New Jersey’s Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is helping to create a new generation of entrepreneurs with a program to accelerate the inclusion of recent immigrants into the business community
Hispanic Entrepreneur Training Program
The Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (SHCCNJ) has created a groundbreaking program to help create new business owners among the approximately 1.5 million Hispanics in New Jersey. The Hispanic Entrepreneurship Training Program was launched three years ago after the SHCCNJ received a grant to launch the first iteration of the program in Trenton. “One of the biggest issues that Hispanic entrepreneurs have is access to capital,” says Jazlyn Carvajal,executive director of the SHCCNJ. “Since many of them are immigrants, they don’t have networks that explain what to do, and where to go for services that you need as a business owner.” The other big issue, according to Carvajal, is having information available in both English and Spanish. “When it comes to important documents it’s much easier to understand in your native language,” says Carvajal.
When it comes to important documents it’s much easier to understand in your native language
After running the program for two years, the creators of the program realized that they needed to run two different tracks in order to fully serve Hispanic entrepreneurs, an “ideation” course for people with a business idea and need help developing it into a sustainable business, and an advanced course for those who have existing businesses and want to grow the business. The Garden State of New Jersey has stepped up to provide funding for this effort as well as several corporations including JP Morgan Chase, New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance, Wells Fargo, and Mass Mutual.
Track 1: Ideation Class for Future Entrepreneurs
There are 12 sessions for the ideation class. “It’s a 12 session step-by-step class,” explains Aixa Lopez, SHCCNJ’s marketing manager. SHCCNJ has published a workbook to go with the class too. The future small business owner goes through a 60 hour course, and the curriculum contains soft skill development, business writing, and effective networking. At the end of the program, the participants will have both a comprehensive business plan, and real world business skills to show for their efforts.
One of the biggest issues that Hispanic entrepreneurs have is access to capital
First Class: March 11th. Enrollment Deadline: February 24th.
Saturdays 9AM-1PM The Culinary Conference Center at Hudson Community College in Jersey City
Track 2: Grow Your Existing Business
In this program which contains 11 workshops, existing small business owners will work alongside bilingual subject-matter experts in areas such as legal matters, marketing and social media. Participants will also be paired with mentor/coaches to help with growth strategies. The coaches are drawn from the ranks of the Statewide Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, who are all bilingual and experienced, successful businessmen.
First Class: March 14th. Enrollment Deadline: February 24th.
Tuesdays 5-7PM FUSE Space at Bergen Community College Regional Accelerator
Although the mission of the HETP is to provide entrepreneurial training for the Hispanic population in New Jersey, the courses are free and open to everyone. As Carvajal says, “Hispanics and non-Hispanic entrepreneurs have the same needs.”
For more information, contact the SHCCNJ