‘Bizfest Continues to Inspire Kansas City Youth’

‘Bizfest Continues to Inspire Kansas City Youth’

Community collaboration benefits student business dreams


Kansas City, MO–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–April 30, 2007–Three bright aspiring entrepreneurs took home top honors at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) Foundation’s 4th Annual Regional “BizFest” in Kansas City, MO. The winners will now prepare to compete in the USHCC Foundation’s National BizFest Training and Competition at the USHCC 28th Annual National Convention & International Pavilion to be held September 19-22, 2007 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Held April 4-7, 2007 at Aquila, Inc. corporate office in downtown Kansas City, the BizFest featured thirty six students representing ten area high schools which included schools from Missouri and Kansas Harmon. During the comprehensive four day training program, students created business plans on a variety of topics including tanning salons, sports management firms and commercial cleaning companies. The business plans were then evaluated by a panel of judges, based on originality, professionalism, competitive advantage, business financials, and marketing.

“We are proud to bring the BizFest program back to Kansas City for the fourth year in a row,” said Frank Lopez, USHCC Foundation President and CEO. “Working in collaboration with Aquila Inc., the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City and the Greater Kansas City Hispanic Collaborative we are able to provide Latino youth of Kansas City with the opportunities and resources to turn their dreams of owning businesses into realities.”

Garnishing first place and receiving a scholarship award of $2000.00 was Montserrat Jimenez, a senior at Shawnee Mission South High School. Jimenez created a business plan for Green Shiny Clean a commercial and residential cleaning company solely using organic cleaning products.

Placing second and receiving a scholarship award of $1750.00 was Julio Mata Jr who created the concept of Caribbean Glow tanning salon. The senior from Sumner Academy High School created the concept for the tanning salon which will provide quality bilingual tanning services to Kansas residents.

Rounding out the top three was Shawnee Mission North junior, Juan Gonzalez who won a $1500.00 scholarship award. Juan developed a business plan for In & Out Soccer. In & Out Soccer, a sports complex will provide Kansas City athletes with a venue to learn and practice soccer from bilingual coaches.

“Aquila Inc. was proud to host these bright aspiring entrepreneurs for the experience of a life time,” said Valerie Coyazo, Director of Supplier Diversity for Aquila, Inc. “We look forward to our continued involvement in such an inspirational and educational program for the students of Kansas City.”

“Through the BizFest program we are preparing our Kansas City youth with the necessary skills to be successful in life and business,” said Raul Villarreal, BizFest Committee Chairman. “BizFest truly is a life changing experience for these students and I am proud to be part of such a phenomenal program that positively affects our youth of Kansas City.”

The Kansas City BizFest training was conducted in collaboration with the Girl Scouts of the USA and a partnership of skilled business professionals. The event also included vast participation of several local corporations, business owners and community leaders, which included organizations like Aquila, Inc., the Kauffman Foundation, Kansas City Kansas Community College, Sprint, Hallmark, and State Farm Insurance.

About USHCC Foundation

The USHCC Foundation is committed to the purpose of giving Latino entrepreneurs alternatives for life preparation and life-long learning by developing and implementing initiatives and educational campaigns to awaken and nurture their entrepreneurial spirit. The Foundation leverages corporate and public support to ensure that existing and aspiring Latino entrepreneurs gain access and achieve success in the world of business. Please visit http://www.ushccfoundation.org for more information on the USHCC Foundation.

‘Bizfest Continues to Inspire Kansas City Youth’