DENVER – The Latino Leadership Institute recently announced it’s inaugural class of entrepreneurs for a new Latino-led businesses accelerator program based in Colorado that’s focused on helping Latino and BIPOC entrepreneurs expand their businesses.
LEAP, or the Latino Entrepreneur Access Program will be a free, one-year program in which 11 entrepreneurs will be coached by a paid advisory board of 47 CEO's and subject matter experts from across the globe.
“LEAP is all about growth and scale. We want to be able to help these business owners grow their employees by two times, to grow their revenue by two times, to grow their wealth and contributions then into the community,” Joelle Martinez, CEO of the Latino Leadership Institute, the organization behind LEAP said. “If you look at growing wealth, there are three ways you do it. You either grow through home ownership, building a business growing as an entrepreneur, or, you know, investments and inheritance. Well, we can't get to the ladder without the first two. Entrepreneurship is a key to wealth creation for our community.”
Martinez said while LEAP will help business owners navigate unique challenges, it will also help them learn how to sustain their businesses.
“LEAP is not here just to help them face challenges. LEAP is helping them to grow larger, sustainable businesses so that we are not vulnerable to things like the pandemic or recession,” Martinez said.
Marisol Solarte-Erlacher, owner of Marisol Solarte-Erlacher, M.A., LPC and Associates is a participant in LEAP.
“I have been primarily private practice. I'm a psychotherapist by profession and a trauma expert. So much of my work has been in the area of working individually with clients, and then also working with other therapists who want to build their skills around trauma therapy. But we're making a big transition right now. I'm working on doing more consulting education, with businesses around mental health and wellness,” Solarte-Erlacher said.
Solarte-Erlacher started her business in 2007. She said she’s confident her participation in LEAP will help her grow her business.
“I think that part of the genius of an accelerator program like this, is that so many small businesses, especially BIPOC, Latinx, small businesses don't have the opportunity to scale up because they don't have the resources that they need, and they don't have the network that they need in order to do that,” Solarte-Erlacher said.
For more information on LEAP, click here.