60 Hispanic Entrepreneurs Graduate from Business Accelerator Program

Contact: Elizabeth Leon, Local First Arizona
[email protected], 602-956-0909 ext. 9

60 Hispanic Entrepreneurs Graduate from Business Accelerator Program

Fuerza Local doubles number of program participants in newest cohort

Phoenix, AZ (July 15, 2017) –  60 business owners will be recognized at the Fuerza Local Business Accelerator graduation as the newest graduating class is presented in the program’s 8th celebration. The eighth cohort of the Accelerator program will be the largest graduating class to date, with 60 small business owners that completed the program. The graduation ceremony will be held Wednesday, July 26, from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm at the Pera Club in Tempe.

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.

With support from the Maricopa County IDA this year, the Fuerza Local Business Accelerator was able to expand to serve individuals in Maryvale and Avondale, in addition to Phoenix and Mesa. “Being able to go as far east as Mesa and as west as Avondale has helped us increase our reach and be more inclusive with the program,” said Kimber Lanning, Founder and Executive Director of Local First Arizona. “We’re now able to accommodate to the needs of each specific community, and better understand their tactics and strategies that will work best for the business owners going through the program.”

“I’ve been a business owner for over 18 years, but it wasn’t until I went through this Fuerza Local Business Accelerator Program that I have really understood the proper way to run a successful business,” said Dora Basaca, owner of Basaca Art Photography, and participant of the 8th cohort. “I finally feel ready to expand my reach and grow my business.”

More than 100 business owners have already completed the program since its launch in 2014, and combined have generated more than $5 million in gross sales and borrowed more than $500,000. The program has also impacted female entrepreneurs, with more than half of all the graduating businesses being women owned.

“It is always an honor to work with such bright minds in helping them develop plans that will take their business to the next level,” said Edgar Olivo, Director of Fuerza Local Business Accelerator Program. “This group has brought so much energy to the community and have formed a unity that exemplifies the meaning of being a part of the Fuerza Local community.”

The community is invited to celebrate the achievements of these entrepreneurs at a graduation celebration on Wednesday, July 26, from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. at the Pera Club (1 E. Continental Dr., Tempe, 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/186758165190314/.

Fuerza Local’s Business Accelerator Program is supported through funds from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Maricopa County IDA, Phoenix IDA, APS, Marisol Federal Credit Union, Arizona Community Foundation, Desert Schools Federal Credit Union, Arizona Community Action Association, Bank of Arizona and GoDaddy.

About Local First Arizona Foundation

Local First Arizona Foundation (LFAF) is the 501c3 nonprofit sister organization to Local First Arizona. LFAF is an award-winning organization focused on community and economic development throughout the state in order to build self-sufficient, healthy and prosperous communities. LFAF is creating a movement that has proven results across a wide variety of measurables including youth retention, job creation, and economic gains. More information is available at localfirstazfoundation.org.