Latina Entrepreneurship Training Series gets $100K grant from Wells Fargo Foundation

The Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey’s new Latina Entrepreneurship Training Series got a big boost Wednesday, thanks to a $100,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation.

The grant will be used toward bilingual business development and educational programs particularly tailored to the needs of female Hispanic business owners, SHCCNJ officials said.

The new program will be launched in 2020 in the Perth Amboy area, powered by Wells Fargo. It’s a natural extension of the hugely successful Hispanic Entrepreneurship Training Program, which will be entering its sixth year in 2020.

HETP Program Director Valeria Aloe said the grant will help the new program prosper quickly.

“Thanks to Wells Fargo’s support, we are expanding our reach into a population segment that opens businesses at more than three times the average rate and faces unique hurdles and challenges to grow,” she said in a statement. “This partnership will positively impact the lives of many families in our communities.”

Developed and run by successful female Hispanic business owners and professionals, the LETS program responds to the growing needs of Hispanic women entrepreneurs who have started a business, yet lack the appropriate resources, tools, connections and support systems necessary to expand and scale it up, Aloe said.

The goal of the LETS program is to offer business education, individual coaching, mentorship, a supportive community and an expanded network of contacts for Latina business owners — at no cost — and, to create real opportunities for visibility and networking with the Hispanic community and beyond.

Chamber CEO and President Carlos Medina said the program will help build collaboration in the Latino community.

“We are grateful that Wells Fargo and the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey have partnered on this important and timely initiative to provide entrepreneurs classes led by bilingual subject matter experts on a variety of topics vital to building and fortifying a business,” he said.

Students will graduate the program equipped with the tools to expand their ventures, as well as access to 12 board members who are successful Hispanic businesspeople involved in a broad cross-section of business sectors, he said.

Graduates also will be extended a complimentary membership and given access to the chamber’s extensive network of business owners and professionals, who will also act as business coaches for the life of this grant and beyond.

SHCCNJ Chair Luis De La Hoz said the chamber always is looking for companies that are eager to team up with the Hispanic community.

“We commend Wells Fargo for its continued commitment and generosity to the communities it serves,” he said.