Staff spotlight: Luis Franco lends his expertise to help entrepreneurs achieve their goals

Small Towns

Luis Franco has a passion for encouraging entrepreneurs and supporting rural economies.

He moved to Nebraska, from Guayaquil, Ecuador, to pursue his graduate studies in business and economics. While attending the University of Nebraska at Omaha, he realized his love for small businesses and that he enjoyed helping them.

Luis began his career in the retail industry, working in accounting, payroll, and financial planning. That experience led him to the Nebraska Business Development Center, where he served three years as a business consultant supporting entrepreneurs. While working there, he also finished his MBA and master's degree in economics.

Luis’ in-depth experience in the business world made him the perfect fit to take on the role of senior loan specialist with the Center for Rural Affairs.

Kim Preston, Lending Services director with the Center, said Luis helped hundreds of entrepreneurs develop strategic plans through his graduate work at the University of Nebraska. 

“He found a passion for small business development and a desire to see the entrepreneur succeed,” Kim said. “His dedication to the Center’s mission and commitment to helping entrepreneurs thrive are invaluable.”

Luis’ passion and enthusiasm show through his support of the Center’s lending team. He offers his expertise in areas of partnership development, as well as educating and mentoring clients about the financial products available to them. He works statewide helping new and existing entrepreneurs get access to the capital they need to make their business dreams reality.

“Traveling throughout Nebraska has given me a better idea of how important rural areas are to the U.S. economy,” said Luis. “I believe there is a talented workforce that needs our assistance to grow their businesses and achieve their personal or business goals. That’s where my job gains more relevance.”

The Center offers services in Spanish to small business owners, farmers, community leaders, and more. Bilingual staff, including Luis, provide coaching and loan financing to help people in rural Nebraska become homeowners and to start or grow sustainable businesses.

The organization's strong focus on serving the Latino community helps Luis identify with the Center’s mission on an even deeper level.

“I heard wonderful things about the Center, and it brings me great joy to be able to participate in projects aiming to provide resources to the Latino community,” Luis said.

When he’s not working, Luis loves to stay active. He used to play soccer in high school and college, and continues to be very passionate about sports.

Luis works out of Lyons and Omaha, Nebraska, and can be reached at 402.380.3353 or