Microsoft Partners With BIC to Expand Business Offerings to Hispanic Entrepreneurs During USHCC National Convention

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sept. 26, 2008 — In celebration of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) 29th Annual National Convention, Microsoft Corp. today announced its partnership with the National Hispanic Business Information Clearinghouse (BIC) as part of the company’s commitment to advance Hispanic entrepreneurs and businesses in the United States through the use of technology.

“The BIC is a unique, multilingual Web site that provides Latino entrepreneurs and small-business owners with top-rated business resources,” said Sal Gomez, founder and CEO of BIC. “At, you will find a wealth of information on starting, marketing and managing your business, as well as local resources and training to help you succeed.”

A 2002 U.S. Census Bureau study showed that close to 70 percent of all Hispanic-owned businesses make less than $50,000 a year in gross sales and close to 70 percent have fewer than four employees. According to the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, nearly one-third of all Hispanic-owned businesses fail to survive four years. Much of the success of a business depends on operations and management.

Microsoft has teamed with the BIC as the founding technology partner of this online initiative for Hispanic business owners and entrepreneurs. “Technology is a critical tool that will help Latinos advance in both their life and career,” said Jose Piñero, director of Multicultural Marketing for Microsoft. “At Microsoft we are very excited to provide content for the BIC’s technology section and empower Latinos to succeed in their business enterprises.”

As Hispanic entrepreneurs strive to start their businesses and keep them alive and profitable, access to resources and technology becomes a key component of their entrepreneurial success. “Our partnership with Microsoft will allow us to provide greater content and tools, including several free software solutions, technology disaster planning and recovery guidance, and even a technology budget worksheet for entrepreneurs,” said Michael Barrera, president of the BIC and former president of the USHCC. “These tools will also give local chambers another tool to help Hispanic entrepreneurs run a more efficient business and eventually obtain more contracts.”

The BIC site is a free, bilingual online service for new and existing entrepreneurs, offering business solutions in the following areas:

  • Technology. A new technology section that includes content from Microsoft, providing software solutions and technology tips for Hispanic entrepreneurs

  • Business articles. A vast collection of articles on the most pressing issues for small- business owners: money, markets and management

  • Business training videos, templates, tools and resources. Created through the Entrepreneurial Development Center Inc.’s Web site

  • Local assistance resources. With localized listings of organizations that can help entrepreneurs start their business

  • Small-business search engine. Provides access to hundreds of hand-picked small-business Web sites

  • Demographic reports. Includes demographic information about the residents and businesses within a specific city or region

  • Geographically based content. Constantly updated, including links to local community resources

  • Content translated in English and Spanish

The new technology portal will be available by visiting the BIC’s Web site at and includes access to software solutions from Microsoft, available to new and existing entrepreneurs starting in October.

As part of Microsoft’s commitment to Hispanics, the company is supporting the USHCC and its 29th Annual National Convention by sponsoring the International Luncheon and by co-sponsoring the IT panel “Investing in Technology Will Grow Your Business.”

About BIC

BIC, a not-for-profit organization, launched its bilingual web site in 2007 to provide information to Hispanics starting or expanding a business. Its purpose is to empower new and established entrepreneurs, build wealth in the Latino community, and boost Hispanic contributions to the U.S. economy.

BIC’s lead corporate sponsor is Western Union, to date contributing $2 million through its “Our World, Our Family” global economic opportunities program. BIC is also funded by a $3.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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