Panelists: Mayor Jorge Elorza, City of Providence ⁎ Jennifer Nazareno – Assistant Professor, Brown University, ⁎ Oscar Mejias – Director, RI Hispanic Chamber of Commerce ⁎ Matt Vargas – VP of Business Service, Rhode Island Commerce Corporation ⁎ Kelly Ramirez – CEO, Social Enterprise Greenhouse ⁎ Tony Mendez – Rhode Island Small Business Owner.
Please join Progreso Latino in collaboration with the Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship, and the City of Providence for a panel discussion that will explore the historical significance of the contributions immigrants make towards the community and economy via entrepreneurship. In addition, the panelists will discuss the current contributions of immigrants to small business development and efforts to overcome barriers along with ideation for the future of minority small business development in the next 10-15 years. There are a lot of negative messages about immigrants that we hear today. Among these false narratives is that immigrants drain community resources, but the truth is that immigrants have a positive impact on economic development, economic growth, and the Rhode Island economy. According to data from the American Immigration Council, 6,395 immigrant business owners accounted for 14.3 percent of all self-employed Rhode Island residents in 2015 and generated $185.3 million in business revenue. Also, in 2015, immigrants accounted for 16.8 percent of business owners in the Providence/Warwick metropolitan area, which extends from Rhode Island into Massachusetts.
Light refreshments will be served.
This event is open to the public.