The Binational Institute of Human Development (BIHD) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to empower and integrate the immigrant community of our state into mainstream society through advocacy, equality in education, healthcare and above all, economic development. Our three areas of development are: Immigrant Integration, International & Binational Agreements and Programs, and Promotion of Sustainable Development Projects.

Micro and Small Business Development,

offering counseling and guidance for aspiring entrepreneurs on

starting a new business,

developing an existing one or formalizing an informal one.

The three main objectives of this program are to:

  • Foster economic development in the Immigrant Hispanic community, within the State of Illinois;
  • Promote the creation of networks that connect micro and small business entrepreneurs with customers, venture capital, and other opportunities;
  • Provide tailored solutions for entrepreneurs, or potential ones, to create, open and grow their businesses.

The Hispanic Immigrant Community is, and will be, a crucial element of growth in our country and state’s economic development, which is why we enthusiastically assist our members and the community with education and business development training.

Our intention is to offer Micro and Small Busines Development counseling to the many immigrants in the Chicago area looking for an opportunity to advance economically and improve their lives.

Some SBDCs have publically expressed their intention not to serve micro or small business entrepreneurs, such as those hoping to sell homemade products, open a small tamale factory, delivery service, bakery, or handyman, landscaping or cleaning business, etc. We strongly believe the power of these microbusiness owners will improve our communities.

Consider these interesting statistics:

Currently in the USA there are 4 million microbusinesses that employ 1-4 people and 22 million small-business owners (95%) that are self-employed. They generate over a $1 trillion in economic activity year (Census Bureau, 2011).

According to research from the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), the National Association of the Self Employed (NASE) and Small Business Majority (SBM), nearly 40% of microbusiness owners identify lack of credit as a problem for their business. In addition, microbusiness owners also expressed a need for assistance in marketing and sales (48%), tax preparation (27%) and accounting (18%).

Immigrant-owned businesses foster vitality and diversity in our entrepreneurial ecosystem, while creating jobs in the U.S. and helping to grow America’s economy. Hispanic entrepreneurs are America’s business future. There are more than 3.1 million Hispanic-owned businesses, that together contributed with more than $468 billion to the American economy in 2013 (Geoscape, 2013).

While often viewed as one, the Hispanic community is not homogeneous. Hispanics share many similarities like common language, Spanish ancestry and common religion, but there are many cultural, behavioral and attitudinal differences between Hispanics of different countries of origin. Mexican-origin Hispanics have been the largest of the 14 major Hispanic-origin groups in the U.S. Together, these 14 groups make up 95% of the U.S. Hispanic population (PEW, 2013). From these, nearly two-fifths (37%) of all Hispanics are foreign born, compared with 13% of the overall U.S. population.

For non-English speaking, Mexican-born entrepreneurs it can be intimidating to go to banks for funding, because of language barriers, difficulty in writing business plans in English (often a second language), and a lack of experience in applying for loans. The BIHD targets low- and moderate- income Hispanic entrepreneurs, who work in the Chicago area and want to open their own businesses, by providing the proper tools and strategies to establish and grow a business.

Mexican immigrant Jose Camarena, is a good example of immigrant entrepreneurship; he started a little taqueria 30 years ago in Houston. Now Taquerias Aranda has 30 restaurants, 2 fish markets, and 5 bakeries, generating more than $40 million dollars, annually.