Announced each fall as part of Hispanic Heritage Month, ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals For America) Most Powerful Latinas list highlights 50 of the most powerful and influential Latina entrepreneurs, trailblazers in business, leadership, and civic engagement. These women empower and encourage the next generation of Latina leaders to reach their full potential.
Here are 5 Powerful Latina entrepreneurs from this year’s list you should know!
Patty Arvielo is a Latina entrepreneur and the Co-Founder and President of New American Funding. A self-made entrepreneur with over 40 years experience in the mortgage industry, Patty co-founded the nation’s largest Latina-owned mortgage company, New American Funding.
A first-generation Hispanic American, Patty learned the value of hard work from her mother, who built a successful cleaning business in California. At age 16, Patty entered the workforce with an entry-level clerical position and soon landed a job at a prominent mortgage company, where she would rise through the ranks to become assistant vice president. Finally, in 2003, she decided to take the leap and launch her own mortgage firm, which is now the largest Latina-owned private mortgage company in the nation, appearing on Inc. 5000’s list of Fastest Growing Companies in America seven times.
With a focus on diversity, inclusion, and equality, the company has created and fostered an inclusive workplace environment that respects and appreciates differences among employees. Additionally, Patty created the Latino Focus and New American Dream initiatives, which aim to increase lending to underserved and minority communities.
Andrea Lisbona is the Founder and CEO of Touchland, an award-winning lifestyle brand set up to elevate mundane personal care routines into skincare rituals that people look forward to, bridging fashion, beauty and personal care.
Andrea’s entrepreneurial journey began in Barcelona in 2010 when she decided to revolutionize the commoditized industry of hand sanitizers and take hand hygiene to a whole new level. Then, in 2017, she and her team decided to cross the ocean and take over the world from the United States. Today, Touchland is the leading skin-forward hand sanitizer brand, and is the most awarded hand sanitizer. It has been distributed in more than 1,500 doors in the USA such as Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, ULTA and many more.
“Being successful sometimes is the result of failing many times,” says Andrea to other aspiring entrepreneurs. “Fortunately, there are a lot of people in business looking to uplift and help each other. It’s important to find your tribe. Find collaboration over competition. It will take time, but it is worth it!”
Beatriz Acevedo is a leading inspirational voice and Latina entrepreneur who has dedicated her career to creating opportunities in an effort to influence authentic and positive depictions of Latinos in society.
She began her career as a young radio and television host. Her work has earned her three Emmy Awards, an MTV Music Video Award, two Streamy Awards, a Media Correspondent Award, among others.
As an entrepreneur, Beatriz was the co-founder and President of mitú, the leading digital media brand for young Latinos in the U.S. Under her leadership, she went on to raise $52M in funding, led by some of the most successful venture capital groups in California. The mentorship initiatives that she created through her Accelerator Program, have also provided invaluable access to the next generation of multicultural storytellers.
Currently, Beatriz is the President of her family’s foundation, Acevedo Foundation, which has focused on elevating, educating, and empowering the next generation of Latino leaders for the past 30 years.
Her latest Fin-tech start-up Suma Wealth focuses on empowering Latinos via in-culture financial content, fintech products, and experiences to gain control of their economic power and build wealth.
Samara Mejia Hernandez is a Latina entrepreneur and the Founding Partner of Chingona Ventures, an institutionally-backed pre-seed stage fund. Chingona Ventures invests in technology and technology-enabled companies all across the U.S. As the Founding Partner, Samara is responsible for deploying institutional capital to fund early-stage companies as well as supporting the portfolio companies. Additionally, Samara is responsible for sourcing investment opportunities and building relationships with early-stage investors as well as other private investors.
She also co-founded the Latinx Founders Collective organization bringing together Latinx founders, investors, and community leaders to support the entrepreneurial / startup ecosystem. Samara is an active member of Latinx VCs, a San-Francisco based group of experienced venture investors coming together to connect, engage, and foster the Latinx VC ecosystem. Samara is actively involved in the Chicago tech community and passionate about helping underrepresented groups get into STEM education, venture capital and entrepreneurship.
Throughout her career, Samara has coached, mentored and trained graduate and undergraduate interns. Many of these interns went on to launch an entrepreneurial venture or became investors. Samara mentors numerous aspiring VCs and entrepreneurs to break into VC or secure capital. She is notorious for referring exceptional candidates that may be overlooked in a traditional hiring process.
“In March 2020, the world and our industry experienced a seismic shift from the impact of the global pandemic. Pandocap focuses on making the capital markets more accessible and easy to understand. We have an emphasis on accessibility and relevance to what is driving the markets offering bilingual content,” says Laura.
As former Managing Director for New Listings & Capital Markets at Nasdaq, Laura helped companies and entrepreneurs navigate from private to public markets. Prior to Nasdaq, she was a top sales executive at Salesforce, and her background includes 10+ years at other financial firms including TD Ameritrade and Sungard.
Between finance and tech roles, Laura founded Ladada, one of the first startup fashion subscription services that featured emerging new designers.
Her passion for building a resilient world, broadening access to economic parity for women, especially minorities inspires her work every day.
“We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change.” As a prior entrepreneur, I am passionate about driving change and encouraging my long-time dream of empowering women.”
About ALPFA – ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals For America) is the first national and largest Latino professional association in the United States, established in Los Angeles in 1972. Throughout our 50-year history we have experienced steady growth and demonstrated consistent value. ALPFA continues to build upon its proud legacy with a mission: To empower and develop Latino men and women as leaders of character for the nation, in every sector of the global economy.
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