DENVER – The Latino Leadership Institute recently announced its inaugural class of entrepreneurs for a new Colorado-based Latino-led business accelerator program that focuses on helping Latino and BIPOC entrepreneurs scale their businesses.
LEAP, or the Latino Entrepreneur Access Program will be a free one-year program in which 11 entrepreneurs will be mentored by a paid advisory board of 47 CEOs and subject matter experts from around the world.
“LEAP is about growth and scale. We want to be able to help these business owners double their employees, double their revenue, increase their wealth and then their contributions to the community,” Joelle Martinez, CEO of Latino Leadership Institute, the organization behind LEAP said. “If you look at wealth growth, there are three ways to do it. You either grow through home ownership, building a business by growing as an entrepreneur, or, you know, investments and legacy. Well, we can’t scale without the first two. Entrepreneurship is a key to creating wealth for our community.”
Martinez said that while LEAP will help business owners navigate unique challenges, it will also help them learn how to sustain their businesses.
“LEAP is not just here to help them face challenges. LEAP is helping them grow bigger, more sustainable businesses so we’re not vulnerable to things like a pandemic or a recession,” Martinez said.
Marisol Solarte-Erlacher, owner of Marisol Solarte-Erlacher, MA, LPC and Associates is a LEAP participant.
“I was mainly in private practice. I am a psychotherapist and trauma expert by profession. So most of my work has been in the area of individual work with clients, and then also working with other therapists who want to build their skills around trauma therapy. But we’re making a big transition right now. I’m working on doing more counseling education, with businesses around mental health and wellness,” Solarte-Erlacher said.
Solarte-Erlacher started her business in 2007. She said she is confident that her participation in LEAP will help her grow her business.
“I think part of the genius of an accelerator program like this is that so many small businesses, especially BIPOC, Latinx, small businesses don’t have the opportunity to grow because they don’t have the resources they need. and they don’t have the network they need to do that,” Solarte-Erlacher said.
For more information on LEAP, click here.