Latino Leadership Institute (LLI), a nonprofit that unlocks the full economic and social potential of diversity by elevating Latino and BIPOC professionals across sectors and industries, announces the launch of its Latino Entrepreneur Access Program (LEAP) to move Latino and BIPOC entrepreneurs from high potential to high growth.
Currently, only 3% of Latinos are accepted into conventional accelerator programs, which focus primarily on start-up enterprises. In contrast, LEAP is structured to propel solid, growth-stage Latino- and BIPOC-owned companies to even greater heights of success. Among other objectives, LEAP will focus on providing access to necessary technical, social, and financial capital and contextual support needed to reach profitability and achieve scale.
“We are thrilled to offer this unique development opportunity to nurture Latino and BIPOC entrepreneurship,” said Joelle Martinez, president and CEO of LLI. “Very few programs focus on the key dimensions of entrepreneurial leadership embedded with culturally relevant advisory from business and subject matter experts. LEAP provides a comprehensive structure and design to support the unique business journey of Latino and BIPOC entrepreneurs.”
LEAP’s mission is to support sustained, profitable revenue growth, promote workforce expansion, and realize the full economic potential of growth-stage Latino- and BIPOC-owned businesses by providing access to new capital from public and private financing sources. LEAP goes beyond the conventional accelerator model, incorporating a paid advisory board whose members will both augment the program’s technical, social, and financial tools and personally mentor the program participants. LLI has already raised over $650,000 of funding from W.K. Kellogg, the Colorado Trust, the Gates Family Foundation, the Kenneth King Foundation, Xcel Energy, Molson Coors, and other prominent Colorado and national organizations.
LLI is actively recruiting for its first cohort of 12 entrepreneurs. The virtual program is open to Latino and BIPOC entrepreneurs with businesses headquartered in Colorado, Utah, Arizona, or New Mexico who have been operating their business for at least three years and generate a minimum of $250,000 ARR, with demonstrated potential for growth and scale. The one-year program is provided without charge to applicants and begins in Summer 2022. Applications and supporting documentation can be submitted beginning March 1, 2022, through the LEAP link at https://latinoslead.org/leap/.
The curriculum consists of six virtual sessions featuring subject matter experts on business topics critical to growth and scale including preparing capital investment proposals, recruiting and retaining top talent, and increasing sales and market reach. Each participating entrepreneur will work closely with a formal advisory board that will provide an individual business assessment and develop tailored mentorship assignments.
LLI is currently building a Latino and BIPOC advisory board network with diverse and practical expertise. Advisors, who will be compensated, will include CEOs, senior executives, and industry experts with substantial expertise in sales and marketing, operations, fundraising and finance, as well as having a commitment to teach, mentor, and coach LEAP entrepreneurs. Prospective advisory board members meeting those qualifications can express their interest beginning March 1, 2022 at ¬https://latinoslead.org/leap/.
For more information about LLI and the LEAP program, please visit latinoslead.org.