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New Latino business accelerator begins

The Latino Entrepreneur Access Program will teach its cohort of Latino entrepreneurs vital business skills.

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The Latino Leadership Institute (LLI) has begun its Latino Entrepreneur Access Program with a cohort of Latino owned businesses joining the one-year program running from 2022 to 2023.

LEAP will center around these entrepreneurs being taught by an advisory board composed of 47 CEOs, business leaders, and subject matter experts from around the world.

The board will mentor the cohort on different subjects such as business strategies, marketing, sales, operations, and finance.

This advisory board is 70% Latino and people of color and will provide free teaching to the entrepreneurs over the course of the program and is set to give the entrepreneurs access to technical, social, and financial capital, each seen as a “critical resource” by the program.

LEAP is designed to have three outcomes for each company in the cohort: a sustained and profitable revenue stream, an expansion of the workforce, and access to new capital from both public and private financing sources.

Founded in Colorado, LEAP is the first Latino-led business accelerator from the area to focus on Latino entrepreneurship.

The program intends to bridge economic opportunity gaps Latino-owned businesses face, such as equalizing the wealth disparity between Latino entrepreneurs and White entrepreneurs by providing culturally relevant resources and expertise to these Latino entrepreneurs.

Joelle L. Martinez, President and CEO of LLI, made a statement about LEAP’s impact in a press release.

“LEAP is a game-changer in how we ensure our Latino and BIPOC businesses capitalize on their own business investments through the backing, knowledge and investment of a different kind of professional leadership bench and accelerator,” Martinez said. “We have utilized our strength to create businesses, now it’s time we use that same strength to build stronger economic power.”

The LLI was founded in 2013 by Latinos in business for the purpose of putting more Latinos into leadership positions across industries.

In partnership with the University of Denver, the LLI was able to graduate its first cohort of LLI Fellows in 2015 by serving as a business incubator for them, a vital service that allowed the LLI to become a national non-profit in 2021.

The current list of companies joining the program are Juntos2College, Content Machine, Delores Digital, LS Gallegos, InScribe Education, Attorney Docs, East Denver Food Hub, Luna Cultura Art, Science and Culture for Thriving Communities LLC, A-Wall LLC, and Marisol Solarte-Erlacher, M.A., LPC and Associates.

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