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Did you know there’s free money available to you? There are options like funding, grants, and loans for BIPOC business owners and allies like you and me.
You don’t have to figure everything out on your own. If there are resources available to you, you should be leveraging them to grow your business and give back to your community. Big corporations do this all the time!
I’ve partnered up with Luis Ramos and Desha Elliott of the Accion Opportunity Fund to share some resources and tips to grow your mission-driven business. If you want to find out what funding opportunities are available to you and how to access them, this episode is for you.
Luis Ramos joined Accion Opportunity Fund as the Director of Business Advising in 2020. Throughout his career, Ramos has helped individuals in the United States and Central America build and grow their businesses by providing direct mentoring opportunities and educational resources. He has more than ten years of experience mentoring entrepreneurs, building teams, and creating the processes needed to launch successful businesses. He has been involved in the ideation of new business concepts, products, financing, and marketing opportunities for more than 1,000 businesses. For the past two years, he’s worked at Accion Opportunity Fund where he’s advised hundreds of businesses on developing formal business plans and operating agreements to either start a business or expand existing businesses. He has a Master of International Affairs and Economics from the Bush School of Government and Public Service in College Station, Texas, and a Bachelor of Arts in International Business from Texas A&M University. He is fluent in Spanish and currently resides in Austin, TX.
Desha Elliott is the former Editor-in-Chief of Be Your Own Success Story Magazine (B.O.S.S), a nationally distributed educational publication for minority youth centered around highlighting success stories in business, entertainment, and tech. From this position, she transitioned her media and storytelling skills for pitch competitions and won the inaugural Celebration Bowl Hackathon, where she churned out PB7APP. This e-learning app improves GPAs for student-athletes. In 2019, she served as the Director of Sponsorships and Strategic Partnerships at Rap Plug, Inc., a music tech platform. She negotiated and executed contracts with multinational brands such as Reebok, Roland, and Magix. In addition to her marketing skills, her background in management includes helping franchisees and small business owners build their businesses from the ground up. She has written two books to help newbies with branding and entrepreneurship: Hi My Name Is and Entrepreneur’s Memo. Continuing to impact education, programming, and access to capital for diverse entrepreneurs, Desha is a business advisor for Accion Opportunity Fund (AOF), the largest CDFI to provide a financial support system for small businesses that advance racial, gender, and economic justice for all.
What We Cover in This Episode:
- Funding options that are out there
- Why so many people in the BIPOC community don’t know what options are available to them
- The importance of asking for financial help
- How to find resources and get mentorship
- Who to reach out to for help
- The value of local communities
- How your business benefits your local economy
- What it means to leverage your debt
- Keeping track of your money
- Not being scared to ask questions and ask for help
There are resources out there for you. Don’t be scared to ask for help, and don’t wait until it’s too late! Explore your options now and set yourself up for success in the future.
I’ve partnered up with Accion Opportunity Fund to be one of their coaches offering complimentary 30-minute coaching sessions with limited spaces each month. To check out their coaching services and funding opportunities, go to aofund.org.
Accion Opportunity Fund’s Website
Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation
AOF’s Resource Library
Follow @AOFundTweets on Twitter
Connect with Desha on LinkedIn
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