Spanish-language business class producing future Fresno entrepreneurs

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The number of Hispanic entrepreneurs is growing here in the Valley.

One business agency just graduated its largest Spanish-speaking class to date. Inside his Fresno office, project engineer and business owner Asael Balbuena is analyzing his next project to make sure it's just right. It's a job he loves.

"Sometimes I'm not doing the same thing," he said. "One day I might be doing structural engineering, other days I might be doing mechanical or engineering."

Balbuena turned to Central Valley Score, a business agency, to figure out how to improve his business. Simple Steps in Spanish offered a free six-week course for business owners and future entrepreneurs.

Mentors teach the course and help navigate the circumstances some legal and illegal businesses face. On Monday, Score graduated its largest class of Hispanic entrepreneurs.

"They don't want to stop being entrepreneurs, so they want to do it the right way," instructor Belen Sanchez said. "Can I have an ITN number and continue to do my business? Is my immigration status any factor into continuing my business. So, you learn all of this and how to do it legally too."

The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce says 20 percent of all new business owners are Hispanics and that California is one of the fastest growing states for entrepreneurial activity.

As for Balbuena, he learned how to craft a business plan and how to plan for his company's future.

"And also to have an accountant, an attorney, a good bank, all of the insurances in place," he said. "That's what everybody has, but in my case, I didn't know."

It's knowledge that will help him and others grow more businesses and hopefully create more jobs in the Central Valley. Business mentors hope to fill this room once again, and the next Simple Steps class in Espanol is August 28.
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