Hispano Chamber graduates over 50 immigrant entrepreneurs
On October 20th, 2015 the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce held an event to honor 52 immigrant entrepreneurs who had completed their Emprendedores program, a Spanish language entrepreneurship training program that the Chamber introduced last fall.
The Emprendedores program–currently taught by CNM Stimulus Center professor Marvin Lozano–is offered in Spanish to immigrant business owners who seek to develop entrepreneurial skills. “We have seen great success in the program so far,” said Synthia Jaramillo, VP and Director of the Barelas Economic Opportunity Center. “Not only do students gain skills to grow and accelerate their business, they also build leadership skills and confidence.” This dual outcome of the program is creating strong business leaders and connecting immigrant business owners into resource networks to establish and grow their businesses.
“Our goal as a Chamber of Commerce is to help Hispanic owned businesses grow and thus increase economic development,” said Synthia. “And as part of that goal we have developed a strategy to help immigrant entrepreneurs operate their businesses outside of the shadows.” This effort is an example of the Hispano Chamber’s aligned contribution with the Albuquerque Integration Initiative. The immigrant community is one of the fastest growing segments of the population in New Mexico, and a huge economic opportunity. “Not to mention,” Synthia astutely observed, “coming here from another country is already an entrepreneurial act itself.” The opportunity for economic growth is palpable.
While the initial goal of the program was to engage 50 to 60 low to moderate income students, the tremendous need has allowed the Hispano Chamber to graduate over 150 immigrant entrepreneurs.
CONNECT THE DOTS
COMMONALITIES with the Albuquerque Integration Initiative: The Emprendedores program supports low to moderate income immigrant entrepreneurs and focuses on small business creation and growth. Synthia Jaramillo, the Hispano Chamber VP, is part of the Albuquerque Integration Initiative team.