The Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is launching a 10-week program in English and Spanish to help people start a business. 

The class is modeled after Kauffman FastTrac, which aims to train people who aspire to own or who already have an early stage business with business skills, resources and a network with peers.

The first program, beginning June 27, will be facilitated in Spanish and consist of 10 to 15 aspiring entrepreneurs, said Anette Landeros, president and CEO of the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The program with twice-a-week classes will cost $100 and will rotate between Spanish and English every 10 weeks. 

The program is part of the city’s efforts to boost the amount of resources available to people with entrepreneurial goals. In April, the city announced a new entrepreneurship center in the Near Southside. The city is also working to revamp the Devoyd Jennings Business Assistance Center. 

There is a need for more programs to assist the Spanish-speaking business community in Fort Worth, Landeros said. People from all over the Dallas-Fort Worth area come to the chamber for consultations in English and Spanish, she said. 

“There’s still a lot of people who are launching businesses every day and are really looking for a space to ask questions and build the confidence that they’re doing it correctly,” Landeros said. “The last thing anyone wants to do is find out that they had a misstep early on, and that misstep potentially cost them money.”

The program is being funded by a $15,000 grant obtained from the City Inclusive Entrepreneurship Network by the National League of Cities, an effort to get city leaders to commit to inclusive small business economic growth. 

District 3 Fort Worth council member Michael Crain helped get the grant. He became aware of the program when attending a National League of Cities event in Kansas City and found out about the partnership with the network and the Kauffman Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes entrepreneurship. After taking classes through the network, he partnered with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to bring the Kauffman FasTrac program to Fort Worth.

Crain, who hosts a small business task force, said he has been thinking about how to make the city more business friendly. The new program is a step toward that goal, he said.

“We have a bureaucratic system that I’ve been working on with the small business task force to relieve some of those burdens however we can … but it still exists,” Crain said. “This is, I think, a way to outreach to that community, put it in their language and meet people where they are. We have to continue to do that.” 

Seth Bodine is a business and economic development reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at and follow on Twitter at @sbodine120.

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Seth Bodine is the business reporter for the Fort Worth Report. He previously covered agriculture and rural issues in Oklahoma for the public radio station, KOSU, as a Report for America corps member....