Small Business Incubation Program

The Downtown Vegas Alliance is proud to be a thought leader in our community and has developed an exciting, collaborative program with the Latin and Urban Chambers of Commerce and Prestamos CDFI meant to support the growth of small businesses in our community.  Through a grant from the city of Las Vegas, the Downtown Vegas Alliance is launching a small business incubation program with a focus on minority-owned business to help close the gaps and provide a means to support entrepreneurs, ensure success and sustainability while building a vibrant community.

  • Minority-owned companies contribute greatly to the U.S. economy (4.7 million jobs) and capital markets ($700b annual revenue). But many Black and Latino businesses do not reach their full potential due to coaching, connections, curriculum and capital barriers. 
  • African American entrepreneurs have had to close their doors at more than twice the rate of their White counterparts. Black-owned businesses declined by 41% and Latino-owned business declined by 30% between February and April 2020, compared with a 17% decline among White-owned businesses. 
  • In addition, minority entrepreneurs are limited due to access to capital. On average, minorities are less likely to receive loans, and when they do, they receive lower dollar amounts and higher interest rates. 

The Downtown Vegas Alliance is leading a collaborative effort with community leaders to create a 6 month long Small Business Incubation Program (SBIP) that will address the three issues facing small minority-owned business:

  • Lack of CAPACITY by offering in-person and online business courses
  • Access to CAPITAL by creating lending circles through a CDFI for participants to build their credit score allowing them to secure business loans
  • Pipelines for CONTRACTS by connecting participants to each other and to give them access to large businesses and their diverse supplier pipelines to grow their business and increase their income


  • Increase capacity of current business and provide them growth strategies
  • Build a culture of savings and increase financial literacy for businesses
  • Develop a diverse supplier pipeline for companies 
  • Create equity in supplier base by increasing supplier representation in underutilized diversity classification for companies
  • Increase the economic impact for suppliers and communities 
  • Strengthen brand and relationships for partners and stakeholders


  • Economic impact resulting from this program will include business growth, new jobs provided, and taxes paid
  • Create thriving communities by providing small and diverse businesses opportunities to grow and succeed 
  • Build a strong pipeline of employees, suppliers and service providers
  • Economically stronger communities 
  • Small business growth 
  • Increased diverse suppliers 
  • Increased diverse spending
  • Increased disposable income


Build your capacity through a combination of in-person and online learning.


  • Business Triangle
  • Communications and Marketing
    • Public Relations
    • Branding
    • Social Media
  • How to Write a Capability Statement
  • Growth Strategies
    • Human Resources
    • Risk Management
  • Capacity and Growth Development
    • Certifications & Licensing
  • Networking and Pitches


  • The Business Plan and Steps
  • Increasing Financial Performance 
  • Communications and Marketing 
  • Technology
  • How to use LinkedIn Effectively
  • Business Plan Canvas
  • Value Proposition Canvas
  • Growth Strategies 

Templates will available for participating businesses to use throughout the program and beyond

  • Business
  • Financial
  • Human Resources 
  • Marketing and Communications 
  • Non-Disclosure Agreements 
  • Social Media 

Lending Circles:

  • Build savings habits that will directly impact your credit score to help you gain access to capital for your business:
  • Based on Tandas, which are popular in Latin cultures. Groups contribute an agreed amount of money into a pool to create a short-term no-interest loan
  • Meant to build a culture of savings and increase credit scores
  • Prestamos CDFI will report activities to credit bureaus 
  • Two Lending Circles will be offered
    • $500 monthly contribution
    • $250 monthly contribution
  • At the completion of the program, Lending Circle participants will be given a grant in the amount of their monthly contribution to be used towards operating expenses
  • Once the Lending Circle is finished, they also will be eligible to receive a secured loan that is double the amount of their total contributions (if they saved $3,000 they will be eligible for a $6,000 loan)


Build relationships with those who have come before and can share their lessons learned and expertise in starting a business:

  • Businesses will be paired with mentors from the diverse chambers to work with them throughout the 6-month program
  • Mentors will be assigned by business type and minority group
  • Mentors will help participants learn through their personal experiences and expand their network
  • The goal is for 50% of the relationships to occur beyond the initial training program


  • Current Las Vegas Business License
  • Serving businesses with revenue of under $500,000 per year 
  • Focus on minority-owned businesses
    • Black
    • Latin
    • Asian
    • Women
    • LGBTQ+
  • Low or unestablished credit
  • 60% of businesses will reside in one of the city of Las Vegas’ Opportunity Zones

Contracts With Companies

  • Once you’ve increased your business knowledge you’ll be connected with companies who are looking to increase their diverse supplier spend
  • Large businesses will meet with SBIP participants at Pitch Day
  • These businesses will send RFPs to participants for them to bid upon
  • Businesses include (but are not limited to):
    • City of Las Vegas
    • Cox Communications
    • Southwest Gas
    • Pepsi

DVA Members and more…..

Online Resources

Apply now to Participate Link!