Developing Entrepreneurship Programs to Assist New Destination Latino Immigrants
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As part of an integrated research and outreach program designed to better understand and to ultimately assist Latino entrepreneurs to establish businesses in Arkansas, educational materials and a pilot training program were developed. The results showed a renewed interest in business start-ups and expansions. Additionally, the pilot training created linkages between Latino entrepreneurs, community members, and business leaders, and also created a greater awareness of Latino concerns. Over the past two decades, many areas of the U.S. have experienced substantial in-migration of Latinos from Mexico and Meso-America. As the Latino populations have expanded, these migrants' participation in business creation has also expanded. However, a study of Latino business owners identified language and cultural barriers to establishing businesses, which are in addition to more typical barriers confronting entrepreneurs. These barriers were often found to be unique to the community in which the entrepreneurs resided. The educational materials combined existing entrepreneurship training resources with locally focused information to address the unique concerns of Latino entrepreneurs in Arkansas. The pilot training program was conducted in two rural communities with substantial Latino populations. The topics covered in the workshops were those identified as most important by Latino entrepreneurs. This paper and presentation will explain the process for developing the educational materials and pilot training, describe the educational materials created for the target audience, and present the findings and key components of a successful outreach effort to Latino entrepreneurs.