Innovative attitude: the 7 keys to becoming an innovative entrepreneur

Take your business venture to the next level by embracing the innovative attitude and becoming a successful, innovative entrepreneur.  

In the 21st century we live in an increasingly competitive and constantly moving market; the challenge of any successful venture is to be able to position itself in that context. As consumers we are more demanding, we want the best, in the shortest possible time, and at the lowest possible price. Technology and social media have determined new work standards and those who cannot rise to those standards run the risk of being left out of the competition.

innovative entrepreneur

Daniela De Lucia, Certified Strategic Coach, entrepreneur in personal and professional development, and personal branding specialist. 

Today, as much as it hurts us to say it: entrepreneurs who do a bad job will not even be able to start; entrepreneurs who do a good job will go out of business; entrepreneurs who do a very good job will get mediocre results; entrepreneurs who do excellent work will get very good results. Only entrepreneurs who do extraordinary work will obtain excellent results that will lead to success.

How does one become an extraordinary entrepreneur? The answer is innovation. Innovation results in extraordinary products or services that enable us to achieve success in the market today.

In the 21st century, resistance to change is not an option, every entrepreneur must develop their attitude and innovative capacity to meet the demands and changes of the market.

We could say then that innovation is one of the consequences of raising work standards towards the extraordinary, which implies finding and offering solutions out of the ordinary.

Just as there is the entrepreneurial attitude as a great umbrella that frames the skills of an entrepreneur, within it there is the innovative attitude. The innovative attitude is a basic characteristic of every entrepreneur, but the degree of intensity varies in each case.

There are no innovative ventures, only innovative people. If you want to take the next step in your business by innovating or want to create an innovative business, stop focusing on market opportunities and begin to focus on developing the skills to be ready to detect the needs in a new reality and have the ability to create something to satisfy them.

Innovative people take the pre-existing and redesign it with the goal of improving it, or in some cases create something entirely new. Innovation results in tools created by human ingenuity to improve the quality of life for millions of people.

There would be no Apple without Steve Jobs; there wouldn’t be a Tesla without Elon Musk; There would be no Amazon without Jeff Bezos. But what is even more important is that not all these companies would exist without customers who love their products and services. So these innovative geniuses understood the needs of their customers and offered innovative solutions. The key then is not only innovation, but finding and offering an innovative solution aimed at meeting the needs of people–of many, many people.

The 7 keys to becoming an innovative entrepreneur

Always look forward and up

Innovation is highly related to continuous improvement. Innovative people don’t settle for what’s out there, they always want to go for a little more.

Constant fighters of “It was always done like this” seek change to improve standards in their results, and thus deliver more efficient solutions to the market. Innovators are fine, but they want MORE, and move up and forward. That is why innovators are often portrayed as positive and somewhat restless people. Having a positive attitude is essential for any area of ​​life and any business. In order to innovate, it is necessary to not only have a positive attitude, but a constant attitude of personal and professional improvement that spreads to the business. Wanting to grow and improve is then almost more important than having a positive attitude to innovate.

Innovators are Mad Hatters

Most people do not even dare to dream something if they do not know how to achieve it. In many of my inquiries I ask questions such as: Would you like your business to expand throughout the country? And the most common answer is “I don’t know, I can’t even imagine it, I wouldn’t know HOW to do it.” I call this “the tyranny of the HOW”. It happens when we let not knowing how to do something limit our creative capacity. We let uncertainty and the lack of concrete answers limit our ability to dream and create a new reality from it. Innovative people ask the HOW at the end of the process and not at the beginning. When we really want something, we find all the Hows along the way, when we walk.

The right questions to foster our innovative spirit are: Why? Why not? What if …? What would happen if…?

Every great invention was first a great dream of someone who dared to dream and fantasize big.

The mad hatter in the book Alice in Wonderland says, “Sometimes I think six impossible things before breakfast”, this is an exercise that encourages our creativity, awakens our dreaming spirit and leads us to start the day thinking differently.

Innovative entrepreneurs are futuristic

Creative personalities are often confused with innovative ones. Creative people have the ability to create new realities, they have many ideas, flexibility in their approach; but an innovative person has something else, which is that they are seekers of change whose gaze is oriented to the future with the aim of finding and providing solutions to society. While the creative person may be left alone in the present and create a wonderful piece of art or isolated idea, the innovator goes much further. The innovator has a vision and purpose for change; and seeks to disrupt entire industries and its creations can impact future generations. Sustainability and innovation are highly related.

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Innovators play devil’s advocates

Innovative entrepreneurs often have the attitude of “Devil’s Advocate.” They go against the established and always look at a reality from different perspectives. “When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect,” says Mark Twain. If we want to innovate, if we want to achieve something different, we must lead ourselves to think differently and question what is established. It is useless to see reality and think like most when we want to create something new. It is for this reason that the most diverse work teams are the most effective when it comes to innovating. We are not used to dissent, they taught us that good work teams are those in which the members are all the same and agree on everything. In the twentieth century school, few were the brave who dared to raise their hands to say that they did not agree with the teacher or that they had not understood the explanation. The reality is that it was not well seen to interrupt and much less to disagree on something. Some of us have even been punished for it. 

We are trained to think and work in “series” in the Fordist style, it is up to us to promote our innovative attitude because perhaps it does not come naturally to us. To foster an innovative spirit then we must take ourselves to different places, talk with people who think differently from us, and above all, question what is established. The status quo is what we must challenge to innovate. Highly innovative people are curious, dreamy, and tend to question what other people accept without even thinking that there may be the possibility of change.

Innovative entrepreneurs are attentive servers

Innovation is not fun, it is not creativity, it is having an eye on today’s society to understand it better than anyone else and create solutions that increase their well-being, comfort, or even happiness.

Far from being scientists locked up in their offices, innovators have to go out into the world in order to innovate. The first mistake an entrepreneur who wants to innovate makes is to focus on their own needs instead of paying attention to the needs of others. The second mistake is paying attention to the needs of a small group of people, generally loved ones, family & friends; which is almost the same as looking at your own needs. The successful innovative entrepreneur focuses on the macro, on society and the plurality of needs, and above all, on the contribution that their product / service will make in their lives.

Innovative people are very observant and attentive to details and how others behave: from their emotions and motivations, to their most basic needs. Empathy is a fundamental tool to understand how to devise solutions to improve the quality of life. This ability is achieved by observing and listening to the client, or future client, putting their needs above ours first.

Innovators are gurus

They say that the guru is that person who makes us see simple truths that we could not see for ourselves. Innovators do something similar, in general, when we see something innovative that improves our life we ​​think: Why didn’t I think of it? The simpler and user-friendly a product is, the more innovative it is. One of the world’s leading innovators Elon Musk says, “If you need an instruction manual, it’s already broken.”

The innovative attitude is characterized by the simplicity in the search for solutions that is reflected in the final product or service. Innovation simplifies life, never complicates it. To innovate, the key is to stop thinking about “twisted” ideas and start looking for obvious solutions that until now seemed impossible to satisfy.

Humility is another of the characteristics of great innovators, it allows them to have an attitude of eternal learners where they always find the place to improve and learn something new. Who doubts nothing, knows nothing and does not allow themselves to grow. The flexibility, simplicity and humility of the innovative entrepreneur gives them the necessary openness to discover new opportunities, receive constructive opinions about their work and as a consequence grow a little more every day.

Innovators just do it

Many people have ideas, but there are few who bring those ideas to the plane of reality. What differentiates innovative entrepreneurs is that they make, prototype, and test their ideas in the marketplace. Doing, learning, and redoing is part of the innovation implementation process. The innovative attitude is a constant exploration of opportunities in thinking, and above all, in doing. The innovator makes his way by walking and builds his new reality at each step. Opportunities and inspiration arise from doing, and not from waiting for it to happen.

This article was originally written in Spanish by Daniela De Lucia. Translated for Latinas in Business by Victoria Arena. 

About the author: Daniela De Lucia holds a Cum Laudae Degree in Public and Institutional Relations and Postgraduate Degree in Neuro Linguistic Programming and Coaching from Austral University. She is a Certified Strategic Coach with Tony Robbins (Robbins Madanes Trained Coach), entrepreneur in personal and professional development, personal branding specialist, and communicator on Instagram with a community of more than 100k followers.

How Chavez Web Design is helping to grow small businesses

Chavez Web Design, LLC is a one-stop-shop for all your digital marketing needs. They help small businesses create their logo, videos, business cards, website, Google Ads, Search Engine Optimization, and social media marketing. They understand that every business is different and are committed to helping small businesses grow and accomplish their goals.

Noemi Chavez, owner and founder of Chavez Web Design. (Photo courtesy Noemi Chavez)

As “Growth With Google” partners and SBDC (Small Business Development Center) consultants, they also work to educate the small business community on how to promote their business with Google, and run their business more efficiently. 

Their goal and mission is to help organizations reach their growth goals through effective digital marketing strategies.

Chavez Web Design’s small business roots 

Chavez Web Design was founded by Noemi Chavez in 2008 when she became pregnant with her first child. What began as a small side business to earn some extra money has now become a successful full-time family business that she runs with her husband, Luis. 

“I was excited about the idea of spending more time with my son and making some extra money to support our little family at the same time,” says Noemi. “I quickly discovered that owning a business was pushing me to grow and to create new opportunities to help other small businesses. My passion for helping others allowed us to help over 600 businesses with their website and digital marketing.” 

Noemi is driven by her clients’ success and she truly understands the struggles of starting a small business because she’s been there herself. 

“Opening a new business is hard,” she says, reflecting back on her own struggles.

When she first began, finding clients was not easy, especially being a Latina woman entering a male dominated field.  

“At first, every prospect I visited asked me for work samples, and at that time, I didn’t have any,” says Noemi. “In 2008, I was knocking on doors every day of every week, but still no clients. Keeping myself motivated was not easy after getting that much rejection.”

However, these setbacks did not stop her and finally, after many months, she got her first client and doors began to open. 

“He introduced me to his friends and I started getting some momentum. But the biggest breakthrough was when I got introduced to the local chamber. It was perfect for me because all of the small business owners were there! They had the opportunity to learn about what I do, and I was going to help them with their business.”

Luis and Noemi Chavez, accepting award. (Photo courtesy Noemi Chavez)

Since then, Chavez Web Design has grown and helped hundreds of businesses reach their goals and succeed. The success stories are what motivate and inspire Noemi. 

“Nothing is more satisfying than hearing our client’s success stories after helping them with their marketing strategies,” she says. “We love what we do and we bring the result to our clients. What makes our company unique is that I have a sincere interest in having your business excel.” 

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Grow your business: Plan your work and work your plan 

For Noemi, success is helping others succeed. She strives to make her business a warm and welcoming place for clients and takes the time to really get to know them and understand their needs so that she can help them create strong businesses that can survive any situation. She is also committed to promoting education in the small business community by providing them with access to one-on-one training and tools to grow their businesses.

Chavez Web Design, digital marketing

Chavez Web Design, specializing in digital marketing and design for small businesses. (Photo courtesy Noemi Chavez)

One story Noemi shared with us was of one of her students named Olga, who Noemi helped launch her dream business.

“I met Olga Duran in one of my Google classes,” says Noemi. “She was super excited to be there! She was working at an orange packing house for the last 25+ years but her dream was to open a flower shop. She started to follow my classes at every place I had a teaching event, even though she had never been 25 miles away from her city!”

“She finally found the courage to register her business and open the doors. In her first month, she doubled her salary by running a business that she loves! Stories like hers make us want to keep improving. We want to provide the best service to see dreams come true every day.”

Success stories like Olga’s remind us that our dreams are possible, we just need to take the leap and not be afraid to seek help.

Noemi says to any aspiring entrepreneurs, “Forget about the fear of starting a business and start getting educated. Find people and organizations that can guide you to make better decisions. Do not listen to people that have never run a business.” 

Too often we stop ourselves from making a move out of fear or lack of knowledge, but there are people out there like Noemi ready to help you navigate the world of business. Success is possible. Your dreams are possible.

“Start by creating a business plan. Remember to plan your work and work your plan,” Noemi says. “Set up the right expectation of what you are getting into and most important: Be flexible and adapt your strategies according to the results that you are getting. Don’t wait for the perfect moment because it will never arrive. Just work with what you have. And good luck! “

5 Steps to build an employee branding strategy

If you want to build a remarkable employee branding strategy but don’t know where to start, here is a short guide for you.

entrepreneur empoerment

2019 Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch announces keynote and celebrity speakers   

The 2019 Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch will present Founder and Designer of Cenia New York as Celebrity Speaker. Cenia will do a dress giveaway for one lucky attendee. The winner will be announced at the event and will schedule a date to visit the Cenia New York showroom in New York City. 

entrepreneur empowerment lunch

Cenia Paredes, celebrity designer and founder, Cenia New York will be Celebrity Speaker at the 2019 Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch (Photo courtesy Cenia New York)

The Latinas in Business 2019 Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch (EEL) is shaping up to be the event of the year for small business owners. The “Beauty, Health, and Wealth: Taking Charge of Our Lives” event, co-hosted by Hudson County Community College (HCCC) and produced by 3L Communiqué, will welcome dynamic speakers and honorees for an opportunity to learn, connect and succeed! The 2019 EEL takes place Thursday, June 13 from 9 am to 2 pm at the college’s Culinary Conference Center, 161 Newkirk St, Jersey City, NJ 08736.

entrepreneur empowerment lunch

First Lady of New Jersey Tammy S. Murphy invited as Keynote Speaker (TBC) for her involvemment in women and children’s health initiatives. (Photo credit: NJ.gov)

First Lady of New Jersey Tammy S. Murphy has been invited as Keynote Speaker (TBC) for her involvement in women and infant’s health initiatives. Speakers also include Celebrity Speaker designer and founder of Cenia New York, Cenia Paredes, as well as a Fireside Chat with actress, TV writer and producer, women’s advocate and creator of StorySharing, Ivana De Maria.

Mayor Wilda Diaz of the City of Perth Amboy will receive a special recognition as a “Small Business Champion” for her distinguished work in building the city’s Business District.

In addition, 16 Latinas will be awarded for exceling at growing their businesses and building community around them.

For additional information and registration: Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch

 

Raising the bar for women entrepreneurs

“Latinas in Business Inc. is once again raising the bar to discuss the topics that provide entrepreneurs with key tools needed for small business success,” said Susana G Baumann, President and CEO of Latinas in Business Inc.. “This year’s theme is reflective of one of the fastest growing industries in the United States – Wellness- a trillion-dollar market broadly dominated by women entrepreneurs,” she said.

However, not all these businesses provide the financial wellbeing that entrepreneurs deserve for their efforts. Many struggle to get ahead in these highly competitive industries or markets. Some have accomplished certain degree of success but have reached a plateau and need to shake things up to get to the next level.

Most of them want to better their physical, mental or financial well-being and reclaim their natural beauty and vitality, re-establish balance and fulfillment. They want to take charge of their lives and businesses to achieve financial freedom while breaking away from negative stereotypes.

“Once again, the 2019 EEL is an educational and promotional event that continues to attract successful Latinas and other minority women entrepreneurs from different industries. They are invited to speak about their journeys, the obstacles and barriers they overcame, and how they have achieved success. Women in general -and Latinas in particular-need to see and hear from those peers, and believe that they can also succeed,” Baumann said.

For information and registration, click on the image.

Bilingual workshops at the Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch

Workshops at the 2019 EEL are based on “peer-to-peer” knowledge sharing. Experts in each field are also invited to provide additional information to help build a solid foundation for attendees’ small businesses. This year, in addition to 6 workshops in English, 2 workshops in Spanish have been added.

“We have selected topics like branding, funding, and business strategies that were very popular last year at the Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch. Other topics include marketing products to major buyers, healthy consumer trends and how technology is disrupting the wellness industry,” Baumann explained.

For additional information and registration: Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch

Cenia Paredes, Celebrity Speaker at the Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch announces giveaway
entrepreneur empowerment lunch

One lucky winner will visit the Cenia New York exhibit room to pick up her prize (Photo courtesy Cenia New York)

“We are honored and grateful to have the presence of Cenia Paredes as Celebrity Speaker in this year’s Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch,” Baumann said. “She caters to the woman who embraces her curves, is sassy, self-secure and wants to look tastefully sexy and radiant no matter what size or body shape. At Latinas in Business, we support women’s self-acceptance and encourage them to stay away from negative stereotypes.”

In 2011, Cenia was chosen among 900 companies as one of the 22 participants of The Workshop At Macy’s, and she was one of 4 vendors chosen to launch her product in selected stores in the June’12. Since then, Cenia has expanded her distribution to specialty stores globally and has expanded her line to include a highly successful denim line with her patent pending Cenia Convi Jean. In the Spring of 2016, Cenia’s debuted on Shopping Life 24 in Russia and HSN in the USA.

In addition to inspiring entrepreneurs and providing advice on getting brands noticed by corporate entities, Paredes will do a dress giveaway for one lucky EEL attendee. The winner will be announced at the event and will schedule a date to visit the Cenia New York showroom in New York City to pick up their prize.

“I’m an entrepreneur who knows all too well what it takes to obtain success as a small business owner,” said Paredes. “I’m honored to be this year’s Celebrity Speaker at the Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch. After dedicating years to building my brand and expanding my designs, it gives me great pleasure to pass on some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way.”

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Join us for an open discussions, interactive panels and peer-to-peer sharing with successful Latinas and other women entrepreneurs who took charge of their lives and their businesses in these very competitive industries, and the companies and organizations that are disrupting the wellness industry with products, services and technology.

Ignite your passion to achieve your ideal beauty, health, and finances. You will gain a clear and deep understanding of what truly motivates you and work toward your own personal and entrepreneurial breakthrough.

For additional information and registration: Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch

strategic alliances

The Power of WE NYC and four Latina entrepreneurs building strategic alliances to succeed

The Power of WE NYC presented a panel “en español” leading to discuss the topic of “Building Strategic Alliances”(Construyendo Alianzas Estratégicas). WE NYC (Women Entrepreneurs NYC) is an initiative based out of the New York City Department of Small Business Servicesdedicated to helping women start and grow their businesses.

The Power of WE NYC Spanish Panel (L to R) Diana Franco, WE NYC; Susana G Baumann, Latinas in Business Inc.; Juanita Galvis, The Assemblage; Bisila Bokoko, BBES International; Sarah Valdovinos, Walden Green Energy; and Rosario B. Casas, VR Americas.  (Photo Credit: Afrikanspot.nyc)

“While there are almost 359,000 women entrepreneurs in NYC and women contribute approximately $50 Billion annually in revenue,” says WE NYC,  “according to our research, men own 1.5 times the number of businesses, have 3.5 times the number of employees, and generate 4.5 times the amount of revenue.”

strategic alliances

Diana Franco, Director, WE NYC (Photo Credit: Afrikanspot.nyc)

I was grateful for the opportunity to be invited as a panel moderator for this event, and to be able to meet with the WE NYC team led by Diana Franco, Director, Women Entrepreneurs NYC. In her remarks, Diana prompted the audience -mostly Spanish speaking entrepreneurs or to-be entrepreneurs- to think of strategic alliances and partnerships as ways of building and expanding their businesses rapidly and more effectively.

strategic alliances

Susana G Baumann, Founder, President and CEO, Latinas in Business Inc.

As explained on their event’s brief, “The WE NYC research conducted in 2015, found that 75% of the WE cited the lack of business networks as a challenge. Creating these networks will be especially helpful to obtain clients and build partnerships. There is no better approach to solving challenges than the famous saying ‘two heads are better than one,’ harnessing the strengths and abilities of others from different corners of the ecosystem is one of the most strategic ways for businesses to scale.”

How hard is it to be a Latina entrepreneur?

We know how difficult it is to be an entrepreneur … Moreover, when you carry what I call “the triple qualifier”: being a woman, an immigrant –or a descendant of immigrant parents or grandparents– and a Latina … working and struggling to sustain and grow your business.

We had the opportunity to listen and interact with a panel of women entrepreneurs who benefited from different types of strategic alliances and collaborations and with them facilitated the success of their respective companies.

Juanita Galvis: An enterprise based on collaborations
strategic alliances

Juanita Galvis, co-founder and Chief of Social Impact, The Assemblage. (Photo Credit: Afrikanspot.nyc)

Juanita Galvis is Co-Founder and Head of Social Impact of The Assemblage, spaces of co-participation designed specially to promote growth, creativity, and personal and business well-being. These spaces can be used for work, community building and even flexible stays and event production and promotion.

The vision of Juanita’s company describes the values ​​that sustain their model as: collaboration, innovation, relaxation, growth, balance and impact. In the topic of collaboration, for example, they mention the assembly or connection with other creatives, leaders and entrepreneurs to develop projects that inspire social change and disrupt the established order.

Juanita spoke about her biggest challenge, which is a to be part of a family business with her ex-husband. “We have created a different type of relationship between us,” she said, “personal and professional. We established certain rules and we defined our areas of expertise so decisions are made that way. It is not impossible,” she explained.

Rosario B. Casas: Technology and strategic alliances
strategic alliances

Rosario B. Casas, Co-founder, VR Americas.  (Photo Credit: Afrikanspot.nyc)

Rosario B. Casas is Co-Founder and CEO of  VR Americas, a company dedicated to expanding the borders of immersive technologies –Virtual Reality, Augmented, Mixed– in industrial applications. Rosario is a Colombian entrepreneur based now in New York with more than 7 years of practical experience in data and technology platforms and management roles.

She is also an enthusiastic advocate for growth of Women in Technology (STEM), co-founder of several strategic partnership models, member of the Big Data Advisory Board at Rutgers University, and has been a lecturer at TEDx, The World Summit on Innovation and Entrepreneurship , and The World Innovation Network TWIN Global, among others.

In addition to its virtual reality products, perhaps the most well-known project of VR Americas was the Telemundo AR campaign for the 2018 World Cup. Through an application, fans of the world could follow and support their favorite teams and players, witness crucial moments of the championship, share it in networks and even play with their favorite effects.

Rosario explained how she started her virtual reality company with two partners that understood their roles. “One is a nerd like me,” she said,” the other one is our out-and-about person, who finds clients partners.”

As a company that needs to develop a portfolio of present customers and at the same time increase the capacity of their company with a vision to the future, they are constantly looking at who their potential clients are and who can benefit from the technology they offer. “Remember that you need to solve a problem, a ‘pain’ that your customers cannot resolve by themselves,” Rosario said.

strategic alliances

Sarah Valdovinos, Co-Founder, Walden Green Energy.  (Photo Credit: Afrikanspot.nyc)

Sarah Valdovinos: Access to strategic capital

Sarah Valdovinos is Co-Founder of Walden Green Energy, a company focused on renewable energy projects. In addition to her work at Walden, Sarah makes investments in companies that fight climate change, including solar energy distribution companies in Latin America, charging station networks for electric vehicles, and other sustainable technology companies.

Previously, Sarah worked 10 years in investment banking. She entered the field of energy over twenty years ago at Southern California Edison. Sarah is first generation of a Mexican family, and she has also been the first of her family to graduate from college.

Getting capital from investors is one of the most important obstacles for all small businesses, especially for minority-owned companies. Many do not have the family network and social relationships that can become initial or angel investors.

Sarah defined early on that she was interested in sustainable energy but saw that money was an issue to achieve her goals. “I decided to pursue an MBA and work for a few years in the financial industry, where I not only acquired the knowledge to build my own business with two partners, but also the contacts and relationships I needed to fund my projects,” she explained.

Most impressive is Walden Green Energy’s rapid growth. In just 7 years, they started the construction of two projects that produce 150 MW of solar energy. “To give you an idea, it powers about 50,000 to 60,000 families,” Sarah explained.

Bisila Bokoko: Alliances for international expansion
strategic alliances

Bisila Bokoko, Founder, BBES International. (Photo Credit: Afrikanspot.nyc)

Bisila Bokoko is an award-winning bilingual speaker, television personality and advisor to world leaders. Bisila is the founder of BBES International,a business development agency based in New York that represents, promotes and markets brands to reach the global market. She also serves as an advisor to emerging leaders, providing guidance on personal branding and leadership that prepares them to move to the world stage and share their experience at a global market.

Bisila has shared her professional experience and her inspiring journey with audiences around the world during her 18-year career, and has been a presenter in diverse places such as the United Nations Organization in Switzerland, a keynote speaker in the Dominican Republic and in South Africa.

Bisila presents her company as a passport to other markets and she introduces herself as the “ambassador” of the brands she represents. “An Ambassador, like in real life, is someone who represents your brand with total knowledge and expertise about your company and is completely embedded in your company’s vision and goals. It is someone who can speak intelligently and convincingly to global strategic partners and get them interested in your product,” she explained.

BBES International mostly represent Spanish brands that have entered international markets such as Europe, South Africa, Latin America and the United States. “Before I take a new client and develop an international marketing strategy, we evaluate the company to see if they are ready for the jump, and the markets that best fit their needs,” she shared.

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The audience then got to make questions to these fantastic Latina entrepreneurs who are rapidly growing their businesses and sharing their experiences. We thanked them for their time,  it was truly an extraordinary panel about strategic alliances, and we learned from their successes!

strategic alliances

Q&A Session after the Building Strategic Alliances panel – Dr Ginny A. Baro. (Photo Credit: Afrikanspot.nyc)

 

Ramona Ferreyra

Latina entrepreneur Ramona Ferreyra wins 2018 Pitch Competition

Ramona Ferreyra, founder and owner of Ojala Threads, a Latina-owned company that produces infant bodysuits with feature designs inspired by Caribbean American heritage, colloquialisms, language, and experiences, is the winner of the 2018 Latinas in Business Inc. Pitch Competition.

Ramona Ferreyra pitch Competition

Ramona Ferreyra, founder of Ojala Threads, winner of the Latinas in Business Inc Pitch Competition (Photo credit: Americanonewspaper.com)

“We aim to authentically represent Hispanics, while equipping them with a tool that will make their heritage tangible, and shareable with the next generation. At Ojala Threads we understand that what our babies wear tell the world who they are. We don’t take this lightly. Our designs proudly reflect our Hispanic heritage and create the space for conversations inspired by then. We are hopeful that they will help parents, and grandparents, easily pass on to our youngest generation the best of us,” Ramona said.

Over 300 participants and visitors registered for the event that took place at the Culinary Conference Center in Jersey City, NJ. Co-hosting the event this year were the Hudson County Office of Business Opportunity and the Hudson County Community College.

“Every year, we see more solid and focused Latina entrepreneurs taking advantage of this opportunity to promote their products and services. We wanted to thank our sponsors, supporters and the fantastic media and sponsors Jurors who judged the competition,” said Susana G Baumann, President, CEO and Editor-in-Chief, Latinas in Business Inc.

The Expo featured 71 Latina and minority-owned small businesses, supporters and sponsors who helped promote the growing community of Latina entrepreneurs. “This year has been the most successful so far, with the majority of vendors being Latina-owned businesses. For us, this is the greatest achievement, to bring these innovative, creative and driven Latinas and their stories to the forefront,” Baumann explained.

Ramona Ferreyra

Expo Journal and Latina SmallBiz Expo Ticket

It was an emotional moment when the winner was announced. “I have participated in other pitch competitions before but never won because the audience was not ‘my people.’ I knew my proposition had value, but this recognition was only possible among you,” Ramona said.

Other two finalists were 3L Communique, a public relations, media and event production firm created by award-winning journalist and public relations veteran, Zayda Rivera., and LaDi, elegant maternity tops and baby shoes by fashion designer Laura Diaz-Alberto.

One of the highlights of the event was the “Latino Dessert Reception” offered by faculty and students of the Institute of Culinary Arts at Hudson County Community College.

“I invite the community to continue to support these #LatinasPoderosas and all vendors, that year after year come back because they see the value of our initiative,” Baumann said. “As part of their package prize, the winner and two finalists will be attending the Red Shoe Movement Signature Event in NYC and will meet national and international influencers and decision-makers that might help them advance their businesses.”

Ramona Ferreyra pitch Competition

Latino Dessert Reception offered by Hudson County College Institute of Culinary Arts Faculty and students (With Susana G Baumann, Left – Photo credit: Latinas in Business Inc.)

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Gladys cleaning services

Latina entrepreneur Gladys Vonglahn makes impact with cleaning services

Gladys Vonglahn, a Latina entrepreneur and the founder of Gladys’ Cleaning Service LLC, turned cleaning services into a passion for entrepreneurship and an established company in both residential and commercial services.

Gladys cleaning services

Gladys Cleaning Services use humor to entice their clients

Gladys began her business in 2003 cleaning homes and apartments, with the desire to turn her passion for cleaning into a career. Like many immigrants, Gladys came to the U.S. without much experience and could not speak English, but she did not let these obstacles stop her from her entrepreneurial ambition.

She began working in the cleaning business without much knowledge of professional cleaning, without access to capital, and with a language barrier. Little by little her business began to grow due to her constant dedication and from there she was able to structure her business into the company it is today.

The biggest obstacle she cites is the language barrier which made communicating with her clients difficult at the start of her business.

Gladys Vonglahn, founder and CEO of Gladys Cleaning Services

Gladys Vonglahn, founder and CEO of Gladys Cleaning Services

Though, it is thanks to these obstacles that Gladys became motivated to continue to push through them and constantly reinvent herself and adapt to the changes in her industry. “I have a good sense of humor and I use it to market my services and also create communication channels with my clients,” Gladys said. 

As a Latina small business owner she is very dynamic and multifaceted and she believes her flexible attitude and adaptability is one of her biggest strengths apart from her ambition. It is these qualities that have allowed her to continue to grow her business over the past fifteen years.

Alongside her entrepreneurial ambition is her genuine desire to help her clients. Her goal has always been to provide the highest quality service to her clients and adapt to their needs. “The customer is always right,” she says.  

She values her clients greatly and she shares one story with us about a special client.

In 2013, Gladys received a call from a potential client asking for her services. The client lived 60 miles away from Gladys and she unfortunately had to decline the job because she was unable to travel such distance to clean his home.

Later the client called back three more times asking her to come clean his house and that he would pay whatever was necessary. After insisting so much, Gladys decided she would make the trip. When she arrived at the house and the client opened the door she realized it was Jessie Armstead, a famous football player for the Giants. He thanked her so much for cleaning his home because he did not want anyone else to enter his house.

“I felt honored that he valued the service I provided so much and that he had the patience to wait for me to be available to schedule him,” she said. 

cleaning servicesGladys says her mission has always been and will always be to not only have a successful business but to also leave a legacy in her area of work. Seeing the impact of her work and how much she is appreciated by her clients motivates her to continue providing her services to others.

In addition to her business, Gladys also uses her life experience as a Latina woman who has been exposed to different cultures and social classes to give motivational speeches at Casa de Don Pedro to women who have been victims of domestic abuse. She also volunteers as Mantena Global Care and helps the Brazilian and hispanic communities in Newark.

Overall, Gladys hopes she can continue to help and inspire others through both her business and her volunteer work.

To other Latinas aspiring to start their own ventures she says, “I would like to motivate Latinas to  start their entrepreneurial dream. The hardest part is getting started….Little by little all is possible, and to do what one loves is not ‘work’ but instead it is a daily passion that you continue to feed throughout the years.”  

2018 Latina SmallBiz Expo

Presenters announced at the 2018 Latina SmallBiz Expo

Under the slogan “Learn, Connect, Succeed!” Latinas in Business Inc. has announced their 2018 Latina SmallBiz Expo and Pitch your Business Competition. The event will take place at the Hudson County Culinary Conference Center, 161 Newkirk St., Jersey City, NJ on November 8, 2018 from 12:00pm to 7:00pm.

2018 Latina SmallBiz Expo

Latinas in Business Inc., the national non-profit organization that advocates for the economic empowerment of the Latina working woman is joining efforts with the New Jersey Office of Business Opportunity (HC OBO) and Hudson County Community College (HCCC), both institutions co-hosting the event.

Latina SmallBiz Expo

Nathalie Molina Niño, CEO, BRAVA Investments

Keynote speaker will be Nathalie Molina Niño, founder and CEO of BRAVA Investments, and author of LEAPFROG, The New Revolution for Women Entrepreneurs(Tarcher Perigee, a Penguin Random House imprint). She is committed to delivering returns to investors while making a catalytic impact on women in the world. A technologist and coder by training, Nathalie is a consummate entrepreneur, and a storyteller at heart.

“Nathalie is an extremely accomplished Latina entrepreneur who led the launch of SELF MADE, the company, mobile app, learning platform and NY Times Best Selling book by Telemundo’s former Entertainment president, Nely Galan. We are extremely grateful for her generosity to participate at our Latina SmallBiz Expo this year, and bring her unapologetic vision for Latina entrepreneurs in the Northeast,” said Susana G Baumann, President and CEO, Latinas in Business Inc.

Mistress of Ceremony at the 2018 Latina SmallBiz Expo will be Jackeline Cacho, the Los Angeles two times Emmy Nominee journalist and producer of “Triunfo Latino,” the most popular educational show in the nation that features Latino leaders across the nation.

“Jackie Cacho is an internationally acclaimed Latina leader and a generous human being who tirelessly works at changing the narrative around Latinos in the US. She will be producing her ‘Triunfo Latino’ show during the event, and broadcast it in 40 cities around the country,” Baumann announced.2018 Latina SmallBiz Expo

Latina small businesses in the region are the driving force of many markets such as beauty, retail, clothing, telephone services, food and beverage, financial services and many more.

“An estimated 5,824,300 women-of-color-owned businesses employ 2,230,600 people and generate $386.6 billion in revenues in the United States. However, numbers for Latinas grew faster than the average rate for businesses owned by other women of color: 172%, equaling 2.1 million Latina-owned businesses,” Baumann said “To celebrate the power of Latinas, we have assembled our most ambitious event ever. We are committed to raising the bar for Latinas and other minority women entrepreneurs who are standing strong and building community around them every day,” she added.

For information and to register, please visit Latina SmallBiz Expo. For sponsorship and promotional opportunities, please contact Susana@latinasinbusiness.us/

You might be interested: Latina SmallBiz Expo Pitch Competition winners at Univision 41

About LatinasinBusiness.us
Latinas in Business Inc. is a national non-profit organization that advocates for the economic empowerment of the Latina working woman. Susana G Baumann, President, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of LatinasinBusiness.us is an award-winning business writer, published author, speaker and multicultural marketing expert. For this initiative, launched only four years ago, she has received the 2015 Hispanicize TECLA Award, the 2015 LISTA (Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology) Award, the 2017 Hispanic Lifestyle Latina of Influence Award and the 2018 Red Shoe Movement Leader Award.

Latina SmallBiz Expo Pitch Competition winner

Gain the ABC of business at the 2018 Latina SmallBiz Expo & Pitch Competition

The 2018 Latina SmallBiz Expo & Pitch your Business to the Media Competition pre-registration is now open!

Have you heard of the ABC of business? Do you want to gain..

  • ACCESS to new customers and contracts,
  • BRAND and promote your business, and
  • CONNECT with influencers and decision-makers?

Then get ready for a great treat this year! We have been working on it for the last two months and we are ready to launch a fantastic series of events to promote the 4th annual 2018 Latina SmallBiz and Pitch your Business Competition throughout the Tri-State area!

PRE-REGISTER HERE TO GET ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE 2018 LATINA SMALLBIZ EXPO AND PITCH YOUR BUSINESS TO THE MEDIA COMPETITION

 

2018, a year of growth for Latinas in Business Inc.

This year, LatinasinBusiness. us has become Latinas in Business Inc. and we are working at obtaining its non-profit status. We are more committed than ever to our mission and we are launching the 2018 Latina SmallBiz Expo Pre-event Marketing Campaign that will help promote the event in different cities and counties around the reach area.

2018 Latina SmallBiz Expo

Rafael Mata, Director, Hudson County Office of Business Opportunity

The excitement doesn’t stop there! We have received the support of the Hudson County Office of Business Opportunity, which will be co-hosting our Latina SmallBiz Expo and Pitch Competition on November 8.

“Hudson County Office of Business Opportunity is proud to partner with Latinas in Business Inc. to help fulfill our mission of empowering women and minority-owned businesses,” said Rafael Mata, Director of the HCOBO.

Kudos to Rafael for taking such a big step in the right direction, offering us guidance, advice and a home for our event this year!

We also count with the usual partnership of our Media Sponsor Univision 41. Gracias mi angel, Angel Vazquez Rivera, Director of Outreach and Community Development at Univision 41, who is always ready to extend a hand when needed. They will be providing promotion and presence at the event.

What’s new at the 2018 Latina SmallBiz Expo?

  1. The Pitch your Business to the Media Competition has officially opened on July 1st and it will open nationally! So get ready to  compete with all sorts of Latina entrepreneurs and also from all industries and states!
  2. Our Promotional Pre-event Campaign will include a series of planned networking events and also workshops for entrepreneurs. Latinas and any other small business owners can attend and learn, network and find information for a successful participation at the November 8 event. If you have an idea for an event in your city or town, please lets us know at hello@latinasinbusiness.us/
  3. To reward all participants of the Pitch your Business to the Media Competition, we will host a Make-Over Day, a fantastic mini-event to take place on October 30! A day of pampering for all participants and selection of the 10 finalists! Participants will get a hair and make-up transformation, and also receive gifts and prizes galore! Vendors and sponsors are welcomed for an opportunity to see these Latina entrepreneurs blossom!
  4. We have added an Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch with workshops in breakout rooms during the 2018 Latina SmallBiz Expo. Renown experts in entrepreneurial topics will be conducting workshops for you to learn and succeed as a small business owner. Everybody is invited to participate in these workshops!

So are you getting excited already?

Angel Vazquez, Univision 41 Media Jurors

Angel Vazquez Rivera, Director of Outreach and Community Engagement, Univision 41

This year, we are ahead of the game and we want to get out there and let the world now that Latinas are here to stay, to expand and to succeed! Get ready to receive plenty information about everything that is happening and how to register for the Pitch Competition. This will be our best year ever for the Latina SmallBiz Expo and Pitch your Business to the Media Competition

To participate or inquiry for sponsor or vendor opportunities, please contact Susana@latinasinbusiness.us/ or 848 238 6090.

You might be interested: Latina SmallBiz Expo Pitch Competition winners at Univision 41

 

Co-hosted by Hudson County Office of Business Opportunity and Media Sponsor Univision 41