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Podcast Episode # 129: Supporting Spanish-Speaking Entrepreneurs with Amber Tarrac

Spanglish strategies for entrepreneurship growth.

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
6 min read
Podcast Episode # 129: Supporting Spanish-Speaking Entrepreneurs with Amber Tarrac

Table of Contents

In episode 129 of the Econ Dev Show, Dane Carlson interviews Amber Tarrac, CEO of Founder Fuego.

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Description

Their discussion centered on the mission and activities of Founder Fuego, a company dedicated to empowering Spanish-speaking and diverse entrepreneurs with the tools, resources, and knowledge they need to succeed. Amber shared insights into her transition from nearly 20 years in the public sector in economic development and workforce development to launching Founder Fuego.

The conversation highlighted Founder Fuego's innovative approach to inclusion and empowerment, focusing on their Founder Fuel newsletter, which offers weekly content with a unique Spanglish twist. This newsletter provides valuable information on funding opportunities, diverse founder stories, and essential business updates.

Amber also discussed the importance of providing bilingual resources and workshops to better serve Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs, who often feel left out of traditional economic development ecosystems. By meeting these entrepreneurs where they are, both culturally and linguistically, Founder Fuego builds trust and credibility, fostering greater engagement and participation.

Additionally, Amber emphasized the value of community and network building, leveraging social media platforms like LinkedIn to enhance visibility and connections. She shared her vision for expanding Founder Fuego's impact, starting with key regions like Miami and Southern California, and the significance of cultural inclusion in economic development.

Amber's journey and the mission of Founder Fuego underscore the critical role of inclusive support in helping diverse entrepreneurs thrive, ultimately contributing to stronger and more resilient communities.

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Actionable Insights for Economic Developers

  1. Develop Tailored Newsletters
    Create engaging and informative newsletters that cater to diverse audiences. Include content in multiple languages, utilize engaging formats like Spanglish, and share relevant business updates and opportunities.
  2. Offer Bilingual Resources
    Ensure resources and workshops are available in multiple languages, especially Spanish, to better serve diverse communities and bridge communication gaps.
  3. Provide Comprehensive Consulting Services
    Offer holistic consulting services that cover business growth strategies, marketing, training, and negotiation support. Tailor these services to meet the specific needs of diverse entrepreneurs.
  4. Promote Cultural Inclusion
    Build trust and credibility by meeting entrepreneurs where they are, both culturally and linguistically. This can enhance engagement and participation in economic development programs.
  5. Leverage Existing Community Networks
    Partner with local organizations such as Hispanic Chambers of Commerce and community leaders to better reach and support diverse business owners.
  6. Utilize Social Media for Networking
    Encourage entrepreneurs to optimize their LinkedIn profiles and business pages to increase visibility, build networks, and access opportunities.
  7. Focus on High-Engagement Content
    Create content that is not only informative but also fun and approachable to ensure high engagement rates among subscribers.
  8. Target Specific Markets
    Focus efforts on specific regions with high concentrations of diverse populations, such as Miami and Southern California, to maximize impact before expanding to other areas.
  9. Facilitate Organic Partnerships:
    Actively facilitate connections and partnerships within the community to help business owners grow and sustain their businesses through collaborative efforts.
  10. Understand and Address Unique Challenges:
    Recognize the unique challenges faced by first-generation immigrants and bilingual communities. Provide support and guidance to navigate these challenges, such as helping with grant applications and funding opportunities in their preferred language.

By implementing these strategies, economic developers can better support diverse entrepreneurs, foster inclusive economic growth, and build stronger, more resilient communities.

Other Sponsors

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The Econ Dev Show is made possible by our Econ Dev Pro members (join now) and sponsors: EDOiQ, ResearchFDI, The PACE Group, and SiteHunt. (Become a sponsor.)

Edited Transcript

(This is an experimental AI edited transcript.)

Dane Carlson (DC): Welcome back to the Econ Dev Show. Today we're here with Amber Tarrac.

Amber Tarrac (AT): Thanks so much, Dane, for having me. I'm excited to chat with you today.

DC: Absolutely. Me too. So, first off, you are the CEO of Founder Fuego. Can you tell us about it?

AT: Founder Fuego is a company I started after almost 20 years in the public sector in economic development, workforce development, and the nonprofit sector. Our goal at Founder Fuego is to support diverse founders with tools, resources, and knowledge to grow their businesses.

DC: Great. On a day-to-day basis, what does Founder Fuego do?

AT: We are very passionate about our Founder Fuel newsletter, which we issue weekly. It contains great content with a Spanglish twist. We share funding opportunities, amplify diverse founder stories, and provide other tools and resources. For example, one of our recent editions included information about the new FinCEN requirements at the federal level, which impact corporations and LLCs. We wanted to ensure our readers had the most up-to-date knowledge on these issues.

DC: That makes sense. How do you monetize your services? Do you offer consulting on the backend?

AT: We do offer consulting services. We have a great team of four people with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We offer holistic consulting services, including business growth strategies, marketing strategies, and learning and development strategies. We also provide training opportunities, such as grant searching and matching, using AI for grant proposals, and negotiation for business. Additionally, we are looking for sponsorships for our newsletter to help monetize that vertical. Each of our team members is also growing their own businesses, creating a unique ecosystem where we support each other and other business owners.

DC: Founder Fuego is relatively new, right? I think about a year old?

AT: That's correct. We did a soft launch in October and officially launched in November of last year. I have worked in the public sector at local and state levels in California and Florida for almost 20 years, supporting business owners. I took that knowledge and experience to launch this company with my amazing team.

DC: Can you tell us briefly about your team?

AT: Absolutely. I’m the founder and CEO. Our Chief Learning Officer, Richard Lopez, has extensive experience in learning and development, creating curriculums, and training design and delivery. We also have two amazing women in Northern California: Dr. Tanya Burgess, our Chief Strategy Officer, and Amber Butler, our Chief Marketing Officer.

DC: What specifically motivated you to start Founder Fuego?

AT: Great question. I found that economic development at the local and state levels was quite successful in supporting business owners. However, I wanted to lean into my creativity and put my own flavor into the work, which can't always be accomplished through a public sector agency. For example, in our Founder Fuel newsletter, we use a lot of emojis and Spanglish. This approach helps us connect with our audience. Additionally, I saw a gap in serving people in Spanish, so we targeted the monolingual and bilingual communities that prefer services in Spanish. We've found great success targeting these markets, particularly in Miami and Southern California.

DC: How do you build community and trust with Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs?

AT: It's crucial to meet people where they are, both culturally and linguistically. This builds credibility and trust. We've received numerous requests for workshops in Spanish, and when we can meet those needs, it greatly enhances engagement. It's also important to understand the diverse backgrounds within the Hispanic community and address the specific challenges they face. Often, funding opportunities are in English, which can be a barrier. We step in to help translate and guide them through the process.

DC: Including recently immigrated first-generation entrepreneurs helps integrate them into broader American society, right?

AT: Absolutely. Many of our clients are recent immigrants or first-generation entrepreneurs who may struggle to explain their entrepreneurial aspirations to their families. We coach them through these conversations because having the support of friends and family is crucial. Entrepreneurship is challenging but rewarding, and our goal is to provide guidance and support throughout their journey.

DC: This reminds me of the movie about the Flaming Hot Cheetos inventor. It’s a great example of overcoming numerous challenges to achieve success.

AT: Exactly. We even featured resilience lessons from the Flaming Hot Cheetos story in our Founder Fuel newsletter. It's an inspiring example of turning an idea into a successful brand and creating generational wealth. Recently, I judged a competition where entrepreneurs presented their pitches in Spanish. It was incredible to see such inclusion and to build rapport and trust quickly.

DC: What can economic development organizations do to be more inclusive?

AT: They can start by ensuring events have Spanish translators and engaging with local Hispanic Chambers of Commerce or Merchant Associations. Building community through newsletters that resonate with the audience and leveraging social media platforms like LinkedIn for visibility and connections are also essential.

DC: Communication is key. It's about making everything accessible to everyone and connecting people.

AT: Absolutely. Our consulting and training services also focus on optimizing LinkedIn profiles and business pages to increase visibility and build networks. It's about creating value through connections and helping others access opportunities they might not be aware of.

DC: This has been fascinating, Amber. How can our listeners learn more or get in touch?

AT: They can visit our website, founderfuego.com, where we have many resources and the option to schedule an appointment. They can also sign up for our Founder Fuel newsletter for weekly updates and opportunities.

DC: Fantastic. Amber, this has been so eye-opening. Thank you for joining us today.

AT: Thank you, Dane. I appreciate your time.

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Dane Carlson Twitter

Founder/Host of Econ Dev Show. Also: Sitehunt CEO and economic development consultant in Greater Houston, Texas.


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