By: Omar Duque
President & CEO
Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Right now the founder of what will become the greatest American company of the 21st century is sitting in her high school physics class. She’s Latina.
Her parents immigrated to the United States and she’ll be the first in her family to go to college. She’s entrepreneurial; a natural problem solver, but she’ll face many challenges on her way to success. Our country’s future depends on her capacity to succeed and we should all be racing to see how we can help her along her way.
By 2050, one-third of the U.S. population will be Hispanic. Whether these estimated 430 million people will together represent a thriving and accomplished community depends on our ability to invest in today’s youth.
BUILDING THE NEXT GENERATION OF HISPANIC BUSINESS LEADERS
That’s why the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and The Center for Hispanic Entrepreneurship have launched ENTERpreneur, an innovative entrepreneurship program that seeks to activate the talent and natural entrepreneurial inclination of Hispanic youth to build the next generation of Hispanic leaders to ENTER the business community.
We understand that education and entrepreneurship create a path to prosperity, while directly building wealth in our communities. We want to inspire our youth to think creatively, go to college and contribute to our nation’s economy.
ENTERpreneur’s inaugural cohort of 11 students from Chicago’s Cristo Rey Jesuit High School spent six weeks learning about the fundamentals of business development while fostering their own leadership skills and learning from accomplished, local business leaders. ENTERpreneur students also visited college campuses and have all committed to attending college upon graduation.
As we continue to operate and expand the ENTERpreneur program to youth throughout the city of Chicago, we need your support. Our success depends on dedicated partners and mentors that can provide capital, resources and knowledge to highly motivated, young entrepreneurs.
Join us as we build the next generation of Hispanic business leaders.
To learn more about ENTERpreneur and about The Center for Hispanic Entrepreneurship visit: www.hispaniccenter.biz
Omar Duque is the President and CEO of the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC), the leading Hispanic business, networking, advocacy and development organization in Illinois.