A native of Argentina, Augusto Sanabria is the President and CEO of the Hispanic Business Initiative Fund of Florida (HBIF), an economic development organization that provides free bilingual technical assistance to Hispanic entrepreneurs trying to establish or expand their business in Florida.
Since 2003, Augusto has devoted his career to the advancement of HBIF. As a business development consultant, he served thousands of Hispanic entrepreneurs with individual consulting and technical assistance. He was later promoted to Vice President, and in 2009 was promoted to President and CEO of the organization.
During his tenure as President and CEO, the nonprofit organization has achieved significant growth. In 2011, HBIF’s presence expanded beyond Tampa and Orlando to establish offices in South Florida. Since 2014, HBIF began serving entrepreneurs in additional areas of Florida, including Jacksonville, the Panhandle, Ft. Myers/Naples, Sarasota, and West Palm Beach. Last fiscal year, HBIF helped clients create and retain more than 2,000 jobs across Florida.
With Augusto at the helm, the organization’s budget and staff have tripled. During its fiscal year, the organization now provides individual consulting and technical assistance to four times as many entrepreneurs, and hosts more than twice as many participants at its educational business seminars. The team assembled and led by Augusto, with support from its volunteer leaders, has obtained grants from the State of Florida to fund much of its growth and development. A focus on strategic community partnerships has helped increased the organization’s reach and impact, fostering collaboration with organizations such as Enterprise Florida, the U.S. Small Business Administration, ALPFA, local chambers of commerce, and ACCION.
In 2015, Augusto received the Orlando Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award. In 2013, he was recognized with Governor Rick Scott’s Award of Excellence, selected for Leadership Florida and graduated with Class 31, and named among “Orlando’s Power Brokers” by the Orlando Sentinel. In 2012, he was recognized with the “Compadre Award” by the Kissimmee/Osceola County Hispanic Business Council and by Telemundo Orlando in their “Triunfadores” Hispanic leader and influencer spotlight series. Also in 2012, HCCMO’s Vision magazine recognized Augusto as one of Central Florida’s 25 most influential Hispanics.
Augusto currently serves on Orange County’s M/WBE Advisory Committee, Wells Fargo’s Community Advisory Board, Florida Advisory Council on Small and Minority Business, Florida Chamber of Commerce International Business Council, and the National Entrepreneur Center’s Management Board. He volunteers on the Advisory Council for Valencia Promise (formerly Take Stock in Children), the Strategic Planning Committee for the Hispanic Heritage Scholarship Fund of Metro Orlando, and is an Enterprise Florida Stakeholder Partner.
Augusto holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Central Florida. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in International Business and a concentration in marketing from the same institution. His wife Maria Jesús is also Argentinian and they have three beautiful children.