By Sarah Moreno The Miami Herald
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Venezuelan entrepreneurs in Miami will soon have the opportunity to participate in a 12-week program, designed to offer women the tools to put a viable idea into practice. If their business is already in its initial stages, the program, titled "Focus: Women Entrepreneurs," will help them grow.
The Miami Herald
Immigrants with business experience in their home countries know that the hardest part of Miami is navigating the system and learning the local requirements for starting a new business in their new city.
Venezuelan businesswomen living in South Florida now have the opportunity to participate in a free program developed especially for them, "Focus: Women Entrepreneurs," sponsored by the Cisneros Group and offered by The Idea Center at Miami Dade College.
"Doing business in the United States is not the same as in our countries. It requires a higher level of organization and formality by the business person, and a lot of interaction with the client to understand what they want," said Gustavo Grande, head of entrepreneurship programs at The Idea Center.
Grande will be the principal teacher of the 12-week program, designed to offer participants the tools needed to put a viable idea into practice or help them to grow a business already in its initial stages.
The course starts Sept. 10 and runs through Nov. 26, with classes every Tuesday from 8am to noon. It has room for 20 students, and women interested can apply until Aug. 28 on the Web page of The Idea Center dedicated to the program,
http://theideacenter.co/focus/. Participants must be bilingual because the course and study materials will be in English, but all the teachers will speak Spanish and will be able to clarify any questions.
"The reason we're doing it in English is to allow the Venezuelan businesswomen to become integrated into the community where they now live and expand their business opportunities," said Grande.
He has a masters degree in entrepreneurship from the Hult International Business School in San Francisco and has worked for Prospera USA, which helps Hispanic business people.
Grande said he's already started interviewing applicants, and explained that the key requirement is character, because the students enrolled must have drive and be open to receiving feedback and advice.
"They must have an idea for a business, and experience in the area where they want to work," said Grande, who also offered some advice on how to identify a good business idea.
"There has to be a market for what's to be offered, and the technology and tools to put it into practice," he said.
He added that course participants must be committed to creating a business, and have the vision to grow it.
And while the course is free, the students must have $500, required to develop the components of their proposed business as the course progresses.
Grande said the course will put the women in touch with many resources available in the community and help them establish a mutual support group.
"They will learn to do business in the United States in order to get access to bigger markets," he promised.
The professor also noted that women make up the majority of entrepreneurs in Miami. "If you empower this group, the economy will be balanced and there will be a more equitable distribution of resources."
The Idea Center at Miami Dade College, 315 NE Second Ave., Building 8, 5th floor. 305-237-7821. Application Is available at http://theideacenter.co/focus/. Additional information available by contacting program coordinator Carolina Pina, [email protected] ___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency LLC