Business Opportunity Center
Growing the small business community
Responding to client demand, our Business Opportunity Center (BOC) began in 2017, providing small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs with workshops, business development advice, credit counseling, and access to a variety of resources. This program targets low-to moderate-income Latinx residents of King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties and aims to educate this under-served population in order to foster long-term financial stability and independence. The process of starting and managing a business can be daunting to our clients, the majority of whom speak limited English and are still familiarizing themselves with business practices in the United States. Working with our staff, clients can ask questions and receive guidance each step of the way.
As part of this program, we offer:
- Business advising and training
- Food Vendor Incubator
- Participation in our regular Market Events
- Business advising and training requirements: an ITIN or SSN
- Food Vendor Incubator requirements: Pass a background and have two+ years of cooking experience. You will also need to receive all required licenses and permits before you begin food service.
Liliana is our Director of Housing & Business Development. Her passion and desire to serve the community brought her to join El Centro to help develop the Business Opportunity Center program in 2017. She is a multidisciplinary leader with a degree in accounting, major in finance, an MBA, and a culinary degree from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.
Victor is the Supervisor for our Business Opportunity Center. He provides training and technical assistance for aspiring entrepreneurs and existing small business owners in King, Snohomish, and Pierce County. He has a background in legal affairs and is passionate about helping small businesses. In his free time he likes to ride his bike and spend time with friends and family.
Ivette is the Program Coordinator for our Business Opportunity Center. With a finance background, she has seven years of experience in business consulting. She has assisted businesses at all stages, including micro-businesses in Colombia to Fortune 500 companies through mergers and acquisition initiatives. In her free time, she loves to play volleyball and explore different restaurants in the Seattle area.
Berenice is the Business Specialist for our Business Opportunity Center. She is a business owner of Friduka – a Mexican retail business celebrating artisanal clothing and accessories from Michoacan and Chiapas, Mexico. Along with her entrepreneurial experience, Berenice received a culinary certificate in Mexico. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I own a business with an ITIN?
Yes! Washington States provide business licenses to ITIN holders.
How much does this program cost?
Our services are free! The only cost incurred would be for permit application processing fees.
Can I just walk-in to sign up?
We recommend contacting our team to schedule a meeting, either virtually or in person. Our offices are located at our Beacon Hill and Federal Way locations.