Fuerza Local 

Business Accelerator Program


The Fuerza Local Business Accelerator Program is a six-month business education program designed to teach Spanish-preferred micro-business owners important basics for successfully growing their business. Participants attend a series of classes on a variety of topics including marketing, business planning, customer service, and more. Participants also learn the importance of financial management by participating in an eMoneyPool, which is then matched by a scholarship from the Local First Arizona Foundation. Each student also has the opportunity to access credit at fair market rates by opening a line of credit at Arizona-based MariSol Federal Credit Union. With a certificate of completion from the program, they have the opportunity to apply for a line of credit at fair market rates with Marisol Federal Credit Union in lieu of any credit history. 

LFAF launched the Fuerza Local Business Accelerator Program in 2013 because we discovered there is a need among underserved microentrepreneurs to learn basic best practices for operating a business. By helping these businesses acquire the tools and resources needed to thrive on their own, we have empowered these businesses to support themselves and their families, while building a stronger and more vibrant community with more opportunity for all.

2015 Outcomes

  • Number of graduates from the Fuerza Local Business Accelerator Program: 44
  • Number of new jobs created from participating businesses after graduating program: 59
  • 5 participants have reported receiving an award or recognition by an organization of their industry
  • 25 participants opened a checking account for the first time while in the program
  • 17 participants reported appearing on radio or television following the program 

2015 Highlights

  • 2 graduates received media coverage in Phoenix Magazine as “Best Restaurants” in Phoenix, Colados Coffee and La 15 y Salsa
  • Gelatin Nation, LLC and Manualidades Rosalba, LLC went from simply creating home made crafts to officially creating products and selling for the first time
  • 8 out of 12 participants in Cohort 5 became newly registered businesses with the State of Arizona
  • 12 business professionals were brought in to teach the accelerator classes
  • The program established collaborative partnerships with GoDaddy, Univision, Chicanos Por La Causa 

Thank You To Our 2015 Program Sponsors

  • Alliance Bank
  • APS 
  • Arizona Community Action Association 
  • Arizona Community Foundation 
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of AZ 
  • Desert Schools Federal Credit Union 
  • Marisol Federal Credit Union
  • Phoenix IDA 
  • Phoenix CDIC 

Key Successes Since The Accelerator Has Launched

  • 44 Fuerza Local Business Accelerator graduates
  • 21 new websites
  • 26 formed an LLC while in the program (42 total businesses now have LLCs)
  • 36 new social media pages with 15,824 fans
  • 25 first-time checking accounts
  • 3 first-time loans approved
  • 59 new jobs created
  • Estimated new revenue generated post-graduation $876,450 
This is one of the best programs, an unforgettable experience. My favorite part was getting mentorship from the best trainers and I learned so much.
— Braim Villela Los Clamatos de Tito
This has been a great experience for my business. My questions are always answered and I have grown so much professionally and personally.
— Juan Amaya J & J Amaya General Services