40 Small Business Participants Complete Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Digital Empowerment and Acceleration For Latin@ Entrepreneurs (Deale) Program

Nashville, TN (TN Tribune)–The Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (NAHCC) and its Board of Directors is proud to announce the completion of its first 15 week intensive Digital Empowerment and Acceleration for the Latin@ Entrepreneur (DEALE) program that between phases 1, 2 and 3 graduated a total of 40 participants from the Hispanic business community from August through November, 2021.

NAHCC’s Digital Empowerment and Acceleration for the Latin@ Entrepreneur Program or Programa de Empoderamiento Digital y Aceleración Empresarial Latin@ (in Spanish) was created by the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the NAHCC Foundation to empower and equip small, Hispanic, minority and women owned businesses with the necessary competence on digital tools to grow their online presence and enhance their business skills with the objective of increasing their sales, improve relationship with clients and management of their companies and work teams.

Top: Entrepreneurs Veronica Salcedo (Nashville Noticias), Rocio Zenon (Zenon Coreografias). Middle: Jary Ramirez (Jana’s Corner) and Joyce Searcy, Belmont Univ. Dir of Community Relations and NAHCC board. Bottom: NAHCC Foundation chair Loraine Segovia Paz (left) and Ruth Rico (Delicias Colombianas RR)

Dr. Sarah Fisher Gardial welcomes a room full of NAHCC guests. She serves as the new Dean of the Belmont University Massey College of Business.

In the context of COVID-19’s impact, small businesses in our community face the challenge to adapt to the digital world: to report their financial activity to access crucial capital; to analyze and understand sales, revenue, labor force and inventory, maximizing the available resources to overcome a pandemic affecting specially small business owners ; and to build and maintain a strong tie with their communities through digital channels and grow their business.

It is key for small businesses to have a strong online presence, not only as a company but as a business owner, as it is the entrepreneur who often leads the way.

Left: Ana Miriam Recinos, owner of Pupuseria Salvadorena and Noelia Chinchilla owner of Olive Plates Antique Boutique Rental & Catering LLC., receive their respective program completion certificates.

Entrepreneur Angela Cruz owner/founder of Beauty 4U LLC., speaks about her entrepreneur journey to fellow class participants. She successfully completed Phase 2 and 3 of NAHCC’s DEALE program.

NAHCC’s DEALE 3 objectives:

To empower Hispanic/Latino entrepreneurs to overcome the barriers of digital learning and have a leading influence in their communities.
To equip Hispanic/Latino entrepreneurs with the necessary knowledge so they can generate their own digital marketing, social media and financial growth strategies.
To equip Hispanic/Latino entrepreneurs with strategic knowledge on digital tools available to facilitate business management tasks and put into practice new marketing strategies.

Between phases 1, 2 and 3 a total of 40 student participants graduated from our Digital Empowerment and Acceleration for the Latin@ Entrepreneur Program (DEALE). Topics covered during the 3 phases, totaling 15 once-a-week intensive sessions, included:

Social media, organic and paid strategies for Facebook and Instagram
Website content and optimization using Google tools (Test My Site and Google Analytics)
Online presence in Google search, Maps and Merchant Center
Market strategies to implement a growth plan and smart goals
Introduction to accounting and classification of accounts using QuickBooks
Implementing and taking advantage of a Point of Sales system (POS)
Human resources and business leadership for small businesses

Launched in August 2021, each DEALE topic was carefully selected taking into account feedback from surveys and polls (in Spanish) to a group of 110 Hispanic women entrepreneurs the NAHCC formed under the “Latinas for Equal Business Opportunities” (Latinas4EBO) brand at the beginning of the pandemic, and 300+ businesses from the NAHCC membership, including attendees to our 75 online weekly business briefings from March 2020 through July 2021. Seasoned professionals were then selected to serve as presenters so the knowledge, advice and tips shared with class participants were adequate to the multi-cultural and multilingual context of small businesses in our community. Emphasis was put on the latest trends in each topic such as influencer marketing and video trends and features of the most used digital tools in the U.S for small businesses.

From left to right: Eva Gomez Romero, owner/founder of Eva’s Cleaning Services since 1996, receives her certificate of completion from NAHCC Foundation board chair Loraine Segovia Paz. Dalila Preza owner, with her husband Sergio, of Diva’s Beauty Supply pose with Segovia Paz and Karina Garcia, DEALE’s coordinator. Below: Journalist/ entrepreneur Veronica Salcedo, with Nashville Noticias, sets up a live broadcast of the event.

Our most recent survey show that “Thanks to DEALE”….

83% “have learned about the importance of digital tools for businesses”
66% “have overcome the fear of using technology”
66% “have created a strategy and calendar in social networks”
66% ”have increased efforts to have an online presence”

In addition, our survey shows significant improvements in accessibility to information in Spanish as well as in the ease of introducing themselves and their business to the public and other business owners. This translates into empowered Latino, Latina, Hispanic business owners!!

The objectives of DEALE, to empower, inform and equip business owners have been achieved to the extent that our participants are able to show in a concrete way how to put into action what they have learned together. ¡Juntos Podemos!

From left to right: Karina Garcia (DEALE coordinator), Anel Flores (Stereonashville), Dr. Rolando Toyos (Toyos Clinic and NAHCC chairman), Hugo Reyes (Pupuseria Salvadorena), Manuel Cuevas (Manuel American Designs), Dr. Chalene Helmuth (Vanderbilt University), Syreeta Blakely (Entrepreneur), Dr. Charlie Apigian (Exec. Dir. of the Belmont Data Collaborative at Belmont Univ.), Loraine Segovia Paz (Entrepreneur and NAHCC Foundation chair), Joyce Searcy (Dir. Community Relations at Belmont Univ.) and Yuri Cunza (NAHCC CEO).

NAHCC’s programs are made possible thanks to the support of members, corporate sponsors and community partners.

Want to learn more about our organization? Please email us at info@nashvillehispanicchamber.com or call 615-216-5737 or visit www.nashvillehispanicchamber.com

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