At a time when all small business owners in California felt the state’s economic conditions to be increasingly challenging, California Bank & Trust (CB&T) sought new ways to offer assistance to small businesses. Women and minority owned businesses face a unique set of challenges. California Bank & Trust wanted to elevate its profile as an industry leader in providing solutions to the historically under-served market.
Working with CB&T, LCI helped develop a new initiative for the bank, called T.E.A.M. (Tools, Education, Access and Mentorship). The program specifically targeted women and minority business owners in California and provided resources to start and successfully sustain a business. The first-of-its kind program launched with a focus on California’s Latina business owners. The rationale for this initial focus was multifold:
- California has the highest Latino population in the country, with 13.5 million Hispanics living in the state (U.S. Census Bureau)
- Latina-owned businesses are the fastest growing segment of small businesses in the U.S.
- Latinas control 30 percent of the 1.4 million companies owned by minority women in the United States
- Four in ten minority women-owned businesses are owned by Latinas
- Hispanic-owned businesses in the U.S. increased by 43.7 percent to 2.3 million from 2002 to 2007, more than twice the overall national rate. (U.S. Census Bureau).
LCI and its PRGN partner VPE in Los Angeles announced the T.E.A.M. initiative for California Bank & Trust during an event in Los Angeles in affiliation with Latina Style magazine. LCI leveraged the professional luncheon to invite targeted media and offer interview opportunities with the CB&T’s executive vice president Betty Uribe, the initiative’s spokesperson. Additionally, LCI conducted targeted outreach to relevant statewide media, niche media focused on women and minority issues and national business and finance media.
LCI achieved significant exposure of the T.E.A.M. launch in targeted media outlets as well considerable relevant coverage in national business and finance outlets. CB&T’s T.E.A.M. announcement was covered in American Banker, Diversity Plus Magazine, Hispanic Today, Hispanic Business Magazine, Balita Press, San Diego Business Journal, and on Univision Channel 14 in Los Angeles. LCI also secured placements online with The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, CNN/Money, MSNBC, CNBC, Reuters, Yahoo Finance, MarketWatch, Forbes, Bloomberg, and NPR. Additionally, unique visitor traffic to the CB&T T.E.A.M. landing page spiked by 400% in conjunction with the announcement.