TULSA, Okla. — A local non-profit is partnering with several Tulsa organizations to launch a program to Support Spanish-Speaking businesses in Tulsa.
The Hispanic Small Business Association is a UMA initiative, rolled out in partnership with 36 Degrees North and Tulsa Tech.
Martha Zapata has a doctorate in Human Development and Family Science and is the Director of the UMA Center. Her non-profit works to address educational, mentoring, and cultural services among the Hispanic community.
Now, they've rolled out the Hispanic Business Association.
“UMA Tulsa is all about lowering these barriers so that Latinos have access to what they need to live a full and prosperous life,” Zapata said.
The new initiative offers Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs the resources to launch or grow their small businesses. 36 Degrees North provides offices space and other resources.
Tulsa Tech provides a 10-week business boot camp powered by CO.STARTERS.
“For the city of Tulsa, the added value is that they get these people who are very entrepreneurial, who already know how to operate a business, but they need a little bit of help,” Zapata said.
Zapata said Latinos make up the largest minority population in Oklahoma. She said in 2019, statistics showed Latinos made up nearly 12 percent of Tulsa's County population. That same year, she conducted a market analysis among Spanish-speaking, family-owned, small businesses in Tulsa and found a gap in training.
“Oftentimes, they have these language barriers, they don’t know how to access these services, and the organizations and government agencies providing the services do not know how to reach them either," Zapata said.
In response to her research, UMA launched the Hispanic Small Business Association.
“We are bringing together these services and the people that can utilize them and have an entire impact for 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 classes will teach them how to prepare and apply for a commercial loan, establish credit, create a business brand, and use Facebook to market products and services.
She said many entrepreneurs are immigrants who were businesses in their country of origin. They include bankers, lawyers, dentists, and industrial engineers.
“This is really important because these are businesses that are already operating, they are generating income for the city, for the county, for the state, and for the United States as a whole. However, these businesses are not always supported by major organizations,” Zapata said.
To register for the classes, you visit the Hispanic Small Business Association by clicking here.
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