Hispanic Economic Development Corporation Awarded $150,000 for Entrepreneurial Capacity Building

In September of 2016, the Assets for Independence (AFI) Program announced the Hispanic Economic Development Corporation (HEDC) as one of 20 organizations chosen to receive FY 2016 Grant Award funding. HEDC was awarded $150,000 of approximately $6.5 million in available funding in order to build capacity in low-income, Latino entrepreneurs in the Greater Kansas City Area.

With funding through this program, HEDC will assist aspiring and existing entrepreneurs establish Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). These personal savings accounts offer program participants a 4:1 match, allowing them to build capital towards business-related purchases. While saving towards their business goals, individuals will also be required to participate in 20 hours of business development training and 10 hours of financial education training.

Upon completion, program participants can utilize the money saved in addition to the funds matched by HEDC for equipment purchases, paying license or permit fees and other expenses related to their business goals.

“We are excited to receive funding for this program. It will bring a value-added component that has been missing for HEDC; and our existing and aspiring entrepreneurs will have even more opportunity to succeed,” said HEDC Director of Community & Business Development, Michael Carmona.

“We pride ourselves on the technical assistance HEDC provides to our clients: competitive analysis, pricing and marketing strategies, and much more. We have also had great success with Impacto Fund, Inc., HEDC’s micro-lending subsidiary. But we saw there was still a need to offer a program to those in the middle – who worked extremely hard in building a better business strategy, but still left without the funds needed to make their dreams a reality.

“The most we can match an individual household is $4,000. So if someone can save $1,000, they now have $5,000 to spend on their business. We have even discussed that if more funding is needed by the business owner, there is potential to leverage an individual’s savings account to receive a micro-loan. The $5,000 is now their equitable investment to show the financial institutions they mean business – pun intended,” said Carmona.

HEDC will begin accepting applications for the IDA program in January 2017.