LETS, free entrepreneurship program for Latinas, is accepting applications

8-week program offers business education, individual coaching, mentorship and expanded network of contacts for Latina business owners

In recognition of International Women’s Day, the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey announced Tuesday it has opened the application submission process for its third cohort of the Latina Entrepreneurship Training Series.

Known as LETS, the eight-week program caters to the unique needs of Latina business owners. And it is free, thanks to grants provided by Wells Fargo and the Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development.

Jairo Borja, the director of entrepreneurship at the SHCCNJ, said the program aims to help one of the fastest-growing segments of entrepreneurs.

“Latinas represent 40% of all Latino business owners,” he said. “The number of Latina-led employer firms has grown 20% within the last five-year period of data available.

“The SHCCNJ is committed to providing a platform where this group of Latinas can scale up their businesses through networking, access to capital and new opportunities.”

Borja 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 — and to create real opportunities for visibility and networking with the Hispanic community and beyond.

Students will graduate the eight-week program equipped with the tools to expand their ventures, as well as access to 16 board members with a majority of female professionals and entrepreneurs involved in a broad cross-section of business sectors.

SHCCNJ CEO Carlos Medina said the program falls in line with the vision of the organization.

“Part of our mission is to create a more inclusive economy in which entrepreneurs have a fair shot at building and scaling their companies,” he said. “We are grateful that Wells Fargo, CHPRD and the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey have partnered on this relevant and timely initiative to provide women entrepreneurs classes on a variety of topics vital to building and fortifying their businesses.”