The West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce launched an ambitious plan to transform the region’s economy by giving Latino entrepreneurs the tools they need to grow. The chamber kicked off Transformando West Michigan last month, an initiative in the works since Guillermo Cisneros came on board as the organization’s executive director in March 2017. Cisneros has said his greatest passion is helping connect Spanish-speaking professionals to the resources they need to succeed. He built Transformando with the idea that if the Latino community succeeds, West Michigan also will grow and thrive. “The ultimate goal is to revitalize every Latino business in the greater Grand Rapids area,” Cisneros said. “We want to give them the basics: financials and tools for them to manage their business properly and help them be successful.” The Wege Foundation provided a $167,000, three-year grant for Transformando. The program is expected to cost $247,000 over the next three years. The grant is enabling the chamber to hire a bilingual and bicultural Transformando program manager, who is set to come on board soon. Other partners supporting the initiative include Principal Financial, Culinary Cultivations, Gordon Food Service, Grand Valley State University and Varnum law firm. Varnum donated $35,000 in… Read full this story
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