In a virtual graduation held by the Office of Business Opportunity (OBO) on May19, Mayor Sylvester Turner addressed the 2020 cohorts of Build Up Houston and Accelerate Latinx, two programs designed to expand the capacity of small businesses in Houston. A total of 18 entrepreneurs received their certificates of completion.
Established in 2014, Build Up Houston uses the “StreetWise MBA” curriculum provided by Interise, a non-profit organization that helps small businesses increase their growth trajectories. In 2019, Interise and OBO expanded the program to reach the city’s Hispanic community with Accelerate Latinx.
“Minority- and women-owned small businesses – and particularly construction companies that need to build their capacity to successfully compete for contracts – play a major role in the city’s economy and infrastructure,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “With Build Up Houston and Accelerate Latinx, we can help these businesses position themselves for success.”
Darrell Byers, CEO of Interise, says Latinx-owned businesses contribute over $700 billion to the American economy every year. While Latinos start businesses at a higher rate than non-Latinos, they start smaller and stay smaller compared to other businesses. In Houston, construction companies who have been awarded government contracts after participating in Build Up Houston have helped create jobs in the community with higher wages, salaries and benefits.
“COVID-19 has undoubtedly changed the way we do business, not only today and in the next few months, but in the years to come,” said Marsha Murray, OBO director. “We are grateful for Interise and all our partners for their support and commitment to advancing the success of small businesses in Houston, no matter the economic landscape.”
For more information about Build Up Houston and Accelerate Latinx, call 832-393-0652.