Business Plan Competition for Latin American Diaspora
Latin America’s increasing affluence represents a unique opportunity for Hispanic entrepreneurs in the United States. Latin America is a region with fast-growing economies and a rapidly expanding middle class. The Hispanic community in the United States numbers at least 50 million. This diaspora includes highly skilled and educated entrepreneurs who can serve as an important engine of growth and development in the United States and Latin America. Today there are 1.6 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the nation. All told, they employ another 1.5 million people and boast some $222 billion in annual gross receipts.
The Latin American IdEA Partnership (La Idea) is a business competition platform that fosters collaboration between entrepreneurs in the United States and Latin America with the goal of expanding innovative businesses that will generate employment and economic growth throughout the Americas. La Idea’s objective is to maximize the ongoing collaboration and shared expertise between U.S. and Latin American business communities to increase economic opportunity and jobs in Latin America. Its goals are to:
- Generate awareness for resources available to entrepreneurs in the U.S. and Latin America through the business plan competition platform.
- Strengthen entrepreneurship within the Latin American diaspora through events and a virtual marketplace platform.
La Idea provides the following forms of support and resources:
- Awards to innovative and scalable businesses. Competition winners receive up to USD$100,000 in cash and in-kind awards to support their businesses.
- Access to financing
- Assistance to global markets and investors
- Individual business counseling
- Tools that foster local sustainable development and expand opportunities
La Idea is a public-private partnership with the Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, OPIC, the Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Univision Networks, Boom Financial, and WellSpace. The implementing partners of La Idea are ACCION, The U.S. Network, and FHI360. For more information on La Idea, please visit www.laidea.us or contact email@example.com.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced La Idea on November 14, 2011 during Global Entrepreneurship Week. On April 13, 2012, President Barack Obama highlighted La Idea as a key component of the Small Business Network of the Americas (SBNA), which will strengthen partnerships between small business development centers and their clients throughout the Western Hemisphere.
Please click here to download the full press release.
Click here to read a full transcript of Secretary Clinton’s remarks.
|Partnership||True partnerships include equity relationships, trade relationships, contractual relationships, joint ventures or other types of legal structure of business relationships. In addition to being under any of these categories, the partnership will be assessed as follows:
Overarching question: does this partnership have both the foundation and potential to succeed in the context of La Idea?
|Management Expertise or Potential||Management expertise or potential is equally as important as the partnership. Factors in the evaluation will include information regarding the team composition, relevant qualifications and/or motivations, and demonstrated track record of success. The partnership should demonstrate the following:
Overarching question: what skills and experience of the partners reflect their competitive advantage and ability to excel in the business venture and in the industry?
|The Idea||Business ideas most be innovative, well-structured and aligned with local needs/opportunities. They will be assessed as follows:
Overarching question: What makes the business idea unique, innovative and different from others?
|Accountability: Match/Contribution Potential||The partnership’s potential to make a contribution (in-kind and/or cash) to add value to the grant. Partnerships will be expected to:
Overarching questions: What existing resources make the Partnership a good match for La Idea? How does the Partnership contribution complement the resources provided by La Idea grant?
|Potential for Growth and Sustainability||Business ideas must demonstrate potential for growth and become self-sustaining. This will be assessed as follows:
The overarching question is, “Will this business thrive beyond La Idea?”
|December 8, 2012||Business plan competition launches in Miami|
|mid-January 2013||Application for the competition opens|
|February 21, 2013||Roadshow event in San Antonio, Texas|
|February 23, 2013||Roadshow event in Houston, Texas|
|February 27, 2013||Roadshow event in Dallas, Texas|
|March 16, 2013||Roadshow event in Los Angeles, CA|
|November 14-19, 2013||First round of the La Idea Business Pitch Competition Semi-Finals in New York City and Bogota, Colombia|
La Idea en Acción is a series of events designed to promote the competition through workshops and outreach events engaging Latino entrepreneurs in key cities. La Idea en Acción will host events in the following cities: Miami, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Albuquerque, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Phoenix, San Diego, Sau Paulo, Mexico City, and Bogota. Events are free and open to the public.