Person of the Month: Itzel Velazquez, Little Rock


Parents are Araceli and Helder. Siblings are Melissa, Nancy and Christopher.


 I am a proud University of Central Arkansas alum, #GoBears, where I received my Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Studies, and I hold a Master’s in Higher Education from Loyola University Chicago. 


 I am a business consultant for Conexion de Negocios Latinos (CNL), a nonprofit based out of Northwest Arkansas. I also am the Capital Access Manager for the Little Rock Kiva Hub, powered by Forge Fund.

Professional accomplishments:

“El Sueno Americano” League of United Latin American Citizens, 2019 Campus Compact Newman Civic Fellow. I am excited to be able to work with Latinx entrepreneurs in Central Arkansas and work alongside other organizations and individuals to provide resources in Spanish such as networking events and workshops.

Why did you choose your field: 

I have been passionate about working with the Latinx community since my time at UCA in Conway. I started out interested in college access and higher education but started to see barriers and challenges that Latinx entrepreneurs faced that were exacerbated by the pandemic. I am glad to be able to support Latinx entrepreneurs and their businesses with CNL and Kiva, both recent initiatives. I want Latinx entrepreneurs to have access to all resources available. 

Community activities:

Serve2Perform: Latinos CENTRO S.E.A.L Member (Service Empowered Advanced Leaders), Junior League of Little Rock member, board member for Create Little Rock and the Women’s Leadership Network, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Council #750-Little Rock Scholarship committee member.

Most cherished possession: 

My family and two dogs, Tobi & Luna.

tell us more about what your organization can do to help the 501 community: 

We recently launched the Kiva Hub in Little Rock this past May. Kiva Little Rock is a partnership between Kiva, an international nonprofit, and FORGE, Inc. FORGE is serving as a local hub of Kiva. The Kiva Little Rock Hub is funded through a grant from the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. Through the Kiva Little Rock Hub, I am able to support entrepreneurs throughout the application, fundraising, and repayment process to help them succeed. Through Kiva, you can receive a loan between $1,000 to $15,000 with 0% interest. Visit to learn more. Information is available in both Spanish and English.