The Small Business Administration has recognized two individuals in the Charlotte region for their efforts to support area small businesses.
Jose Alejandro Donoso of Tega Cay was named the administration’s 2012 North Carolina Minority Small Business Champion of the Year for his commitment to support minority entrepreneurship. And Paul Solitario was named the 2012 North Carolina Financial Services Champion of the Year for both North Carolina and SBA’s Southeast Region IV. That region includes the Carolinas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee. The Financial Services Champion award is presented annually in each state to individuals who assist small businesses through advocacy efforts to increase the usefulness and availability of accounting or financial services.
Donoso is a volunteer counselor at Charlotte SCORE, serving as liaison between that organization and the Latino small-business community. SCORE is an organization of successful, active and retired business persons that provides free small-business counseling and training under special funding from the SBA.
Donoso has helped improve access for the Latin American community by developing the Charlotte SCORE webpage in Spanish. He also compiled a series of programs in Spanish that are available on the national organization's website.
Solitario is the managing partner of Cerium Capital in Charlotte. He also is the founder and past president of Wed3 Inc., an angel-investor networking group based at the Ben Craig Center, UNC Charlotte’s business incubator.
“I love being involved in the entrepreneurial community where I get the chance to help individuals make a difference in theirs and other people’s lives,” Solitario says.
The SBA's North Carolina district office is at 6302 Fairview Road in Charlotte's SouthPark area.
Jennifer Thomas covers retail, health care and education for the Charlotte Business Journal.