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Indy Chamber’s Hispanic Business Council launches new executive education program for growth-oriented local ‘Latinx’ employers & entrepreneurs

‘Accelerate Latinx powered by Interise’ offers nationally-proven curriculum to support Hispanic-owned businesses, boost their $1.1 billion contribution to Indy’s regional economy

(INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., June 28, 2019) The Indy Chamber’s Hispanic Business Council (HBC) is launching a new program, ‘Accelerate Latinx powered by Interise’ to provide management training to Hispanic business owners across the Indianapolis region.  Accelerate Latinx is a partnership with national economic development non-profit Interise, utilizing its award-winning StreetWise ‘MBA’™ curriculum tailored to growing established employers.

The HBC is part of the Chamber’s Entrepreneur Services division, which already offers more than 10,000 hours of free business coaching and training opportunities to small and start-up companies across the nine-county metro each year.  Last year, the HBC commissioned an analysis from the Indiana Business Research Center that identified nearly 5,000 Hispanic-owned firms contributing $1.1 billion to the regional economy.

“The numbers are impressive, but aren’t close to capturing the total economic potential for Hispanic-owned businesses,” said Indy Chamber’s Executive Director of Entrepreneur Services, Rick Proctor.  “We’ve scaled up mentoring, business coaching and networking opportunities through our Hispanic Business Council, but lacked executive education options – partnering with Interise to launch Accelerate Latinx fills this gap with a proven, MBA-style program adapted to the local needs and hectic schedules of these business owners.”

The centerpiece of Accelerate Latinx is Interise’s award-winning curriculum, the StreetWise ’MBA’ ™. The seven-month program takes participants through business strategy, financial planning and cash flow management, sales and marketing, and anticipating resources needed for growth – hiring, capital-raising and more.

According to Interise, the program recognizes the strong entrepreneurial spirit of the Hispanic community, supplying the specific knowledge needed to translate growth ambitions into actual revenues, profitability and expansion among ‘Latinx’ (the gender-neutral form of Latino/Latina) employers.

“Latinx-owned businesses contribute over $700 billion to the American economy every year,” said Darrell Byers, CEO of Interise. “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.”

Eligible business owners must have operated their business for at least two years, grossing $250,000-$5 million in annual revenue, with at least one full-time employee other than the owner.  While the largest number of Indy-based Latinx businesses are in the construction sector, firms in transportation/warehousing, wholesale trade, manufacturing and food service tend to have more employees and higher revenues.

“As we build a more inclusive economy, our business community should better reflect the diversity of the more than two million Hoosiers who call the Indianapolis region home,” said Proctor.  “With the addition of 100,000 Hispanic residents to our metropolitan population since 2000, we certainly have untapped opportunities for employment, investment and wealth creation through programs like Accelerate Latinx.”

In addition to the Hispanic Business Council, the Indy Chamber’s Entrepreneur Services division includes the Business Ownership Initiative (BOI) and the Central Indiana Women’s Business Center (CIWBC), both offering (bilingual, one-on-one) business coaching and microlending as U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) partners. Collectively, they served approximately 1,250 clients and supported 100 new business starts in 2018.

As part of this ‘entrepreneurial ecosystem,’ the HBC leads a successful Mentor-Protégé program that pairs Latinx entrepreneurs with established metro employers and offers the ‘Conexion’ event series that encourages networking and business/procurement relationships for Hispanic-owned companies.

“Our efforts to engage the Latinx business community are already paying off,” noted Gustavo Escalante, manager of the HBC for the Indy Chamber.  “The Accelerate Latinx partnership with Interise expands our most powerful resource – knowledge: How to run a more competitive business, to pursue growth while managing cash flow, to win institutional contracts and earn new customers across the marketplace.”

The Accelerate Latinx pilot program is slated to launch in September 2019; interested companies can learn more and start the application process at http://indychamber.com/accelerate-latinx.

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