Growing the small business community.
Responding to client demand, El Centro de la Raza’s Small Business Development Program began in 2016, 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 underserved 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.
Small Business Development Program participants receive access to the following services:
- One-on-one small business coaching
- Access to capital through our partnerships
- Launch and Grow your Business, a free online introductory 8-week small business course
- Minority & Women’s Business Enterprises (OMWBE) Certification Training, a class that teaches participants how to certify their business as minority or women-owned through the Washington State Office of Minority & Women’s Business Enterprises
- Food Cart Incubator, which provides business operation space, a commercial kitchen, food vending carts, marketing support, and one-on-one assistance
For more information visit us here or contact:
- Victor Cerdeneta Serrato – firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 986-7022 in King County and Seattle area
- Ivette Aguilera – email@example.com or (206) 883-1981 in Pierce and Snohomish Counties
The Business Opportunity Center has significantly increased its capacity over the past 2 years; enrollment has grown by 144% since May of 2019. 89 individuals have graduated from our Launch & Grow training program, 216 new businesses—44 of which are now certified WMBEs—have been formed, and 466 jobs have been created or retained. Our innovative Food Business Incubator has also taken off, helping 13 entrepreneurs, most of whom had no prior business experience before walking through our doors, to create their first business and marketing plans. The participants receiving services from the BOC are racially and ethnically diverse (87.5% Latinx, 1.5% Asian, 2% African American, 3% White, 2% Multi-Racial, 4% other). 61% of our clients are female, and 66% speak limited English.