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Mon, March 8, 2010

ITTN Fellow selected to serve as entrepreneurial ambassador

Chosen for his potential as a "transformational leader," as well as his initiative, integrity and communication and interpersonal skills, Cal State San Bernardino student Victor Esparza is one of only 10 students nationwide to represent the National Hispanic Entrepreneurs' Organization as a student ambassador.

Esparza, who lives in San Bernardino and is an Integrated Technology Transfer Network fellow at CSUSB, was selected in a competitive process from among student applicants across America.

As ambassador for the Inland Empire region, the 23-year-old is promoting NHEO's mission to increase the number of Hispanic entrepreneurs and help elevate their skill levels. To reach that goal the organization is tackling cultural barriers, prejudice and the lack of economic resources and role models. Only five percent of Hispanics own their own business in a nation where they comprise 13 percent of the U.S. population, says NHEO.

With Hispanics poised to become the nation's majority population by 2050, NHEO believes the "success of Hispanic entrepreneurs will benefit the U.S. as a whole."

"For me, it's more of reaching for the stars," says Esparza, who was born in Zacatecas, Mexico, and came to the U.S. when he was just 1. "Essentially, my goal is to let people know that limiting yourself limits your options."

Among Esparza's duties as an NHEO ambassador are serving as a liaison between the organization and local communities, doing public speaking, and hosting discussion groups.

NHEO, which is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., was founded in 2009 to empower Hispanic entrepreneurs. Esparza hopes not only to lead people in that direction, but to assist them in bringing their own ideas to fruition in businesses where they are the CEOs and presidents of companies they create.

Esparza's term as an ambassador for NHEO runs through November 2010. With a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina A & T State University, he plans to enter CSUSB's masters in entrepreneurship program this fall.