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Immigrant creates Seattle business to help others achieve American dream

Beto Yarce came to America as an undocumented immigrant from Mexico. For the past 10 years, he's been helping aspiring entrepreneurs live the American dream by running a non-profit organization called Ventures.

When you're the owner of a small business, you do it all.

Noemi Mendez is no exception -- equal parts driver, waitress, and clean up crew at her food truck business. Not to mention she’s a mother and wife.

"We have three crazy kids and have a business, so it's a little difficult, but we're doing it," Mendez said.

Mendez and her husband both came here illegally from Mexico but are now running a successful food truck and catering business, Taqueria Los Chilangos. Now a full U.S. citizen, it's her version of the American dream.

"We are here to pay taxes, to give jobs to people," Mendez says. "We are here to help others. That's what we're here for."

Mendez is here now because Beto Yarce was there for her.

Yarce, too, came to America illegally from Mexico. He had a master’s degree in business but worked as a busboy on Seattle's Capitol Hill before running his own jewelry business and achieving citizenship.

He now runs the Latino program at the non-profit small business assistance organization, Ventures. Yarce is celebrating a decade of helping more than 1,000 people start their own businesses -- most of them women and people of color -- with an 83 percent success rate.

"I believe if we integrate these communities faster and we educate them and give them the assistance they need it's a better community for all of us," Yarce said.

Ventures helped Taqueria Los Chilangos with business and marketing plans. Mendez and her husband have been able to grow from one food truck to three, as well as a catering company.

The company also provides loans and advice on paying taxes.

Without the organization, Mendez doesn't think she'd have her own business. For her, the best part of living the American dream is the chance to help others live theirs.

"I want to help other people achieve their goals," Mendez said. "At the very least I can give them a job. That is something I have always wanted to do."