59 Hispanic Entrepreneurs Graduate from Business Accelerator Program

59 business owners will be recognized at the Fuerza Local Business Accelerator graduation as the newest graduating class is presented in the program’s 9th celebration. The ninth cohort of the Accelerator program will be majority mobile services, with 59 small business owners that completed the program. The graduation ceremony will be held Wednesday, January 24, from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm at the Legends Event Center.

The Fuerza Local Business Accelerator Program is a six-month training program offered at no cost to underserved Hispanic business owners in the Valley. 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.

Being part of the ninth cohort of the Fuerza Local Business Accelerator program helped me resolve many doubts I had about taxes, loans, and the responsibility of owning a business. But the most important thing for me was to develop my business plan and goals for my business.
— Ivan Lugo, owner of LUGARI pet salon, and participant of the 9th cohort

More than 180 business owners have already completed the program since its launch in 2014, and combined have generated more than $8.1 million in gross sales and borrowed more than $1.1 million.

“The Fuerza Local Business Accelerator program continued to serve residents across the city, from Avondale to Mesa. We are incredibly impressed by the impact the business education is making in the Latino small business community,” said Kimber Lanning, Founder and Executive Director of Local First Arizona. “With increased access to capital and education about how to create a competitive and innovative small business, we are seeing increased job creation, more resilient businesses and small business owners who are clear leaders in the community.”

“It is always exciting to see the economic impact these businesses will create in our state, “ said Edgar Olivo, former Director of Fuerza Local Business Accelerator Program. “This group has demonstrated a commitment to the mission of Fuerza Local and work proudly in the community."

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The community is invited to celebrate the achievements of these entrepreneurs at a graduation celebration on Wednesday, January 24, from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. at the Legends Event Center (4240 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, Arizona 85019). The event is free to attend and will include a business expo featuring the program graduates, networking opportunities, light refreshments, and the graduation ceremony. Guests can RSVP on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/197595580805399/.

Fuerza Local’s Business Accelerator Program 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.