The 2018 Latina SmallBiz Expo gathered a broad range of sponsors, supporters and participants that celebrated the economic force of Latina entrepreneurs in the Northeast.
Under the slogan “Learn. Connect. Succeed!”, vendors, supporters and sponsors gathered once again under one roof, this time at the Culinary Conference Center in Jersey City, New Jersey. We did it! Not only we had a fantastic event with a great turnout but also, some raving reviews we want to share with you.
This year, we experimented again and got great results!
In 2017, we added the Latina SmallBiz Expo to the original Pitch Competition. This year, we added yet another segment dedicated to peer-to-peer workshop sessions. The Entrepreneurial Empowerment Lunch was a great success and it left people wanting more!
Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch: Latina entrepreneurs need to “see and be seen”
The vision of this initiative has always been centered on Latina entrepreneurs, and how we can contribute to advancing their businesses, products and services to achieve parity with other demographic group entrepreneurs.
Working in isolation, many Latina small business owners make decisions based on their lack of experience and knowledge of what is out there for the advancement of their businesses. So we created the Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch to help them come out of the woodwork, reach out to colleagues and peers, and find results and knowledge in the experience of others.
We based the Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch workshops in “peer-to-peer” sessions, that is to say, we brought successful Latina entrepreneurs in their own industries to speak about their journeys, their obstacles and how they were able to overcome them, or simply recognizing failures and how they reinvented themselves.
These successful Latinas were joined by some experts in different fields, whose participation added also the necessary information to make the sessions interesting yet productive.
We were mobbed! With 119 registered attendees, we ended having over 150. We needed to add chairs to some sessions, and had a couple of people disappointed that they could not attend a session of preference because the space was limited. We apologize for these inconveniences and we promise to go bigger and better next year
2018 Latina SmallBiz Expo: More vendors and a majority of Latina entrepreneurs
Every time I finish the Expo Journal, it gives me great satisfaction to see how the number of Latina entrepreneurs who participate at the Expo as vendors continues to grow.
Last year, we had 46 vendors of which, 23 were Latina entrepreneurs. This year, out of 59 tables, 37 were Latina-owned businesses, which to us means that our message is getting out!
Again, some considerations about the space were made, the place looked crowed but cozy –the Latino way! Great opportunities for networking, meeting new sources of information and funding, and a variety of businesses from arts and crafts imports to cleaning services, and from entertainment to PR services and clothing. A real show case of the power and preferences of Latina micro-businesses.
Highlights of the event: Keynote Speaker, Awards and the “Latino Dessert Reception”
This year we invited Nathalie Molina Niño as Keynote Speaker of the Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch.
With simplicity and emotion, Nathalie shared her journey as a granddaughter of an Ecuadorian female immigrant who had made a promise, to bring her five children one by one to the United States.
Nathalie’s abuela was a seamstress. Working innumerable hours at the sewing machine, she achieved her goal in the course of 20 years, Nathalie shared.
Through the excuse of “bad sight,” she used to engage Nathalie in reading to her a Spanish newspaper and in that way, her granddaughter acquired one of the most precious gifts immigrants and their descendants could have, which is bilingualism and biculturalism.
Nathalie is committed to the economic advancement of women in every environment, and has founded her company BRAVA Investments to achieve, like her grandmother, her promise.
Opening doors for Latinas in Business Inc
Every year, we have two special awards to those who support Latina entrepreneurs and open doors for us. This year, we granted the Latina Leader Award to Patricia Campos-Medina, President of LUPE PAC, and founder and CEO of Patricia Campos Strategic Group LLC; and the Lifetime Supporter Award to Aquiles Larrea, Founder and CEO of Larrea Wealth Management, and author of the successful “Empanada of Success,” a book totally dedicated to the economic and financial advancement of Latinos.
Patricia has played an important role in connecting Latinas in Business to many political and economic figures of relevance in the State of New Jersey, among which was the connection to New Jersey Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver. Ms. Oliver gracefully attended our Town Hall Latina Business Meeting back in September, hosted by Major Wilda Diaz of Perth Amboy. She responded to questions and concerns of a group of Latina entrepreneurs about the vision of this Administration to advocate for their advancement.
Aquiles has been a backstage, frontstage and permanent supporter of Latinas in Business. He has actively dedicated his time to participate at our events and made important connections with media and organizations for us.
For these generous efforts we will always be grateful to both our 2018 honorees.
El “broche de oro” at the 2018 Latina SmallBiz Expo
Finally, “el broche de oro” was the fantastic and delicious Latino Dessert Reception served by faculty and students of the Institute of Culinary Arts at Hudson County Community College.
I believe the students were a little overwhelmed by the satisfaction and gestures of interest that all attendees and participants showed during the reception. Here’s a list of deliciousness: Alfajores, Quesillo, Mil Hojas, Arroz con Leche, Pastelitos, Brigaderos, Chocotorta, Postre Chaja,Dulce de Higos(Figs), and Passion Fruit Merigue Tart. What a treat!
You might be interested: 8 Latina entrepreneurs from NJ, NY and TX at Latina SmallBiz Expo Pitch Competition
Next week, we will bring comments and recap of this year’s Pitch Competition. Don’t miss it as we will continue to show photos and moments of this fantastic event.
See here Survey Results
Thanks again to all who continue to support us year after year, and those who are newcomers who can see how together we can achieve great results!