Small-business owners, often challenged by language as well as a lack of financial expertise, will now have hands-on help from a partnership between JPMorgan Chase & Co and the Florida SBDC at FIU.
JPMorgan Chase awarded the center a $140,000 grant to develop “Hacia Ganancia” – a free online accounting and bookkeeping course for Spanish-speaking small-business owners. The program officially launches March 19th and is being offered as a pilot program in South Florida.
“It makes smart economic sense to invest in small businesses and it’s the right thing to do to support job creation, stronger neighborhoods and paths out of poverty for more people,” said Carlos Alzate, head of Chase for Business in Miami-Dade County. “We’ve seen an increased need for training and resources so businesses can get what they need to grow.”
“Hacia Ganancia” is free for owners of businesses registered with the Florida SBDC at FIU, the small business development center at Florida International University’s College of Business.
The program was developed by Florida SBDC at FIU using a training methodology developed by Alfredo Lacayo Evertsz, one of the group’s consultants and founder of Qbit Solutions Research Team. Lacayo will be on hand to offer personalized guidance to the students, helping them apply course lessons to their businesses.
“Instead of having to learn thousands of pages of information, it’s now all in a single diagram,” said Lacayo. “This vast reduction in complexity allows business owners to learn in less than 24 hours what would normally take at least 1 year.”
New technology makes learning easier.
A self-paced course, “Hacia Ganancia” takes a visual approach to help small-business owners understand most of the financial transactions that takes place at their business. The teaching method includes a game board as well as a series of videos.
“Hacia Ganancia” also incorporates finance topics, particularly the working capital cycle, current ratio, ROI, debt-to-equity, the break-even prediction tool, and free cash flow. The goal, noted Lacayo, is to teach entrepreneurs to test the “bankability” of their business and discover profit and cashflow leaks.
“After completing the course, business owners will be able to have a natural conversation with their accountants, evaluate their performance and make decisions based on information they understand,” Lacayo added.
The Florida SBDC at FIU will track the impact “Hacia Ganancia” has on businesses, examining if the program helped improve the finances of the businesses whose owners took the course; whether it helped them access capital as well as increases to the company’s profit and revenue.
“If all goes well, there is the possibility that the program could go national, and be introduced in other U.S. metropolitan areas that have a high concentration of Hispanic business owners,” said Jacqueline Bueno Sousa, regional director of the Florida SBDC at FIU.