History

history

The Hispanic Business Initiative Fund West Coast, Inc. was established in 1991 in Tampa, Florida by visionary community leaders and government officials such as former City of Tampa Mayor and Hillsborough County Commissioner Pam Iorio, who identified the need for bilingual technical assistance and support for Hispanic entrepreneurs in the area.

The Hispanic Business Initiative Fund of Greater Orlando, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, was established in 1995 by Hispanic business leaders, through the leadership of former Orange County Chairman Linda Chapin, Orlando Mayor Glenda Hood and Orange County Commissioner Mary I. Johnson.

Throughout the years, with the support of individual volunteers, generous corporate donors, and key elected officials, HBIF has expanded significantly and strengthened its services. On July 1, 2008 both organizations merged to form the Hispanic Business Initiative Fund of Florida, Inc. Together, the organization became the largest of its kind in the State of Florida. The merge allowed HBIF to cover a larger demographic area and continue to provide Hispanic businesses with a variety of management training programs and services not currently available due to cultural and language barriers.

After 20 years of service in the Tampa Bay and Central Florida markets, the HBIF Board of
Directors and staff made a significant decision. With so many Hispanics already owning or wishing to establish businesses in South Florida, HBIF’s guidance and support could increase their likelihood of success. In 2011, HBIF established operations in Miami to serve Hispanic entrepreneurs in South Florida.

Today, HBIF is recognized as the state’s leading nonprofit, economic development organization specializing in providing bilingual assistance to Hispanic entrepreneurs. We provide services in numerous cities and counties in the West Coast, Central and South Florida regions, and continue to explore expansion opportunities to meet the demand for its services and help build successful Hispanic-owned enterprises. Our goals are to increase the number of viable, fiscally sustainable businesses, to create jobs, and to help the community prosper.