Nancy Rangel spends her days promoting Hispanic-owned businesses and helping new ones develop.
Rangel, 39, of Flint is the president, CEO, and sole employee of the Tyler Hispanic Business Alliance, a nonprofit organization that began as an offshoot of the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce.
Born in Houston, Rangel finished middle school and high school in Henderson. She was one of the first 50 freshmen to study at the University of Texas at Tyler, where she earned her bachelor’s in marketing and masters in human resource development.
In her role, Rangel coaches Hispanic-owned businesses and Hispanic entrepreneurs. She also has become one of the Tyler’s best-known advocates for the Hispanic community.
What does the Hispanic Business Alliance do?
We foster the development of the Hispanic business community and we provide educational resources and foundation for those that are interested in being successful business owners. Basically, our mission is to provide economic vitality to the Hispanic community. So that can be seen through different ways, not just through the business startups or the business expansions, but we also want to educate the community in so many other areas that can help them with their economic vitality. For example, we’ll help them with any type of seminars that help them with financial literacy, or seminars on homebuying.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about the Hispanic community?
That not all of them speak English. I think that we’re seeing more and more Hispanics who do speak English. Maybe English is not their first language, but there are a lot of Hispanics that speak both English and Spanish. I think that maybe years back we didn’t see them being as fluent as it is nowadays, but a lot of the Hispanics who are here, most likely if they’re my age or younger, they were born here or they were raised here, so English is our first language. So sometimes people have the misconception that a lot of Hispanics don’t speak English, when we do.
Why is the work of the Hispanic Business Alliance important?
We are there to help them to lend a hand to provide any type of mentorship or guidance or education that maybe sometimes, for whatever reasons, they are not able to attain that information and don’t know where else to look for it, we’re there. We’re kind of the hub location for Hispanic endeavors, and we don’t do it all but we’re able to know if your need can be addressed at a single location.
What is the long-term plan for the Hispanic Business Alliance?
One of our priorities is to launch a membership campaign to start having official memberships to our organization. We also want people to be engaged and be educated about the Hispanic community, about the Hispanic culture. And we’ve become, we’re providing not only training and seminars and workshops to the Hispanic community like the ones we mentioned to you. We’re going to launch next year and in the future trainings and seminars to corporate businesses or small-business owners that are not Hispanic but want to learn how to do business with the Hispanic community. And that’s something we’re putting together right now is a training and seminar on how to market to the Hispanic community. We want to serve as the pioneer and the leader in providing that information out to our community here.
What makes the Hispanic Business Alliance different from the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce?
Our sole focus is on Hispanic-owned businesses, so that’s what our sole focus is. And they focus on everybody, and we primarily focus on helping the Hispanic entrepreneur. That’s really our sole focus when it comes to the business section of it, and we focus on the Hispanic community as a whole. And we work very closely together. In fact, my office is housed at the Chamber of Commerce, because when the HBA was barely created, and there were founders that were in discussions about what was going to be created as the HBA today, the Chamber was the one who said, “We’ll take ‘em in.” And they recognized from the very beginning that there was a need.
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