HCC to host entrepreneur workshops in Spanish

July 25, 2018 GMT

Houston Community College is launching a series of workshops and a boot camp to better serve Latino entrepreneurs. The trainings will be in Spanish, a first for the school.

“There’s not a lot of these workshops in Spanish,” said Brenda Rios, director of entrepreneurship for HCC’s Southeast College. “I know the demand is there.”

The first workshop from the Office of Entrepreneurship Initiatives will be Thursday,

Rios cited several Latino immigrants in Houston who had owned small businesses in their home countries but face an extra challenge starting over here due to language barriers and the nuances of local regulations. With the rate of new Latino-owned businesses exceeding the U.S. Latino population growth, she said, reaching these entrepreneurs in their preferred language is essential for helping them open and then scale up.

A 2017 Stanford Graduate School of Business study found that net 1 million new Latino-owned businesses launch every five years, but only a few exceed $1 million in annual revenue. Lack of awareness and limited access to loans and other financial resources often are cited as the leading obstacles.

Laura Murillo, president and CEO of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said the number of Latino entrepreneurs is only beginning to grow. Most of them are first- and second-generation business owners.

The Stanford study found that a quarter of in four Latinos in the U.S. are millennials, and a third are younger than 18.

“We’re a very young community,” Murillo said.

It’s important to continue fostering business owners and potential entrepreneurs within this community through workshops like those soon to start at HCC, Murillo said.

The Thursday workshop focuses on creating a business plan. It’s geared toward those who have an idea for a business but don’t know where to start. Rios said existing business owners also can participate, especially if they are considering applying for loans.

Future workshops, also to be held on the last Thursday of the month, will look at networking opportunities and how to build and manage a blog. The events lead up to a two-day boot camp offering advice on finances, management and everything in between. One day will feature sessions in English, the other in Spanish.

Donations of $10 will be accepted for participation in the workshops, and the proceeds will go toward prizes handed out at the boot camp.