Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

For many of us, Hispanic Heritage Month is one of the most energizing times of the year. From September 15-October 15, individuals and organizations throughout the country collaborate to organize conferences, lectures and performances that highlight the contributions of Latinos to this country and the world.

The commemoration also sparks many public discussions around the challenges and opportunities that the Latino community is collectively facing. Here in Syracuse, one of this year's HHM events included a conversation on economic empowerment efforts in our city. Its timing is of particular importance this fall, given a recent article published in the Syracuse Post Standard (Syracuse.com) noting the city as having the highest rate of concentrated poverty (among the country's largest metropolitan areas) for minorities in all of the United States.

As part of the panel, I had the opportunity to share information about new initiatives that have been launched by various groups in our city as an effort to help ignite economic revitalization in Syracuse and spur business development—many of them focusing on supporting professionals of color and emerging urban entrepreneurs.

As a follow-up to the event, I wanted to post a list of organizations that might be of interest and use to professionals in our city looking for support. Through the process of forming the Bérica Agency, I've collaborated with many of the organizations below, either by consulting for them or by accessing their resources, and can attest to the value of their services.

If you have more to add that you would lke to see posted here, just email me at Connect@BericaAgency.com.

I hope these can be of use to you, and if I can be of help, please don't hesitate to reach out.

Entrepreneurial Classes

WISE (Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship)

South Side Innovation Center

NYS Small Business Development Center at OCC

Women's Center for Entrepreneurial Training

New Initiatives

UMEA (Upstate Minority Economic Alliance)-Launched in the Spring of 2015, this is the area’s first chamber of commerce for entrepreneurs of color. Operations will include organizing customized networking events, formalization of the state’s first comprehensive database of MWBE’s and noncertified minority owned businesses, facilitating MWBE certification assistance, a student membership program, and traditional chamber services.

Website: UpstateMEA.com/Email: UpstateMEA@GMAIL.COM

Hispanic Syracuse-The area’s first county-wide coalition of Latino-serving institutions, individuals, and organizations working year-round to highlight the contributions of Latinos in the city, country and the world.

Website: HispanicSyracuse.com/Email: HispanicSyracuse@GMAIL.COM

Business Development Networks/Professional Networks

Latino Professional Network of Syracuse (Networking events convening the area’s Hispanic professionals)

CNY Network Linked In Group (Networking events convening the area’s African American professionals)

Network after Work


WISE Mastermind Groups(Open to clients of WISE)

StartUp Grind Syracuse

Syracuse First “Local Thirst” Events

Believe in Syracuse LinkedIn Group

Professional Women’s Networks/Support for Female Entrepreneurs

Womens Fund of CNY: Womensfundofcny.org


WISE Latina Conference at the WISE Symposium: CNYLatinoNewspaper.com

WNET:WNET is held monthly from September through June. It is open to anyone who would like to attend. Registration is required via email at elivoti@oswegocounty.org. “Connections” is an all-day conference for women to be held this year on October 27th at the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center.

Women TIES: WomenTIES.com

New York State Womens’s Business Center: NYWBC.org