Omaha Entrepreneur offers business courses to help Latinos start businesses
OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) – Armando Salgado, an entrepreneur, is helping Nebraska Latino businesses grow.
Salgado, owner of four Omaha companies: LingoDocs Marketing Agency, a Spanish-language society magazine, international shipping company and construction company, said Latinos face systemic barriers to starting a business.
He saw it firsthand five years ago when Metro Community College expanded its Fort Omaha campus. He said few minority construction companies were hired to work on campus.
“It wasn’t really Metro or the general contractor’s fault,” Salgado said. “It’s because of the sustainability of the business. If they give you a job, they have to trust that you will quit the job. This two year project instead of just doing a driveway that you’ll do in a day. “
The inability of some minority companies to maintain multi-million dollar long-term jobs is due to institutional barriers, Salgado said. Lack of resources, support, education, or access to opportunities can all be factors.
“Discrimination is a big deal. You can be hired to do any type of job and you will see cases of labor fraud against Hispanics. 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 Spanish construction company, cannot even fathom the idea of submitting an offer.”
This ultimately inspired Salgado to teach other Latinos how to start, grow, and maintain their own businesses.
Since summer 2016 he has been teaching an English and Spanish language business course at the Metro Community College. The English version is a four week course called the Business and Contractor Academy. The Spanish version is called Academia de Negocios y Contratistas. It is a more extensive nine week course that includes additional courses on construction.
“The main focus of the Spaniards is on construction. Hispanic contractors are big business. There are huge amounts of the Hispanic community working in this sector that need training and the opportunity to help them grow their business, ”Salgado said.
Salgado teaches how to start and market businesses. His courses include registering a business, dealing with taxes, insurance, bookkeeping, and filing estimates.
To date, he has helped over 100 minority-owned companies.
“To date, there have been over 150 companies that are registered, licensed, paying insurance and hiring,” he said.
This has been a major contributor to the growth of Nebraska’s economy.
“It’s a little tricky to get the numbers of where these companies started and where they are now, how many people they hired, and how much taxes they paid. Just based on the numbers I know, are we talking about billions and billions of dollars in our economy, ”Salgado said.
Originally from Mexico, Salgado emigrated to the United States with his parents at the age of six. He came to Omaha in 1996 and has since graduated from Omaha high school and college. He calls this city his home and is considered a community leader and advocate of opportunities for all. He wants others like him to succeed and live the American dream.
“At some point you have to wonder if it’s time for me to leave my job and focus on my business, and this is where you take the plunge. I think everyone should make this jump, ”said Salgado. “I’ll be the first to kick you off this mountain, but I’ll make sure you have that parachute on. You have to carry that parachute, and that’s what this class is about. “
He knows he would not be where he is today without others in his past helping him move forward. Therefore, behind his class, he focuses not only on paying them forward, but also paying them back.
“I’m just trying to help the families, these men and women are more successful. Your entrepreneurship is enormous in the Hispanic community. Many come from countries where you either work or don’t eat, ”he says. “We have to do more. Many people think why don’t they mind? I can say that it is me. “
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