Latino entrepreneurial ecosystem is gaining access to resources that are culturally competent for the Hispanic small business community.

The Impacto Program

One way to reach the community was through the creation of the Impacto Program, a 9-week small business program strategically created to cater directly to the Hispanic/Latino business community with support from the Hispanic Business Center, the Spanish American Committee, the Mexican Committee as well as national organizations like Hispanic Star and AccellHUB Venture Partners.

The Impacto Program is a Spanish-language small business accelerator program, creating a safe space for inspiration and information sharing among Hispanic entrepreneurs. The program consists of a series of training sessions that prepares the entrepreneur to lead their company to its next level of growth. Each week, participants focus on a key business skill including financial planning and marketing. In addition to building industry-specific skills, each participant receives one-on-one coaching, a QuickBooks subscription and $1,000 in grant capital.

The program is ideal for Spanish-speaking Hispanic/Latino entrepreneurs who have a revenue-generating business that’s been in operation for at least 6 months prior. The business must have growth potential, as identified by JumpStart business advisors. The primary goals of the Impacto program are to:

  1. Teach participants foundational business concepts to help identify milestones
  2. Connecting participants with resources who speak their language – and empowering them to access those resources
  3. Build a community of Hispanic/Latinx entrepreneurs across different cultures that may not traditionally come together
  4. Decolonize the business assistance ecosystem to foster better cultural competency – creating more services, programming and spaces primarily for Hispanic/Latinx entrepreneurs

The Hispanic Small Business Loan Fund

The JumpStart Hispanic Small Business Loan Program is a program created for the exclusive support of Northeast Ohio Hispanic and Latino small businesses, deploying up to $250,000 in funding to small business owners, in amounts ranging from $2,500-$20,000. Loans are available on a rolling basis to all JumpStart Hispanic and Latino small business clients that have actively participated in programs and services. These loans are critical for Hispanic and Latino small business clients, as many of these businesses need this capital to assist their growth efforts during challenging economic times. We anticipate the combination of capital, along with intensive advisory support, will position businesses for sustained success.

Standard Loan Terms:

  • 6% interest
  • Variable term length based on loan amount
  • No personal guaranty
  • Participation & Payment Incentive
    • Any loan recipient who is an active and engaged client for 12 months following loan distribution and is current on loan payments will be entitled to receive 25% of the outstanding loan principal as a grant

How do I get involved?

For more information on how you can take advantage of the Impacto Program and/or Hispanic Small Business Loan Fund please reach out to me at [email protected].

Posted in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Business Assistance