TULSA, Okla. – A local nonprofit is partnering with several Tulsa organizations to launch a Tulsa Spanish-speaking business support program.
The Hispanic Small Business Association is an initiative of UMA, deployed in partnership with 36 Degrees North and Tulsa Tech.
Martha Zapata holds a doctorate in human development and family sciences and is director of the UMA center. His non-profit organization provides educational, mentoring and cultural services within the Hispanic community.
Now they have rolled out the Hispanic Business Association.
“UMA Tulsa aims to lower those barriers so that Latinos have access to what they need to live full and prosperous lives,” Zapata said.
The new initiative provides Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs with the resources to start or grow their small business. 36 Degrees North provides offices and other resources.
Tulsa Tech offers a 10-week professional boot camp powered by CO.STARTERS.
“For the city of Tulsa, the added value is that they get these people who are very enterprising, who already know how to run a business, but they need a little help,” Zapata said.
Zapata said Latinos are Oklahoma’s largest minority population. She said that in 2019, statistics showed Latinos made up nearly 12% of Tulsa County’s population. That same year, she conducted a market analysis among small Spanish-speaking family businesses in Tulsa and found a gap in training.
“A lot of times they have these language barriers, they don’t know how to access these services, and the organizations and government agencies that provide the services also don’t know how to reach them,” Zapata said.
In response to his research, UMA launched the Hispanic Small Business Association.
“We bring together these services and the people who can use them and have a total impact on the entire city of Tulsa for the economic development of the city. These are people who pay taxes, you know, generate sales taxes by selling services, not so much services, but products,” Zapata said.
Zapata said the goal is to equip Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs with tools and resources to navigate the business world in the United States.
Upcoming courses will teach them how to prepare and apply for a business loan, establish credit, build a business brand, and use Facebook to market products and services.
She said that many entrepreneurs are immigrants who were businesses in their home country. They include bankers, lawyers, dentists and industrial engineers.
“It’s really important because these are businesses that are already working, they are generating revenue for the city, for the county, for the state and for the whole of the United States. However, these businesses are not always supported. by large organizations,” Zapata said.
To register for courses, you visit the Hispanic Small Business Association by clicking here.
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