Omaha Entrepreneur Offers Business Class to Help Latinos Get Started
OMAHA, Nebraska (KMTV) – Armando Salgado, an entrepreneur, helps Latin American businesses in Nebraska grow.
Salgado, owner of four Omaha businesses: LingoDocs Marketing Agency, a Spanish-speaking company magazine, an international shipping company and a construction company, said Latinos face systemic barriers when starting a business.
He saw it firsthand five years ago, when Metro Community College was expanding its Fort Omaha campus. He said virtually no minority-owned construction companies had been hired to work on campus.
“It wasn’t really Metro’s fault or that of the general contractor,” Salgado said. “It’s because of the sustainability of the business. If they give you a job, they must be confident that you are going to finish the job. This two year project, rather than making a driveway, which you will do in one day. “
The inability of some minority companies to maintain long-term, multi-million dollar jobs is due to institutional barriers, Salgado said. Lack of resources, support, education or access to opportunities can be factors.
“Discrimination is an important thing. They can be hired to do any type of job and you see cases of workplace fraud against Hispanics. That is, let me treat you like an employee but pay you like a subcontractor, ”he added. “The barriers to sitting at the table are so astronomical that a small construction company, especially a Hispanic construction company, can’t even imagine the idea of submitting a bid.”
This is what ultimately inspired Salgado to teach other Latinos how to start, grow and maintain their own businesses.
Since summer 2016, he has been teaching a Business courses in English and Spanish by Metro Community College. The English version is a four week course called Business and Contractor Academy. The Spanish version is called Academia de Negocios y Contratistas. It is a more comprehensive nine-week course that includes additional construction lessons.
“The Spanish focus mainly on construction. Hispanic entrepreneurs are a huge business. There are large amounts of the Hispanic community working in this industry that need to be educated and provided opportunities to help them grow their business, ”said Salgado.
Salgado teaches how to start and market businesses. Her courses include how to register a business, manage taxes, insurance, accounting, and how to submit estimates.
To date, he has helped over 100 minority-owned businesses.
“So far there have been over 150 companies that are now registered, licensed, paying insurance and hiring people,” he said.
This has been instrumental in the growth of Nebraska’s economy.
“It’s a bit difficult to keep track of the numbers based on where these businesses started and where they are now, how many people they’ve hired and how much tax they’ve paid. Based on the numbers that I know, we are talking about millions and millions of dollars in our economy, ”Salgado said.
Salgado, originally from Mexico, immigrated with his parents to the United States when he was six years old. He arrived in Omaha in 1996 and has since completed his high school and college education in Omaha. He has made his home in this city and is recognized as a community leader and champion of opportunity for all. He wants others to succeed like him and live the American dream.
“At some point you have to ask yourself if it’s time for me to quit my job and focus on my business and that’s where you take the leap. I think everyone should take this jump, ”said Salgado. “I’ll be the first to throw you off this mountain, but I’ll make sure you have that parachute.” You must have this parachute, and that is the purpose of this course. “
He knows he wouldn’t be where he is today without others from his past helping him move forward. That is why his goal behind his class is not only to pay him forward, but also to pay him back.
“I’m just trying to help families, these men and women are more successful. Their entrepreneurial spirit is enormous within the Hispanic community. Many come from countries where you work or don’t eat, ”he says. “We need to do more. A lot of people wonder why don’t they do something about it? I can tell I am.
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