CVIIC Launches Second Year Immigrant Entrepreneur Program for Central Valley Latin American Immigrants
The second year of the CVIIC Immigrant Entrepreneurs program expands its services to better meet the demand that exists in this area of California.
– Maria Palomares
FRESNO, CALIFORNIA, United States, November 29, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ – Small businesses are rightly celebrated for being the engine of the U.S. economy, creating millions of jobs and a source of valuable income for local governments. The Central Valley Immigrant Integration Collaborative (CVIIC) recognizes this and considers that to maximize these benefits for our national economy and local communities, it is also essential to promote entrepreneurship in all social sectors, including immigrant communities. To that end, CVIIC launched the second year of a unique immigrant entrepreneurship training program designed for Latino immigrant entrepreneurs in Central Valley.
There are approximately 900,000 immigrants residing in the 8 Central Valley counties served by CVIIC. The majority of these productive and hardworking members of our regional economy are of Latino origin. Thus, it is in the interest of the region to consider the entrepreneurship of Latino immigrants as a political priority.
Helping immigrants learn how to start or run a business quickly became a central area of work for CVIIC due to the success of the first year of its Immigrant Entrepreneurs program. Equally important has been the growing interest of local immigrant families in the training and related services provided to participants. In response to the need and interest that have emerged, CVIIC is transforming what began as a one-off pilot project into a more solid and permanent initiative capable of achieving two key objectives: serving more people. interested participants and strengthen the collaborative relationships with partner agencies that made the existence and success of the program possible.
CVIIC launched the Immigrant Entrepreneurs Pilot Project in October 2020. Over the next 10 months, entrepreneurial training opportunities were offered to two separate cohorts of 40 participants. The trainings were offered by three partner agencies: Immigrants Rising, Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation and Valley Small Business Development Center.
A highlight of the pilot project was the intensive one-on-one assistance made available to each participant to help advance the respective entrepreneurial goal. In addition, 29 participants received seed grants to support the purchase of equipment or supplies, or to help cover licenses and other installation expenses.
Simultaneously, an online community of Latino immigrant entrepreneurs was also created, which now has almost 400 members. During the first year of the program, CVIIC also offered entrepreneurial technical training to representatives of organizations linked to its regional network of immigrant-serving organizations.
Zendi Roque, a first year participant, owns a pressure washing business, M&Z Pressure Washer. She underlines the value of the training and assistance given to her: “CVIIC has helped me a lot. The lessons were a big help to me… I learned how to prepare my business and manage my income, so many things.
Maria Palomares, owner of South North Janitorial Services, which provides commercial and residential cleaning services. She has twenty years of experience in the industry but says the training offered by CVIIC “has been a great support for my business. It emphasizes assistance in the conduct of administrative transactions with local authorities and training allowing it to develop a business plan. “I’m learning to create a business plan and more. I am very grateful to […] all the CVIIC staff for guiding me in the growth of my business.
Guadalupe Garduño, owner of Rodriguez Drinks Services, discusses at length the benefits she received: “The Immigrant Entrepreneur program helped us because my husband and I also took these courses. He provided us with a lot of tools and taught us different ways to start a business because there are people who haven’t started their own business yet. From there, we created a logo and business name to generate a brand with our customers. […] In addition, this program has helped us to know how to access loans, how to seek financial support to increase the quality of your business. And on this basis, how to acquire the essentials to invest and be productive in your own business. It is a dream for many immigrants.
Armando Zayas, a participant in the second year of the program, says he heard about the program through his wife, who informed him that there was a group where he could learn about entrepreneurship, given his interest in a landscaping business. “I didn’t believe her, but I signed up anyway. I admit that I do not regret it and thanks to this group I learned that it is possible to move forward in this country.
Maria Garcia, also a second year participant in the program, points out that the Immigrant Entrepreneurs program has helped her overcome the fear of starting her own business. Now that she is taking the free training, she feels “safer going forward with my MGDesigns store”.
Like some of the program participants, Rosalia Garcia wants to start a food-related business. As a novice in entrepreneurship, she says: “I am grateful to the program for providing the tools so that [our businesses] may have the proper basics. I’m starting from scratch, but this program helps me learn the basics.
The second year of the program expands services to better meet the demand that exists in this area of California. To make this possible, CVIIC builds on existing partnerships (including the Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, the Valley Small Business Development Center, the State Center Adult Education Consortium, Sequoias Adult Education Consortium, Education and Leadership Foundation) and formalizes new forms of collaboration with the My Own Business Institute (MOBI) of the University of Santa Clara as well as the Alliance Build from Within.
Thanks to the new relationship with the MOBI program at the University of Santa Clara, an online entrepreneurial learning platform will be made available to current and future participants in English and Spanish.
The relationship with the Build from Within Alliance will also help develop a broader expertise in the development of neighborhood businesses and make other resources essential to the development of small businesses available to immigrant entrepreneurs in the Central Valley.
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