The eleventh cohort of the Fuerza Local Business Accelerator Program is about to commence, with programming taking place in Phoenix, Mesa, Maryvale, and South Phoenix.
The program, an initiative of the Local First Arizona Foundation, trains underserved Hispanic entrepreneurs on the basics of running a successful business, in turn promoting self-reliance and building prosperity in their communities.
According to the U.S. Census, in 2007 Arizona had 52,000 Latino-owned businesses, and that figure jumped to 123,000 in 2015.
The number of latino owned businesses has rapidly increased in the past years and it is continuing to do so here in Arizona. The Fuerza Local Business Accelerator program has been designed to teach these underserved micro-entrepreneurs important basics for financial literacy and business development.
Participants attend weekly classes on a variety of topics including marketing, business planning, cash flow management, and many more. Participants also gain critically important financial literacy through participating in a lending circle, which requires them to make on-time payments every month they are in the program. These payments are reported to Experian, building a credit history for the small business owner, often for first time. Their savings is then matched by a scholarship from the Local First Arizona Foundation.
Investing in under-served communities through entrepreneurship is a successful strategy that in just four years has seen incredible job creation and business expansion, along with a reduction in reliance on social services. Creating opportunities for small business development in low-income communities helps build an Arizona we are proud to call home.
Applications for the twelfth cohort are now open. Applicants may apply here.
For more information on Fuerza Local Business Accelerator program contact Tanairí Ochoa-Martínez at firstname.lastname@example.org.