Latino Leadership Institute Announces First Cohort for First-of-Its-Kind Latino and BIPOC Business Accelerator
Latino-led accelerator and advisory board structured to propel business growth and scalability
DENVER, June 28, 2022 – The Latino Leadership Institute (LLI) announced its first cohort of business owners and paid advisory board members of the Latino Entrepreneur Access Program (LEAP). This one-year business accelerator is free of cost to 10-15 Latino and BIPOC entrepreneurs who are coached by a paid advisory board of 47 CEOs, business leaders and subject matter experts across the globe. LEAP is the first Latino-led business accelerator based out of Colorado to focus on Latino and BIPOC entrepreneurs throughout the region who have moved beyond the start-up stage. The cohort will begin the program in July 2022.
“LEAP is a game-changer in how we ensure our Latino and BIPOC businesses capitalize on their own business investments through the backing, knowledge and investment of a different kind of professional leadership bench and accelerator,” said Joelle Martinez, CEO of LLI. “We have utilized our strength to create businesses, now it’s time we use that same strength to build stronger economic power.”
Latino business-owners are the fastest-growing demographic of entrepreneurs in the U.S., yet only 6 percent have expanded beyond sole-person firms. They are also less likely than White entrepreneurs to have professional mentorship, depending instead on their family and social networks for business advice.
“The journey of Latino and BIPOC entrepreneurs is unique because we face different challenges and barriers along the way. Our program not only recognizes this, it addresses these obstacles with leadership that understands how to navigate them. LEAP is designed to provide critical resources to scale their businesses to a new level of profitability, with mentors who can relate to their challenges and advise them on their journey,” said Harry Hollines, chief strategy officer of LLI.
LEAP’s inaugural cohort of business founders come from diverse sectors, including technology, sustainable food systems, consulting, and construction project management. Through LEAP, they will have direct access to a paid professional network of business leaders that is 73 percent Latino and BIPOC. This advisory board will mentor the entrepreneurs on business strategy, marketing, sales, operations, and finance.
As the entrepreneurs make their final pitches in July 2023, LEAP advisors and founding partners also serve as connections to a variety of funding options. LLI is partnering with the New Community Transformation Fund, a BIPOC and women-led investment fund, to provide equity investments and support the capital readiness of LEAP entrepreneurs.
The Colorado Trust, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, U.S. Bank, Gates Family Foundation, Kenneth King Foundation, Xcel Energy Foundation and Molson Coors have each made early financial commitments to the program’s success. Vistage Worldwide, the world’s largest CEO coaching and peer advisory organization for small and midsize businesses, will provide LEAP’s keynote speakers.
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About the Latino Leadership Institute
The Latino Leadership Institute (LLI) closes the opportunity gap by unlocking the full social and economic potential of Latino and BIPOC leaders and entrepreneurs. To learn more about how LLI drives meaningful change, visit latinoslead.org.