Wells Fargo supports minority-owned businesses through various initiatives including a partnership with the diverse U.S. Chambers of Commerce. (Photo: Google Images)
Minority business owners get support from Wells Fargo. (Photo: Google Images)
Minority business owners get support from Wells Fargo. (Photo: Google Images)

Wells Fargo and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) Foundation announced a $1.2 million investment across two years with the majority of the funding used to establish training opportunities for diverse-owned small business leaders across the nation. The investment is part of Wells Fargo’s ongoing commitment to train leaders of diverse-segment chambers of commerce that includes more than $5.69 million in grants and sponsorships since 2005.

“The USHCC commends Wells Fargo for their continued investment in minority-owned small businesses, demonstrating their unwavering commitment to enriching diverse communities across America,” said USHCC President & CEO Javier Palomarez. “Wells Fargo’s support makes it possible for the USHCC Foundation to provide our Chamber Training Institute (CTI), among other programs and grants. CTI is absolutely essential to our local chambers and makes a direct impact in the lives of entrepreneurs across the country. We look forward to growing our strong alliance with Wells Fargo.”

The $1.2 million total investment, announced at the USHCC 2015 National Convention, will fund micro-grants, a leadership training impact study and the expansion of the Chamber Training Institute (CTI), a program designed in collaboration with the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. The CTI program develops and empowers diverse chamber leaders while providing unique educational opportunities on how to grow and build their chamber for the benefit of its small business community members. Additionally, the CTI is one part of Wells Fargo’s four-point plan, introduced earlier this year to help diverse-owned small businesses become credit-ready, access credit and achieve financial success.

National Chambers Key to Driving Diverse Leader Development

The Chamber Training Institute was expanded this year to include chamber leaders from the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC), U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce (USPAACC) and National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC).

The collaboration and combined effort of the USHCC, USPAACC, USBC and NGLCC will expand the current program during the next two years to allow more than 800 diverse chamber leaders to participate in a free, two-day training. Currently, the CTI program has trained more than 820 leaders across 253 chambers since 2010. When it comes to training, businesses want to make sure that their managers are getting the best training development they can afford. Some companies will look to external resources to train their employees. However, others will either hire a corporate trainer or train a staff member internally, giving them the knowledge they need to help and assist company employees with their development. If you’re seeking a way to train staff internally, you can check out a List of online train the trainer courses that may aid with your company’s professional development.

“We are proud to be a stakeholder in the Chamber Training Institute – a brainchild of Wells Fargo and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. It is a noteworthy venture that will drive national economic development and build success for our respective constituents,” said, USPAACC National President and CEO Susan Au Allen.

“The U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. supports the Chamber Training Institute by promoting it to our 115 chambers across the nation. Specifically, USBC brought Cassius Butts, the Southeast Regional Administrator of the Small Business Administration to the Chamber Training Institute in Atlanta,” said USBC National President and CEO Ron Busby. “This program has educated our membership on issues in the Hispanic, Asian, and Gay and Lesbian communities and provided a platform for multilateral collaboration.”

“The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is proud to partner with the USHCC in the Chamber Development Institute. This is not only a valuable learning program for our local affiliate chambers across the nation, it’s also another example of how we actively promote all diverse communities working together just as we pledged to do when we founded the National Business Inclusion Consortium.” said, NGLCC Co-founder and President Justin Nelson.

Wells Fargo Support for Small Businesses Extends Beyond Training

“We are committed to helping business owners achieve financial success, grow and create new jobs in their communities,” said Jon Campbell, EVP and head of Government and Community Relations for Wells Fargo. “That is why it’s important for us to fund initiatives that aim to help small business leaders serve their communities more effectively. With the support from our partners at the national diverse chambers, this investment will provide dedicated resources to better serve the growth and development of diverse small business owners.”

Wells Fargo has a rich history of serving the small business community. Today, the company serves 1 in 10 of America’s small businesses. In 2014, Wells Fargo introduced Wells Fargo Works for Small BusinessSM – a broad initiative to deliver resources, guidance and products to help business owners achieve financial success. This year, the company expanded the support it offers small businesses by introducing the Business Plan Center, a free online resource. The Center provides step-by-step tools and guidance to help small business owners create a simple, streamlined business plan, along with a Competitive Intelligence Tool that provides business owners with key insight on competitors in their market and industry.

In May 2015, Wells Fargo partnered with Gallup to conduct a national study of small business owners in order to gain more insight into the experiences of diverse business owners in the areas of lending and operating their businesses. Based on that study, Wells Fargo announced a four-point plan to address needs identified in the study. The plan will help more diverse small businesses become credit-ready and gain access to credit. The Gallup survey included findings of business owners in six segments – African American, Asian American, Hispanic, LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender), military veteran, and women.

The partnership with the Chambers of Commerce reflects the findings from this study.

This post was curated by Nsenga K. Burton, founder & editor-in-chief of The Burton Wire and Executive Director of the National Association of Multicultural Digital Entrepreneurs. Follow her on Twitter @Ntellectual.

Follow The Burton Wire on Instagram or Twitter @TheBurtonWire.

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