Twelve business owners will be recognized at the Fuerza Local Business Accelerator graduation as the first graduating class from Tucson.
The Fuerza Local Business Accelerator, a program of Local First Arizona Foundation, is a six-month training program offered at no cost to underserved Hispanic business owners. During the program, entrepreneurs learn some of the fundamentals to launch or develop their business, creating a firm foundation for their goals. Lessons on accounting, social media, marketing, and many others are taught completely in Spanish by industry professionals and experts, giving students the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the Valley.
The program has grown since its launch in 2014, and is now graduating students in five communities across the state, now including Tucson. More than 260 business owners have already completed the program since its launch in 2014, and combined have generated more than $8.1 million in gross sales.
Local First Arizona Foundation has worked with Vib’n LLC and the YWCA Southern Arizona through funding from a Tohono O'odham grant to help bring the Fuerza Local Business Accelerator to Tucson.
The community is invited to celebrate the achievements of these entrepreneurs at a graduation celebration on Saturday, June 30, from 5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at the YWCA Southern Arizona (525 N Bonita Ave, Tucson, AZ 85745). The event is free to attend and will include a business expo featuring the program graduates, networking opportunities, and the graduation ceremony.
The first Tucson Fuerza Local Business Accelerator cohort includes:
● Ester Parra, cockteleria La Palma
● Maria Salome, Arizona Hispanic Services LLC.
● Aidee Almazan, Dolce Pastello
● Irma Palomo de Garcia, Benny's Restuarant
● Rosa & Ruben Lucatero, Carnitas La Yoca
● Luz Cabrera, Empowering Financial Group
● Luis Padilla, Luis Padilla Design
● Liliana Byrd, Express Beauty Salon
● Roberto Martinez, Bob Does I.T.
● Laura Aviles, Super Carniceria del Rey
● Ivis Montano, Rohi Nails & Spa
● Gisela Felix, Patricia Padilla Photography
Applications for the second cohort of the Fuerza Local Business Accelerator are now open. Applicants can apply for the Tucson program at https://www.localfirstazfoundation.org/fuerza-accelerator-tucson-apply. The application will close on August 17, 2018.
The Fuerza Local Business Accelerator is supported through funds from Pakis Center for Business Philanthropy, Maricopa County IDA, City of Phoenix, APS, Marisol Federal Credit Union, Arizona Community Foundation. Desert Financial Credit Union, Arizona State University Entrepreneurship and Innovation, SRP, Copperpoint, and Thunderbird Charities.