The Hispanic Small Business Association, the newest initiative of the Uma Center in Tulsa, launched last week with a ribbon cutting at 36 degrees north.
The Hispanic SBA will support small business owners, especially immigrants who speak primarily Spanish, by offering business courses in Spanish, fostering a community of small business owners, providing referrals to professional services and mentors and investing in the ecosystem that supports the creation and growth of local small businesses.
Since the fall of last year, the partnership of 36 Degrees North, Uma Center and Hispanic SBA has trained 27 small business owners through the Hispanic Entrepreneurs Academy, powered by CO.STARTERS.
The Uma Center was founded by Martha Zapata in 2020 after identifying a need for more culturally appropriate outreach and services for Hispanics in Tulsa. The quantitative and qualitative data collected by Zapata led to the creation of the Hispanic SBA.
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The Tulsa-based nonprofit started with mental health work and expanded into vaccinations and recently into business education. The group is partnering with the City of Tulsa, the Tulsa Department of Health, and the Tulsa Community Foundation to help make their outreach possible. The George Kaiser Family Foundation also supports the center.
“We have seen a significant need for education, mentorship and culturally appropriate services among Hispanic small business owners,” Zapata said in a statement. “The Hispanic SBA was created to meet the needs of business owners who have not yet registered their business or who have a successful business model, but lack an appropriate legal and financial structure.”
In 2021, UMA Tulsa partnered with 36 Degrees North and Tulsa Tech to launch the Hispanic Entrepreneurs Academy, a 10-week business boot camp powered by CO.STARTERS.
At the end of the course, participants receive a 40-hour certificate from Tulsa Tech. Registration fees are partially supported by 36 Degrees North, and the organization also hosts a business pitch event and the graduation ceremony with scholarship funds for 36 Degrees North membership. The first cohort of 11 small business owners graduated from the Hispanic Entrepreneur Academy in November 2021 and the second cohort of 16 small business owners will graduate in May.
36 Degrees North is Tulsa’s home base for entrepreneurs, offering workspace and resources. It has a combined office, incubation, collaboration and event space of 70,000 square feet downtown.
“We are very proud to join our partners at UMA Tulsa and the Tulsa Technology Center in bringing this kind of holistic support to LatinX entrepreneurs and business owners,” said Devon Laney, CEO of 36 Degrees North, in a statement. communicated.
“The work UMA Tulsa and Tulsa Tech are doing in our city aligns perfectly with our mission to help entrepreneurs build sustainable, impactful businesses in Tulsa, and we couldn’t be more excited to support them.”
The Hispanic Small Business Association also offers free business classes in Spanish every month. This year, the association has already organized four courses to teach people how to register a business and create a business plan.
A total of 72 small business owners signed up for free courses this spring and summer, indicating a strong demand for business education in Spanish.
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