Applications for the Winter Cohort Now Closed!
Minority-owned companies contribute greatly to the US economy (4.7 million jobs) and capital market ($700b annual revenue). But many Black and Latino businesses do not reach their full potential due to coaching, connections, curriculum and capital barriers.
African American entrepreneurs have had to close their doors at more than twice the rate of their White counterparts. Black-owned businesses declined by 41% and Latino-owned business declined by 30% between February and April 2020, compared with a 17% decline among White-owned businesses.
In addition, minority entrepreneurs are limited due to access to capital. On average, minorities are less likely to receive loans, and when they do, they
receive lower dollar amounts and higher interest rates.
The Downtown Vegas Alliance is leading a collaborative effort with community leaders to create a 6-month Small Business Incubation Program (SBIP) that will address four major issues facing small business owners. The program provides:
Participants will attend one, two-hour workshop in person each month. Each monthly workshop will focus on a different topic and feature a guest speaker and structured working time. The goal of the monthly sessions is to help you apply your learning to your business. We’ll discuss: Operations and Customer Service; Legal, Staffing and Training; Finance and Accounting; Marketing and Advertising; and Growth Strategies.
Based on Tandas which are popular in Latin cultures, participants will build their credit scores by contributing an agreed amount of money into a pool to creates a short-term no-interest loan that is paid to participants on a rotating basis.
Businesses that participate in the Lending Circle will be paired with mentors from the diverse chambers to work with them throughout the 6-month program. These mentors will help participants learn through their personal experiences and expand their network.
To complement the in-person sessions, participants will engage with an online learning platform. The online learning will be structured in two parts: one with pre-learning materials designed to unlock the maximum value of the in-person sessions, and one to provide resources and reference materials that you can use after the in-person session when applying new strategies to your business.
Our program culminates with a celebratory Business Opportunity Fair during the final in-person session. The event features a “graduation ceremony” during which each participant is invited to give a brief pitch about their business. After the ceremony, participants host a display table to market themselves and their companies to the invited guests and local industry leaders. Our last Business Opportunity Fair was attended by representatives from Zappos.com, El Cortez Hotel & Casino, Bank of Nevada, Las Vegas Valley Water District, city of Las Vegas, Southwest Gas, Cox Communications and more local companies.
Participants will receive a FREE one year membership in the Downtown Vegas Alliance, Latin Chamber of Commerce and Urban Chamber of Commerce. That's nearly a $2,000 value!