Business Resources for Hispanic Entrepreneurs
Whether you’re just building your business or growing it, it’s never too late to learn new skills for success. Today’s small business owners and entrepreneurs face more competition than ever, but SCORE and other organizations provide educational and other support that can give your business a cutting edge.
Challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well the drastically changing job market created demands for ingenuity, leading many small business owners and entrepreneurs to look for ways to adapt and reorganize.
Dedicated to helping entrepreneurs learn and grow, SCORE’s educational tools and its network of over 12,000 volunteer business experts can help you every step of the way, including with live and recorded webinars as well as interactive courses and one-on-one mentoring. What’s best, SCORE has Spanish-speaking business experts who volunteer their time to work with U.S. Hispanic and immigrant entrepreneurs – in Spanish. Here are some of SCORE’s solutions:
The SCORE Business Learning Center
From building and growing your online brand, to analyzing your financial ratios, the SCORE Business Learning Center (SBLC) offers online learning opportunities that provide a wealth of knowledge on critical business topics. With a series of step-by-step courses, the SBLC’s subject matter experts can help you obtain new skills and grow your business stronger, free of charge.
Have a great start-up idea but need to develop a business plan? Or maybe you need help with pricing products and services to meet your financial needs? The SBLC’s Startup 101 course helps with the basics of all you need to get your business moving. Meanwhile, the Online Marketer course helps you develop or improve your online presence. From building your website to branding on social media, the module is set to help you utilize all that the internet offers to increase sales and revenue.
Sometimes our great business ideas need help getting to a practical space built on real-world strategy. The SBLC’s Biz Starter course teaches you to plan and evaluate your own business ideas while also building hard skills in subjects such as accounting and bookkeeping systems, sources of capital, the six C’s of credit, and banking relations.
While the SBLC courses are a great way to move through material at your own pace, the program can also set you up with a mentor who can work with you to apply those new skills to your business. Entrepreneurs who work with a mentor are five times more likely to start a business than those who don’t. In 2020, SCORE mentors helped start 45,027 businesses. Those businesses alone created 74,535 new non-owner jobs and contributed to the economy.
A roadmap to success
Meanwhile, if you have an idea for a small business, but you aren’t sure where to begin, SCORE’s Startup Roadmap is a day-one resource that helps future entrepreneurs turn their great idea into a grand opening. Sponsored by FedEx, the roadmap program outlines each step in starting a business, offering advice and guidance from an extensive network of small-business peers and experts.
It’s also critical for small and minority businesses to turn to peer networks to expand their contacts, meet potential partners and collaborators, and connect with future customers. Many business owners are too busy wearing their many hats to run their companies, and often downplay the importance of meeting critical contacts who can refer business to them. Being a part of a chamber of commerce, or business or industry association can bring you exposure to these organizations’ sponsors and supporters – who are often the corporate and government clients you’re pursuing. As a Hispanic business owner, you may consider joining organizations like the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) or its 250 national chambers. Find the one for your city or state, and consider attending their educational webinars, in-person events and annual conferences. Don’t be shy to ask for introductions!
Another important organization that provides business development consulting, legal and financial intelligence, networking opportunities, visibility of government projects and ongoing support for members is the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce. With programs like Enterprising Women of Color and chapters throughout the U.S., MBDA excels in networking events, readiness programs, sharing government and private sector bids and opportunities, and exposing minority-owned firms to national awards that boost their profiles and visibility.
Many entrepreneurs start businesses to pass on something of value to their families, or as an investment for future sale and exit. Passing a business on to the next generation can be especially daunting, but defying these challenges is possible, and with the right education and planning, your business – whether small, Hispanic- or minority-owned - can grow for generations to come.