Latinx business owners in rural places often find themselves isolated from services and information that can help them start and grow small businesses that can contribute to community and economic vitality.
We at RDI believe that economy building in rural communities should benefit all populations, as a diversified and inclusive local economy is key to being resilient and sustainable. Often, Latinx business owners in rural places find themselves isolated from services and information that can help them start and grow small businesses. To counter this inequity, since 2012 RDI has been providing skill-building classes through the Pasos al Éxito program, engaging with hundreds of emerging Latinx business owners in Yamhill, Hermiston, Tillamook, Ontario, Madras, Prineville, Cottage Grove, Milton-Freewater, and The Dalles, Oregon.
The program specifically focuses on providing skill-building classes that cover basic financial literacy skills and other financial tools needed to start a business, including delivery in Spanish. In the Latinx communities we serve, post-pandemic needs include basic technology training and adapting to virtual markets; access to accounting and legal support are significant challenges we address through our programming.
In addition to partnering with others for the Pasos al Éxito program, RDI is simultaneously working on developing relationships with local and regional support organizations, including Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), Chambers of Commerce, and economic development groups, to both communicate and advocate for the needs of Spanish-speaking business owners.
In sum, we believe creating a supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem is essential to long-term success for new small businesses. Click here to learn more about this program.