Interise StreetWise ‘MBA’™ instructor Orlando Espinosa has been selected as the winner of the 2016 U.S. Small Business Administration’s South Florida and State of Florida Small Business Advocate of the Year. The award acknowledges Espinosa’s “personal efforts and achievements in advocating and advancing business ownership for Florida entrepreneurs,” said Francisco “Pancho” Marrero, SBA District Director. In congratulating Espinosa, Marrero added, “Your personal commitment to help small business owners and entrepreneurs obtain the knowledge, skills, and insights they need for success is commendable.”
Interise has partnered with the SBA since 2008. The partnership originally brought Interise’s model for accelerating economic and small business growth in lower income communities to 10 cities. The continued partnership now brings the organizations’ joint StreetWise Steps™ small business capacity building program to promising small business owners in 54 cities across North America.
Espinosa is one of over sixty instructors in the Interise Network who facilitate learning in StreetWise ‘MBA’™ classrooms across the country, including Hawaii and Puerto Rico, and internationally in Bermuda. Instructors come from a diverse set of entrepreneurial, small business, and executive level business backgrounds that range from strategy and marketing consultant firms to Fortune 500 companies.
“Every entrepreneur and small business owner has a story to tell. Knowing their story and why they started their business keeps me engaged and motivated. My goal is to ensure their stories are known and their businesses have an opportunity to grow and succeed!” said Espinosa, Co-founder of Emineo Media.
Charisma and passion are hallmarks of Espinosa’s approach to sharing the benefits for entrepreneurs and established business to understand the importance of being educated and informed business owners. Orlando was the first National Spokesperson for The Sallie Mae Fund’s “On the road: Paying for College Bus Tour.” The coast-to-coast tour gained national recognition for financial aid workshops in 70 cities. He was also a key member of creating and branding 2futuro, a bilingual loan and outreach program by Sallie Mae and USA Funds. As a leadership advisor for ASPIRA of Florida, Inc., a youth-based organization, he empowered students through education and leadership workshops.
We congratulate Espinosa on this great achievement and look forward to the 3-year Strategic Growth Action Plans™ that twenty entrepreneurs will develop with his facilitation as part of this year’s StreetWise Steps™ program in Miami.