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The Embassy of Ecuador in Washington, D.C., announced today that the 10 winners of the Start-Up Ecuador en USA program would be unveiled on Thursday, December 4 at 7:00pm during an award ceremony at the Community Church of New York. The program aims to help Ecuadorians who reside in the United States launch or expand their business idea. The top candidates will receive funding of up to $10,000, which may be used to access training services and business development services that enable them to launch their business plan over the course of 12 months.

Twenty participants will present their final business plan before a selection committee, the Ambassador of Ecuador to the U.S. Nathalie Cely Suárez, and representatives from the Ecuadorian Consulates and the U.S.-based Ecuadorian Trade Offices who will evaluate the final projects and select the winning ten participants prior to the award ceremony. The business plans will be evaluated based on the quality, usefulness, and future viability of each business project.

“Phase II of the Start-Up Ecuador en USA program enabled participants to detail their business ideas so that the committee of experts could rigorously study the potential of each business and its profitability,” said Ambassador Cely. “We are very grateful for each participant’s support and enthusiasm of the program. We congratulate each one for their commitment, charisma and entrepreneurial spirit.”

The Embassy of Ecuador to the U.S., Ecuadorian Consulates, and U.S.-based Ecuadorian Trade Offices launched Start-Up Ecuador en USA this August 2014 as a symbol of their commitment to support Ecuadorian entrepreneurs in the U.S.

Latino entrepreneurs in the U.S. are growing almost 10 times faster than the overall population, with immigrant entrepreneurs from Ecuador and other Latin American countries quadrupling to 1.4 million in 2013. In total, there are approximately 3.2 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the U.S. that generate upwards of $478 billion, according to a recent study from consultancy Geoscape.

“Start-Up Ecuador en USA has provided another avenue to boost the efforts of the many Ecuadorians entrepreneurs living in the U.S. who want to make a positive economic and social contribution in this country, while advancing their businesses dreams and ideas,” added Cely.

For more information about Start-Up Ecuador en USA and the terms/conditions of the competition, click on LIKE us on Facebook: Start Up Ecuador USA & FOLLOW us on Twitter @StartUpEcuUSA!