Latino Leadership Institute

A nonprofit organization

In 2023, your support helped the LLI elevate 3x the number Latino leaders and entrepreneurs.

Close Opportunity Gaps

Today, Latino leaders and entrepreneurs face persistent opportunity barriers that prevent Latino advancement and representation. 

4% - Latinos are responsible for nearly 75% of U.S. workforce growth since 2010. Yet, Latinos represent only 4% of Fortune 500 CEOs. 

8% - Latino entrepreneurs start businesses faster than any other ethnic demographic, but less than 8% grow beyond the start-up stage.

450% - Latinos face a leadership gap of 450%, the largest leadership gap of any demographic group in the U.S.

Our Collective Impact

Your financial contribution ensures Latino visionaries can lead, build businesses, develop wealth, and give back to their communities.

96% have been promoted since completing LLI's leadership program

73% have been appointed to board service

96% have expanded their professional network through the LLI

88% have become a mentor to aspiring Latino professionals

85% have been introduced to new opportunities through the LLI network

17% have been elected or appointed to public office

Your investment is closing the Latino leadership opportunity gap.

Unapologetically Latina

“As a Latina, one of my biggest struggles was questioning my roots and identity within the greater community, resulting in imposter syndrome. I always apologized for who I was, and for what I wasn’t.During Ignite, I learned about my personal ambition and developed attitudes, abilities, and actions that I will definitely be implementing as I continue on my leadership journey. I am blessed to have been a part of the Ignite program, and will no longer apologize for who I am.”

Vianney Rodriguez, CWSP, Director of Operations, Arrupe Jesuit High School

LLI Graduate

A Critical Role in My Leadership Journey

"The Latino Leadership Institute has played a critical role in shaping my leadership journey and preparing me for public service. LLI provided me with a high level of knowledge and network to effectively navigate the complexities of city governance and make a tangible impact. The support and mentorship I received from fellow cohort members, alumni, and LLI staff have been invaluable in my role as City Councilman and now as Mayor. LLI's commitment to empowering Latino leaders is not only transforming the lives of individuals but also contributing to the overall progress and well-being of our communities."

Duane L. Gurulé, Mayor, City of Rocky Ford

LLI Graduate

Important in My Entrepreneurial Journey

“The LLI has been important in my entrepreneurial journey. Through the LLI, I have been able to surround myself with other entrepreneurs, business owners, and leaders who are making an impact in their communities. I am grateful that LLI has been making a difference in both public and private sectors and is also very committed to small businesses and people who are making a change.”

Marisol Solarte-Erlacher, Founder & CEO, Marisol Solarte-Erlacher, M.A., LPC and Associates

LEAP Entrepreneur

Sharpened My Skills as a Latino CEO

"LEAP granted me invaluable resources and access to mentors who played a pivotal role in the growth of my enterprise, East Denver Food Hub. These mentors and advisors cultivated a genuine and authentic connection with me, offering benefits on both a personal and professional level, with a keen understanding of the cultural nuances that I experience as a Latino CEO. As a result of my time in LEAP, I successfully scaled my business, enriched my knowledge, and sharpened my skills, setting my company on a trajectory to new heights."

Roberto Meza, CEO, East Denver Food Hub

LEAP Entrepreneur

Lead. Invest. Drive change


The LLI unlocks the full economic and social potential of Latinos by preparing, connecting and elevating Latino leaders and entrepreneurs to successfully build power, drive change, and generate wealth.

Background Statement

The founders of the Latino Leadership Institute were among a small group of Latinos to sit in influential positions, but they were determined not to be the last. LLI’s Founders understood Latino leadership’s power, potential, and need across industry sectors. In 2015, in collaboration with the University of Denver (DU), the LLI graduated its first cohort of LLI Fellows. DU served as an important and valued incubator for the LLI, helping build the momentum that allowed it to launch as a national, independent 501(c)3 in 2021.

In 2022, the LLI launched new programming to meet the growing demand for Latino-focused professional development and Latino entrepreneurial support. The LLI has continued to inspire leaders to recognize their potential and its impact multiplies as Alumni and members of the LLI Network ascend to higher levels of leadership and success. Today, the LLI has over 700 past participants and subject matter experts in their growing Latino professional network.

Organization Data


Organization name

Latino Leadership Institute

other names

LLI, The Latino Leadership Institute at the University of Denver

Year Established


Tax id (EIN)



Education, Employment, Community Improvement & Capacity Building, Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy

Organization Size

Large Organization


PO Box 247
Littleton, CO 80160

Service areas





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