Meet with our volunteer- Jose A Salas

By Diana Garcia

Meet Jose A. Salas, a Strategy & Planning Consultant at Dell Technologies. At Dell, he supports Sales, Product, Operations, and Marketing teams to create the best go-to-market strategy to reach and deliver a great buying experience to Small Businesses in North America. His plan has delivered +15 pts market growth vs. competitors, and increased profitability since he joined the team in Q1 2019. Jose holds a Master’s degree in International Commerce, a Master’s Degree in Energy Business, and an MBA from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management. Jose has been supporting EBGI since late 2018 as a class facilitator and business consultant, following his passion for consumer behavior, branding, and marketing communications strategy. He loves to learn about different businesses or new business ideas and make them more profitable. As a Hispanic, nothing is closer to his heart than supporting EGBI. Jose has been married for almost ten years to Rebeca (also a Dell Technologies employee). They have a 2-year-old daughter (Clarissa), a dog named Chloe, and another (human) daughter coming in June. 

Jose shares his experience as a volunteer with EGBI and how you can get involved too.

Hi Jose! To get started, would you mind telling us a fun fact about yourself?

I avoid looking at some brand’s logos as just looking at them can make me angry:/

Why do you think it is important to volunteer?

No one does anything in isolation. Humans are social species. So, we all owe our achievements to many others supporting us directly or indirectly; therefore, it is essential to give back to others -particularly knowledge. Ultimately, knowledge is what makes us humans the most amazing living creature on this planet.

“’The only person you have to compare yourself to is you in the past’ from Sigmund Freud. To me, it expresses both the responsibility of continuously improving ourselves as professionals and to stop competing/comparing with others. Just grow, share and help.” – Jose A. Salas

Why is it important to volunteer at EGBI?

EGBI supports people to launch, maintain, and grow their own businesses. Having your own business is not only about making an extra dollar but about independence and achieving your personal goals.

Do you have a favorite experience about volunteering with EGBI?

When I won the Volunteer of the year award back in 2019. I was so moved and nervous because, to me, it felt like a confirmation I was helping others.

In 2020, EGBI volunteers put in more than 130 hours to help EGBI support and serve over 400 small businesses. Volunteers like Jose make this possible and continue to help EGBI pursue their mission of training ,coaching, and supporting aspiring and existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business.

Want to get involved too? Contact us to find out how you can get involved.

Meet our volunteer- Josue Limon

By Diana Garcia

Meet Josue, a Texan native: born in Dallas, but has called Austin home since 2011. Josue was the first of his family to graduate from college- a major accomplishment he and his family are very proud of. He has been a lender for the past 8+ years spending the last 2 1/2 years with BancorpSouth Bank. Here he uses his  skills to help consumers and business owners meet their finance needs. A fun fact about Josue is that he and his wife had a destination wedding and got married in New York City! It was around the Christmas Holidays, which made the day even more special.

Josue shares his experience as a volunteer with EGBI and how you can get involved too.

Hi Josue! To get started, would you mind telling us another fun fact about yourself?

I am a “foodie” so I love to try out different restaurants. 🙂

How have you volunteered at EGBI?

This past year, I have taught financial classes via Zoom for EGBI. I got to know many business owners and share my experience in the financial industry. By being involved, it made me feel part of the EGBI family and helped me get a better understanding of what EGBI does to help the community.

Why do you think it is important to volunteer?

I think it’s important to volunteer because it allows you to meet new people and build a community. We all love to make new friends.

“EGBI is a strong resource to help dreams become a reality in the small business world. Supporting EGBI helps accomplish that mission!” – Josue Limon

Why is it important to volunteer at EGBI?

Volunteering at EGBI helps aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners meet and accomplish their purpose for Austin’s small business community.

Do you have a favorite experience about volunteering with EGBI?

There are so many, but overall my favorite experience was meeting so many diverse small businesses and owners. I’ve made so many friends along the way and I am very proud to provide my service where it is needed.

In 2020, EGBI volunteers put in more than 130 hours to help EGBI support and serve over 400 small businesses. Volunteers like Josue make this possible and continue to help EGBI pursue their mission of training ,coaching, and supporting aspiring and existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business.

Want to get involved too? Contact us to find out how you can get involved.

Local nonprofit partners with Huston-Tillotson University to help small businesses.

Business owners in the area get the assistance they need to grow.

AUSTIN, TX– Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) is excited to partner with School of Business and Technology Huston-Tillotson University to help small businesses owners who face barriers to start or grow a successful business. Especially in challenging times where many small businesses have been forced to close their doors, both organizations are pleased to come together to serve historically disadvantaged businesses in our community.   

EGBI in partnership with School of Business and Technology Huston-Tillotson University will be hosting Build Your Business Plan series that helps business owners develop a useful plan to open and grow their business.  It will run February 3rd through March 31st 2022 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM on Thursdays in English and February 1st to March 29th from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM on Tuesdays in Spanish at the School of Business and Technology 5701 Springdale Rd, Austin TX 78723. Attendees will build their financial projections and a marketing plan.  They will learn about topics needed for businesses like competition, pricing, and how to find their clients.

“EGBI is excited to collaborate with Huston-Tillotson University to help all local small business thrive to help our economy grow.” Barbra Boeta, Executive Director of EGBI

“Matching the incubator and its collaborative efforts with Huston-Tillotson University’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation within the School of Business and Technology elevates our intentions of removing barriers to success for small business owners,” Colette Pierce Burnette, HT President and CEO.

Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI) provides training, coaching, and support to aspiring and existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business.  Our mission is to provide training, coaching, and support to aspiring and existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business.

Huston–Tillotson University is Austin’s oldest institute of higher learning and the city’s only historically black college and university.

For more information about the workshop series, please click AQUÍ.

Googel Analytics

3 Benefits of Google Analytics for Small Business Owners

By Diana Garcia

As an aspiring entrepreneur or a small business owner, it is up to you to develop and execute a winning marketing strategy for your business. To create the best approach, you will need data. Without data you are left guessing your customers likes and dislikes and areas they are more concerned about.  Where can you find data from your website?

This is where Google Analytics comes in. Google Analytics is a free, website analytics tool that measures what is and isn’t working in your business’s online marketing strategy. Whatever industry you are in, Google Analytics is a great tool to help you understand your customers and your website.

Listed are some key reasons why using Google Analytics can help improve your business:

GOOGLE ANALYTICS GIVES YOU THE ABILITY TO SEE WHERE YOUR VISITORS ARE COMING FROM

Facebook, Instagram, referrals, organic search, or paid ads, where are your visitors coming from? With Google Analytics, you have the access to view which social media platforms and which ads are attracting the most traffic.

Seeing a social media platform or ad that has a high conversion rate might mean you should invest more in that platform. While on the other hand, a platform or ad with low conversion rates means that you need to either improve or re-allocate your resources to a more beneficial platform. Either way, Google Analytics has the data to see which other platforms are driving traffic to your website.

IT HELPS YOU UNDERSTAND WHY VISITORS ARE LEAVING YOUR WEBSITE

When someone visits your website and leaves automatically, that is called a bounce. Google Analytics takes the number of times someone has “bounced” out of a specific page and divides that by all the times people have visited that page on your website. This percentage is what is known as a Bounce Rate, but why is this useful? This percentage shows you which pages on your website are causing people to click out. With this information you can adjust the page and make it easier and more attractive to navigate.

Having a low bounce rate is not always bad. It all depends on your business goals. If your goal is for visitors to sign up for a webinar, then the bounce rate is going to be high because they are only being directed to one landing page. On the other hand, if you are a blogger, you want people to navigate throughout your website, so having a high bounce rate might be a sign for you to go through and fix some pages.

A detailed report of the bounce rate will help you find better ways to improve your website and adjust it according to your business goal.

IT REVEALS VISITORS’ BEHAVIORS TO GIVE YOU A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF YOUR AUDIENCE

The more you know about your visitors’ behaviors, the more equipped you are to make smart choices that follow your business strategy and goals. Google Analytics can track these behaviors and help you understand how your visitors interact with your website.

From what type of devices they are using to look at your website, to the pages that have the most views, to what links visitors are clicking on, to how long they are staying on your website, to if they are a new or returning visitor, Google Analytics behavior analysis tab has the data. With this information you can make the necessary changes and modifications to your website’s navigation and products. These changes will improve your website and make it more user friendly.

To run a successful business, you need to know your customers’ behaviors and patterns. Do they prefer to shop using their phone or on a laptop? Are they on Facebook or Instagram? Are the paid ads you are running bringing traffic to your website? Google Analytics has the data to help you answer these questions and more. 

Remember, understanding your website’s analytics to help you achieve your goals is the first step for growth, and Google Analytics is a free tool to help you on your small business journey.

Meet our Volunteer – Larissa Davila

By Diana Garcia

Meet Larissa, a Texan native, born and raised in a small town near the Mexico/US border called Laredo. Larissa graduated from Texas A&M International University with a bachelor degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. She has worked for big corporations such as FedEx, Sony and IBM, but she really loves working with small business owners. For her, small businesses are like little miracles that grow against all odds: very strong and resilient. Larissa loves her heritage and blends in very well with her community– embracing her roots and trying to pass them along to her son. One thing about her is that she loves helping and connecting with people; Larissa sees it like an art that is perfected with time.

Larissa shares her experience as a volunteer with EGBI and how you can get involved too.

Hi Larissa! To get started, would you mind  telling us a fun fact about yourself?

I love hiking and going to HEB. While it sounds funny, I really can’t picture myself living in any other state than Texas, the hot weather is also a big plus, although we have been getting colder in the last couple of years, living in the hot weather is my prerogative. I like to travel, but I always love to come back to home in Central Texas.

How have you volunteered for EGBI?

I have volunteered doing logos for small business owners and sharing my knowledge in classes for EGBI clients in business and marketing. I am also part of the marketing committee.

Why do you think it is important to volunteer?

It is important to volunteer because we are a community and we grow together. Besides, I have been the recipient of a lot of knowledge and help, so it is only fair that I give back. We need to keep the knowledge and the good energy flowing, it is good for the spirit.

“’Cuando ayudamos a un emprendedor a ser más estratégico para capitalizar sus talentos, ayudamos a toda su familia a tener una mejor calidad de vida, el apoyo que damos como voluntarios en EGBI es exponencial. Los conocimientos no se agotan, se multiplican.’   

[Meaning: When we help small business owners to be more strategic to capitalize their talents, we help their whole family to have a better quality of life, the volunteer service we do in EGBI is exponential. Knowledge is never depleted, it is multiplied.]” – Larissa Davila

Do you have a favorite experience about volunteering with EGBI?

Yes! I have made a few logos for clients, and it is amazing to see them excited about the new company image. It is a really nice feeling to know I have helped someone professionalize their brand.

 In 2020, EGBI volunteers put in more than 130 hours to help EGBI support and serve over 400 small businesses. Volunteers like Larissa make this possible and continue to help EGBI pursue their mission of training ,coaching, and supporting aspiring and existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business.

Want to get involved too? Contact us to find out how you can get involved.

Meet our Volunteer – Daniela Ariza

By Diana Garcia

Meet Daniela, a passionate volunteer and aspiring interpreter. Born and raised in Guanajuato, Mexico, Daniela decided to move to Austin in 2002.  Moving to Austin was one of the best and biggest decisions of her life. The welcoming community and the ability to grow and become better, were some of the reasons why she decided to stay. Throughout her childhood, Daniela was taught to care for and share with others. This led to her passion of volunteering and using her talents of translating, cooking, listening, and candy making to help others. There was a time in her life where Daniela felt insecure due to her fears, but overtime and through meeting amazing people, Daniela realized that it is never too late to become a better version of herself and that she is a part of a community that needs her. She wants to give a special thanks to the EGBI team for helping her become a better person and entrepreneur, and for jump-starting her passion for translating and interpreting.

Daniela shares her experience as a volunteer with EGBI and how you can get involved too.

Hi Daniela! To get started, would you mind telling us a fun fact about yourself?

Sometimes my face doesn’t show how I really am. I love to laugh – even though it doesn’t seem like it- but I don’t laugh just at anything, it has to be a really good joke or something worth laughing at.

How have you volunteered for EGBI?

I help EGBI translate documents, blog posts, etc. from English to Spanish. If there is anything else I can do to help EGBI, and if I have the talent for it, I would do it.

Why do you think it is important to volunteer?

It helps the soul. There is a phrase in Spanish that says, “Es más bonito dar que recibir,” meaning it is more beautiful to give than receive.

“Support your small business community today by supporting EGBI.” – Daniela Ariza

Why is it important to volunteer at EGBI?

EGBI helps you start and grow your business, because without business there are no jobs, to work and having a job dignifies you. Besides giving jobs, businesses give a lot more to the community, to schools, and other institutions in need and they help to keep a city running.

Do you have a favorite experience about volunteering with EGBI?

When COVID appeared everything seemed so unreal. I stopped working, my business was on pause, and I didn’t know what to do. But when Monica contacted me to translate all the information that they have for small businesses suffering from COVID-19, my mind stayed occupied and stopped thinking about my situation. Even though I decided to close my candy business, EGBI has helped me see that I have a new talent: translating. After that I started taking a course at ACC for translation and interpretation to become a certified translator and interpreter.

In 2020, EGBI volunteers put in more than 130 hours to help EGBI support and served over 400 small businesses. Volunteers like Daniela make this possible and continue to help EGBI pursue their mission of training ,coaching, and supporting aspiring and existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business.

Want to get involved too? Contact us to find out how you can get involved.

Meet our Volunteer – Ron Nemetz

By Diana Garcia

Meet Ron Nemetz, a passionate entrepreneur and small business owner. Ron started his career in the US Army. There he spent 10 years working as an Operation NCO and US Army Recruiter. In 1998, Ron decided to use the skills he learned from the Army and pursue a career at Monarch Technical Services. Here he spent 8 years as the recruiting and staffing manager. Ron is now the managing member and founder of Nemetz Insurance Services, where he specializes in helping micro businesses (20 or less employees) and entrepreneurs attain health insurance.

Ron shares his experience as a volunteer with EGBI and how you can get involved too.

Hi Ron! To get started, would you mind telling us a fun fact about yourself?
11 years ago, I somehow convinced my wife to move to Austin from Chicago
without her ever being to Texas before.

How have you volunteered for EGBI?
I’ve done some presentations and classes on Health Insurance for EGBI’s Small Businesses series.

Why do you think it is important to volunteer?
Sharing knowledge to start up companies in order to help them with a roadmap to future success only helps us all as a society.

“Newly created Small Businesses are the lifeblood of any community, providing them building blocks for success helps our community as a whole.” – Ron Nemetz

Why is it important to volunteer at EGBI?
EGBI provides knowledge and tools that if taken advantage of properly can help a new small business avoid making the mistakes of other failed small businesses.

In 2020, EGBI volunteers put in more than 130 hours to help EGBI support and serve over 400 small businesses. Volunteers like Ron make this possible and continue to help EGBI pursue their mission of training, coaching, and supporting aspiring and existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business.
Want to get involved too? Contact us to find out how you can get involved.

Meet our Volunteer – Anne La Grange

By Diana Garcia

Meet Anne La Grange, a Texas native from a small town near the border named Palmhurst. Anne is currently studying Finance and Spanish at the University of Texas. After graduation, Anne plans on working as an analyst in commercial banking at JPMorgan Chase and Co. In her free time, Anne enjoys playing tennis and running, and is currently training for the Austin marathon.

Anne shares her experience as a volunteer with EGBI and how you can get involved too.

Hi Anne! To get started, would you mind telling us a fun fact about yourself?

Even though it is not super popular in Texas, I used to ice skate competitively. I started at 6 years old and continued for 5 years. Eventually I quit to focus on school and tennis.

How have you volunteered for EGBI?

I helped EGBI prepare for their main annual fundraiser Celebrating Success by putting together their program, assisting with gift boxes, and creating marketing materials.

Why do you think it is important to volunteer?

It is important to volunteer because it helps build a sense of community. Volunteering allows you to give back and make a difference, while making friends and meeting new people.

“Supporting EGBI means supporting growth in your community.”Anne La Grange

Why is it important to volunteer at EGBI?

Volunteering with EGBI helps promote economic development and encourages sustainable growth. It directly created jobs and investment in the community, making a real difference in the lives of people in need.

Last question, do you have a favorite experience about volunteering with EGBI?

My favorite experience volunteering with EGBI was working with other volunteers to make gift baskets for Celebrating Success. As we worked, we chatted, bonded over our shared interests, and became friends.

 In 2020, EGBI volunteers put in more than 130 hours to help EGBI support and serve over 400 small businesses. Volunteers like Anne make this possible and continue to help EGBI pursue their mission of training ,coaching, and supporting aspiring and existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business.

Want to get involved too? Contact us to find out how you can get involved.

Meet our Volunteer – Shelly Cruz

By Diana Garcia

Meet Shelly, a 3rd  generation Austinite. Shelly has firsthand experience of breaking the cycle of generational poverty as she lived in affordable housing projects as a child and became the first college graduate in her family. She attended Texas State University’s McCoy College of Business where she received her BBA in Economics. Shelly’s work experience has included a diverse mix of industries and roles. She has worked in nonprofit economic development, banking, and HUD affordable housing compliance. She has a passion for community engagement and is heavily involved in community service and volunteerism with local nonprofit organizations. She currently serves as the Engagement and Giving Coordinator with the Tito’s Handmade Vodka philanthropy team.

Shelly shares her experience as a volunteer with EGBI and how you can get involved too.

Hi Shelly! To get started, would you mind telling us a fun fact about yourself?
A fave hobby of mine is exploring trails around Austin. Although I grew up here, I still have not explored every one. There’s so many! I have two children and this is a go-to weekend morning outing for us. Also, it is not uncommon for me to utilize a walk through a trail as a meeting option with friends and colleagues. I love theexperience of seeing, hearing, and feeling all that nature has to offer.

How have you volunteered for EGBI?
I have been involved with EGBI over the years in various capacities. I have had the opportunity to volunteer my time with EGBI by serving on the Marketing Committee and also by assisting with the annual Celebrating Success fundraiser. In my previous role with the Housing Authority for the City of Austin, an organization that helped found EGBI, I was able to deepen my knowledge and relationship with the mission EGBI serves by working with residents who were able to start their entrepreneurial journey because of EGBI. It was amazing to witness these stories unfold and see residents thrive in ways they never thought was possible.

Why do you think it is important to volunteer?
Community impact is driven by community members banding together and creating solutions. Volunteerism is the element that puts this concept into action. Every individual has overcome unique challenges and struggles and each of these perspectives brings value to create viable solutions that can benefit the overall good. I can speak firsthand to the benefits volunteerism can have as I was a child of poverty myself who oftentimes found myself on the receiving end of goodwill. I would not have been able to accomplish the goals I have had it not
been for organizations and their volunteers who provided tools and resources needed to succeed. This is the power of community impact and exemplifies how volunteerism is essential to empowering individual successes and results in stronger communities.

“EGBI provides tools and resources for the most vulnerable entrepreneurs and supporting this organization provides the necessary assistance to
widen the reach and capacity of the organization in order to provide greater economic development in our communities.” – Shelly Cruz

Why do you think it is important to volunteer at EGBI?
EGBI provides support to the entrepreneurs that need it the most. Starting a business is one of the most vulnerable challenges an individual can take on and the need for resources to mitigate the barriers involved is essential. Volunteering with and supporting EGBI provides the necessary assistance to widen the reach and capacity of the organization in order to provide greater economic development.

Last question, do you have a favorite experience about volunteering with EGBI?
My favorite experiences with EGBI involve working with Monica Peña on the marketing committee and witnessing her passion and expertise. Her excitement for the mission of EGBI is contagious and makes our projects fun and exciting. I also love the annual ice cream socials because I am able to see various supporters and clients of EGBI come together and unite.

…..

In 2020, EGBI volunteers put in more than 130 hours to help EGBI support and serve over 400 small businesses. Volunteers like Shelly make this possible and continue to help EGBI pursue their mission of training, coaching, and supporting aspiring and existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business.
Want to get involved too? Contact us to find out how you can get involved.

Meet our volunteer- Pilar sanchez

By Diana Garcia

Meet Pilar Sanchez. In 2000, she was responsible for starting another Housing Authority City of Austin (HACA) subsidiary, SHCC, from the ground up. SHCC now generates the revenue to fund the social services provided by Austin Pathways, the non-profit she currently leads at HACA. 

Sanchez’s entrepreneurial spirit was instrumental in co-founding a business incubator in East Austin in 2008. Sanchez brokered a three-tiered partnership between her employer, the Housing Authority (HACA), the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GAHCC), and the Hispanic Technology Institute of Austin (HTIA) to start an incubator that would help small to medium business thrive and create new jobs during the recession. This became the Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI), which spun off as its own independent non-profit in 2010. HACA still supports EGBI in many ways; they provide the space at Eastland Plaza, and have provided over $1 Million in funding for operations since 2010.

 

As a co-founder and lifelong EGBI volunteer, Pilar hopes that EGBI can encourage others to not only support themselves but to also support their families, friends, and community through the value of philanthropy. 

Pilar shares a quick fun fact about herself. “While my mother taught me to be a strong, independent, and caring person, she never taught me to bake. My daughter asked me to make her a castle made of cupcakes for her 4th birthday. John, my husband, knew we were in trouble when I could not find a box of cupcake mix in the cake-mix aisle.  Don’t ask me to bake for you; you might regret it. ” Although we may not ask her to bake for EGBI, her unwaivering commitment to EGBI and the local community is evident through all the areas she has volunteered for the organization. She has served on the board, various committees, and different projects throughout the years.

In 2020, EGBI volunteers put in more than 130 hours to help EGBI support and serve over 400 small businesses. Volunteers like Pilar make this possible and continue to help EGBI pursue their mission of training ,coaching, and supporting aspiring and existing business owners who face barriers to growing a successful business. 

Want to get involved too? Contact us to find out how you can get involved.