La Idea en Acción has officially gotten underway in 2013! We kicked things off with three events in Texas during the month of February—San Antonio, Houston and Dallas—and we couldn’t have asked for better turnout. Over 230 entrepreneurs received customized advice in topics such as international trade, access to capital, improving your credit score, marketing internationally, and getting your business started.
Whether it was in speed coaching sessions or in breakout groups, participants had the opportunity to interact with industry experts who provided them with advice on how to start or grow their businesses. Juan Casillas, a participant at the San Antonio event, commented on the event saying, “I wanted to learn about financing—different ways to go about small business loans for an existing business—and that question was answered. I will say, [the event] also opened my eyes to the potential for exporting. I hadn’t really thought about that. But I see that as something I gained from [the event] that I wasn’t expecting.”
Special speakers at the three events included: Leticia Ozuna, San Antonio City Council, District 3 Representative; Raul Lomeli-Azoubel, Executive Chairman of SABEResPODER; Carlecia D. Wright, the Director of the Office of Business Opportunity of the City of Houston; Jonathan Chait, Deputy Consul General of Mexico in Dallas; and Mike Rawlings, Mayor of Dallas.
One of the truly valuable elements of the events was the emphasis on networking; attendees had the opportunity to speak with other entrepreneurs about their businesses. “The reason I came here was to learn how to grow my business and network with other business owners. It was really successful. I learned a lot and I met lots of people tonight who have guided me [through] a real, new process of doing business—not just nationally or locally, but also internationally. I believe that’s going to help me a lot in the future… My aspiration for the rest of my life is to be successful, be happy and to teach the next generation how to do business and how to be happy and successful in this country,” explained Dallas participant Miguel Angel Mendiola.
The La Idea en Acción event series offers Latino entrepreneurs from across the U.S. and Latin America free, customized business advice from industry experts in English and Spanish, and the opportunity to network with other Latino entrepreneurs in their area. La Idea en Acción is a core activity of the La Idea partnership, which aims to connect Latino entrepreneurs throughout the Americas to each other and to local and regional small business support centers, to provide resources and connections to help entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level.
To find out more about La Idea and future La Idea en Acción events visit us.accion.org/laidea.