5 Inevitable steps before launching a business

Launching a business often seems easier said than done. Our amazing and inspiring community of women entrepreneurs makes it seem effortless. Even when we hear how they struggled and the obstacles they had to overcome, it can still look like success came easy.

Or maybe that negative voice in your head, also known as imposter syndrome, is telling you that you don’t have what it takes to do what others have done. Maybe you feel that it’s easier for other entrepreneurs because they’re more skilled or more talented. But that’s far from the truth. We all are capable of success. If you want to learn the secrets to successfully launch your dream into a business, then read on as we share 5 key steps every aspiring entrepreneur needs to know.

“If you’ve been considering starting a business for some time, stop letting your fears and worries keep from making it a reality,” says Melinda Emerson, known to many as @SmallBizLady, on Small Business Trends.  She is a Veteran Entrepreneur, Small Business Coach and Social Media Strategist who hosts #Smallbizchat for emerging entrepreneurs on Twitter.

Manuel Martinez, president and CEO of the Los Angeles-based Success Training Institute, said, “preparation, preparation, preparation” are the three keys to successfully launching a business, during a  Money Talk on KCAA Radio segment.

While it seems prudent to launch a business during good economic times, “anytime is a good time to start a business,” said Martinez, who offers education and advice to small business owners. He said that success has less to do with the economy and more to do with being prepared. He stressed that the prepared entrepreneur will have the greatest shot at success even over well-established but ill-prepared competitors.

“Without proper market research and a solid business plan, a business is more likely to fail,” according to The Ultimate Small Business Guide. “The more advanced preparation that is done, the better the chances for success.”

launching a business, startup

Preparation is key before launching a business, according to expert Manuel Martinez. (Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash)

Being prepared means knowing as much as possible about a proposed venture. Entrepreneurs will significantly benefit from having firsthand experience with the type of enterprise being launched. Regardless of their business acumen, entrepreneurs who lack hands-on experience will be at a disadvantage over better prepared and informed competitors.

The following five key steps to help aspiring entrepreneurs prepare for a new business launch.

5 Key steps to launching a business

1. TRADE: Know the trade

Don’t assume that a decade working as a waitress or bartender provides the necessary insight and experience to successfully run a restaurant or bar of one’s own. There’s a lot more that goes on behind the scenes. Entrepreneurs need to know what it takes to run the entire operation.

Martinez encouraged entrepreneurs to “do something familiar,” adding, “Don’t do what you don’t know.” Those seeking to launch a business should spend time doing the work at a comprehensive level.

Entrepreneurs with no experience in a specific industry should seek a position to learn the business, spending sufficient time to learn about it from top to bottom. Once the doors of a new company are opened, plenty of day-to-day issues will pile up, without the owner having to learn the business from scratch.

2. LAUNCH: Understand exactly what launching a business entails

All small businesses require some form of licensing, such as a business permit, resale license or liquor license. Find out what necessary. Consult with a professional to learn the requirements. Reach out to organizations such as the SCORE and the Small Business Development Centers network of the Small Business Administration for free guidance.

FindLaw provides a list of commonly required licenses and permits, including state and local business licenses, registration for taxes, an occupational or resale license, a business name registration, and zoning, health, building and environmental permits. Business owners should carefully consider the licenses and permits required as well as the cost and time frames for approval.

3. COST: Estimate start-up costs

According to the Small Business Administration, “Since every business is different, and has its own specific cash needs at different stages of development, there is no universal method for estimating your startup costs.”

Entrepreneurs must create a budget and conduct a cash-flow analysis that begins with startup expenses, such as costs for permits and licenses, and extends past the anticipated break-even date. A business owner should determine needs versus wants when weighing where to spend cash and also allow for additional funds in case the break-even points arrives later than expected.

Appropriate cash management makes the difference between open and closed doors in the startup phase.

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4. BUSINESS PLAN: Create a business plan and follow it.

Starting a business and keeping it running is like maintaining a garden: To keep it healthy and producing fruit, it needs continual tending. Create a business plan and follow it daily, to develop the business, staff and products. Keep a finger on the company’s pulse and adapt.

“The importance of planning should never be overlooked,” according to TD Bank‘s website. “Taking time to create an extensive business plan provides you with insight into your business.”

5. RISKS: Manage risks.

“Make sure you are protected from anything that might take down your business that you worked so hard to build,” said Hunter Hoffmann, head of U.S. Communications at Hiscox Small Business Insurance of White Plains, N.Y., during a Money Talk radio interview.

“Entrepreneurs too often fail to properly insure their businesses,” noted insurance broker Dave Terpening Torrance, Calif., during an interview. “They roll the dice hoping for the best.”

“Insurance professionals can be great sounding boards to business owners,” he added. “An experienced insurance professional has seen and heard the horror stories and can advise new business owners on how to best create an affordable and effective risk management strategy.”


This article was originally written by Jesse Torres and published in 2015. It has been updated for relevancy. 

Rosario B. Casas shares how the pandemic has accelerated technology and tech trends to keep an eye on

Since the pandemic, businesses have been forced to adapt to the “new normal,” causing a huge rise in tech advancement, tech trends, and reliance on digital tools to thrive. 

Women-in-tech leader Rosario B. Casas is building a community for the digital transformation and business growth of Hispanic entrepreneurs. (Photo courtesy Rosario B. Casas)

During Latina in Business’ March virtual panel, “Latina Small Business Post-Covid: Recovery Resources and Trends,” panelists discussed how the pandemic has shifted our relationship with technology. Now more than ever, businesses are relying on digital tools to connect with customers, grow, and thrive. 

Rosario B. Casas, award-winning women-in-tech advocate and co-founder of Business Creative Partners, BCPartnersTech, shared some insights on recent tech trends that have emerged since the pandemic. 

The pandemic fueled huge leaps in tech advancement

Speaking with panel moderator, Pilar Avila, Latinas in Business executive board member and founder of Renovad Experiential Retreats, Rosario shared some insights into the world of tech. In our increasingly fast paced world, tech is always changing and growing. However the pandemic caused an even greater push to the pace of change. 

Rosario B Casas, Colombian born serial entrepreneur, Co-Founder of Business Creative Partners (BCPartnersTech), and award-winning women-in-tech advocate.

Rosario B. Casas 12:30 

Since the pandemic has started, we finally realized that the world is not going back to where we were before. It means that the pace of change will be increasing, like double every year. I mean, many technologies, and in the use of technology, the world advanced like 10 years, during the pandemic. It means companies finally understood that they can’t fuel their companies or can’t plan their companies without the use of technology to be more efficient. But with all this, and in every industry, if you see, we realize that sustainable energy is important. Finally, we get that point. And of course, many industries will need to update their sensors, their installations, everything. And with that, what comes is basically that training and education and learning is not anymore, an alternative, it’s a must. It is not possible to think that I will keep being myself with what I know today for the next years to come. 

Rosario emphasizes that going forward, as tech advancement continues, adaptation and lifelong learning will be a must, not just for individuals, but companies and organizations as well. For businesses to thrive, post-pandemic, and keep up with evolving tech trends they will need to start adapting and learning side-by-side with the changing technologies. 

Rosario B. Casas 14:30

It means acquiring new skills every day to be updated….And also upscaling, it means if I already know how to do this, how I’m jumping into the next level of training. And with that, I am sure that events like this are not only becoming part of that lifelong learning educational system in formal educational system, but of course, that people with kids and people with adults at their homes will fill that gap that they need to bridge with training and education in new ways that we were not imagining before.

Pilar Avila  15:19  

Amazing. So the growth trend, and the possibilities that technology and digital applications bring is not only about one sector of the economy or one function, it really goes across every function of business. But this topic of training and lifelong learning, has been absolutely transformed during the pandemic, thanks to the accessibility of technology. 

You might be interested: Innovative attitude: the 7 keys to becoming an innovative entrepreneur

Three key tech trends business owners and entrepreneurs should tap into

Pilar Avila 24:20

I want to hear a little bit more about how you know on the ground, you’re helping companies really coming to the digital age, and what are the trends, maybe certain applications beyond the workforce engagement that you might be observing that we need to be aware of and tapping? 

Rosario B. Casas  24:40  

Well, yes, sure. Thank you. When the pandemic started, and we started with my husband, seeing small businesses closing, we decided to create a program, a 10 weeks program for small business owners in order to help them acquire not only digital skills but also a digital mindset. And well Susana [Baumann] is one of our coaches, and we have 65 phenomenal mentors. But the idea is to create a community of Hispanic business owners both in the US and Latin America because also if small businesses are closing any of both geographies we are having huge issues….We need these businesses to keep thriving, growing. And of course, their leadership is growing in the new digital era. 

Where I see the three key [tech] trends: Ecommerce, for sure and E-services is a must. The second is, all the touchless economy, how we can grow the services and the systems without or avoiding the risk of touching and cleaning and acquiring or assuming all that cost that it implies. And Google has amazing tools for where technology companies can build things there. And the last thing that I think is Productivity and Personal Life, for sure, is a trend. We need business owners to learn how to be productive, how to use technology to make their life easier, how to automate processes, right. And basically, these three trends are where we are trying and helping business owners to acquire skills.

Through the 10-week incubator program, Brookly2Bogota, which is currently running in both New York and Colombia, business owners and entrepreneurs gain access to tools, mentors, networking, and training to accelerate the growth of their company in the new digital world post-COVID and carry out the digital transformation they require while acquiring knowledge and skills related to design thinking and agile methodologies.

The program is currently on its second cohort. For more information visit: brooklyn2bogota.mn.co/ 

parallel18

Parallel18 seeking startups for acceleration program: Apply now!

Parallel18 is a top-level, performance-driven international startup program with a social mission: offering entrepreneurs from all over the world access to high-quality business training, funding, and networks to help them scale globally while working to position Puerto Rico as a unique hub for innovative businesses and technology. 

parallel18

Parallel18 (Image via P18 Impact Report)

Interested in taking your startup to the next level?

Parallel18 is calling for startups to join Gen.9 of their international acceleration program. Applications for the next cohort are open now through May 10th. Interested startups can access the application here. Gen.9 cohort will start in August 2021 and will end in December 2021. 

parallel18, startups

Parallel18 is calling for startups!

Parallel18 is committed to making Gen.9 their most diverse generation yet and they are especially interested in supporting underrepresented entrepreneurs around the globe. Since Gen.5, female founders in P18 amount to no less than 42% of each cohort. Additionally, 61% of P18’s graduates are Latinos and 33% of their Matching Fund investments have been in female-led companies.

Chosen companies accepted into the cohort will have the opportunity to access a network of investors, business partners and contacts who work closely with entrepreneurs to tackle every key aspect of the company’s needs. In addition, they will receive a grant of US $40,000 – equity free – consulting and support during the 20-week program. Participating companies will also have access to the entire parallel18 community composed of the program alumni, a broad network of mentors, corporate clients and investors.

What parallel18 will provide for #P18Startups

parallel18, startups

What parallel18 can offer you. (Image via P18 Impact Report)

  • Funding: US $40K grant (NO EQUITY)
  • Curated network of active investors
  • Connections to multinationals, so they can generate business relationships that can help you scale.
  • Acceleration like no other: parallel18’s program offers amazing mentorship, and the team is always hands-on, helping startups boost their growth. 
  • Because P18 believes in them: they created a follow-on matching fund to invest in their startups. P18Ventures offers the opportunity to apply for US $75K as an investment in your company. P18 has already invested in 24 of their alumni. 
  • Perks for all: P18 works hard to have access to discounts on the services you need to get things going.

What parallel18 is looking for from startups

startups

Parallel18 cohort members.(Image via P18 Impact Report)

  • Traction: startups that already have sales or users that are willing to pay for their product are better served by P18’s program
  • Scalability: companies that have a product that can easily adapt to other markets
  • Early-stage startups: startups that have been operating for 3 years or less
  • Be able to participate in P18’s blended format: selected startups will have to come to Puerto Rico to open their commercial bank accounts. They can also be asked to come to the Island for specific opportunities. All of this can be subject to change depending on how the COVID-19 pandemic keeps developing. 
  • Have a plan for your performance in Puerto Rico: this includes hiring, acquiring customers, among others

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Still need more convincing? Parallel18 has worked with more than 200 companies from more than 10 diverse countries. So far, their alumni have raised US $126M in investment after finishing their program and P18’s team is focused on providing the best opportunities to ALL founders. 

If you think your startup would be the right first for parallel18’s program, then Apply Now! Deadline: May 10th, 2021.

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.

Business.NJ.gov

Business.NJ.gov now “en español” for Latinxs businesses in New Jersey

Governor Phil Murphy announced the launch of the Spanish language version of Business.NJ.gov — the State’s new digital front door for businesses looking to start, operate, and grow in the Garden State. The announcement comes as the State concludes Hispanic Heritage Month — a celebration of Hispanic and Latinx heritage, culture, and contributions, that spanned from September 15  through October 15.

Business.NJ.gov

Cover of the new Business.NJ.gov en Espanol

“Entrepreneurship and innovation are just a few of the many ways that New Jersey’s Hispanic and Latinx communities deeply contribute to the Garden State’s rich cultural landscape,” said Governor Murphy. “As we continue to modernize and streamline the State’s ability to serve our businesses, we must do so in a stronger and fairer manner — that means ensuring that our resources, programs, and services are accessible to as many people as possible.”

Launched earlier this year, Business.NJ.gov simplifies businesses’ experiences interacting with the State by consolidating critical information and resources from more than 15 different agencies into one easy-to-navigate “first stop” for businesses. Users can find information on financing options, assistance with obtaining permits and licenses, tax information, and guidance on business planning and marketing.

Business.NJ.gov

Planifique un negocio, one of the tools for startups (Courtesy Business.NJ.gov)

Connect via live chat with experts “en Espanol” on Business.NJ.gov

In addition to the fully-translated content, Business.NJ.gov also offers business owners the ability to connect via “live chat” with experts from the Department of State’s Business Action Center — this service will also be available for Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs by Spanish-speaking business experts.

“Experts at the Business Action Center help tens of thousands of businesses each year,” said New Jersey Secretary of State Tahesha Way. “Live chat has enabled us to deliver expert advice in a faster and easier way to all business owners, and the ability to deliver human-to-human service in a multitude of languages, including Spanish, ensures that we can assist entrepreneurs from all walks of life and backgrounds.”

A key feature of Business.NJ.gov is its constantly-evolving content — a cross-agency and multi-lingual team collaborates on a daily basis to ensure the site’s content is both up-to-date and serving the needs of New Jersey’s businesses. Complementary Spanish-language content is available the same day to ensure parity and opportunity across the State’s business community.

Inicie un negocio, one of the tools for startups (Courtesy Business.NJ.gov)

“Offering the user-friendly content and services on Business.NJ.gov fully in Spanish is one more step on the way to a modern, simplified, 21st-century experience for business owners in New Jersey,” said New Jersey State Chief Innovation Officer Beth Noveck. “Business.NJ.gov will continue to be the foundation of new, innovative services that cut across State bureaucracy to transform the experience of starting, operating, and growing a business in the Garden State.”

strategic alliances

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

“As Founder President and CEO of Latinas in Business Inc., I applaud the initiative to translate such an important tool for thousands of immigrant Latinx entrepreneurs and small business owners who do business in their mother tongue and serve their local communities. They come to this country in pursuit of the American Dream, and they encounter language and cultural barriers that prevent them to achieve their path to success. These resources are an excellent way to help them navigate the tools they need, and support them in achieving their goals, which in turn builds a stronger economy for all New Jerseyans,” said Susana G. Baumann.

“We applaud Governor Murphy for making tools available to our Hispanic business owners.  Hispanic businesses are the engine of the U.S. economy, starting new businesses at double or triple the pace even in a pandemic,”  Statewide Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey President Carlos Medina and Chairman Luis De La Hoz, said.

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Microsoft’s female founders competition awards $2M to Latina Tech-preneur

Latina tech-preneur Cecilia Flores, CMO and co-founder of IoT tech startup Webee, was recognized as the winner of the Female Founders Competition, winning $2M for her business. 

female founders competition

Cecilia Flores, CMO and Co-Founder at Webee (Photo courtesy Cecilia Flores)

Originally from Salta, Argentina but based in San Jose, California, Cecilia is a tech-preneur passionate about the social impact of disruptive technologies and innovation. An advocate for inclusion and equal opportunities for Women in Tech, she is an active mentor of Stanford Latino Entrepreneur, an active member of the Vital Voices Network since 2010, and a board member of We-Evolution, a non-profit that leads the women third revolution.

In 2013, Cecilia and her husband, Lucas Funes, co-founded Webee, a technology innovation company that develops IIoT (Industrial-Internet of Things) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) solutions for industrial and commercial markets. 

Webee was selected as a winner in the US Enterprise software category of the Female Founders Competition for its ability to achieve sustainable industrialization through easy-to-deploy solutions to reduce the impact of manufacturing processes on the environment. 

Backing Female Founders 

Did you know that last year, companies founded solely by women received less than 2% of the total capital invested in venture-backed startups? 

Unfortunately, despite it being well documented that women-led companies deliver higher returns over time than those founded by men, female entrepreneurs continue to receive significantly less access to capital. This is what the Female Founders Competition hopes to change.

The competition, organized by M12, Microsoft’s venture fund, and partnership with Melinda Gates’ Pivotal Ventures and Mayfield invested USD $6 million in four winners. Two winners–one global and one US-based startup–were selected in each of the two categories: Deeptech and Software as a Service (SaaS). Webee was one of two winners in the SaaS category, receiving $2M for her business, while Deeptech winners each received $1M. 

female founders competition

Weebee video can be seen at https://www.webee.io

“We look for founders that are willing to go the extra mile and commit to tackle important challenges in the world,” says Tamara Steffens, GM t M12 Venture Capital. “We saw in Webee a combination of a technological vision with  strong purpose and the willingness to make it happen. The expertise of its founders and the proven track record make it possible to achieve the goal of sustainable industrialization.” 

How Webee’s IoT tech is revolutionizing agriculture

One of the key components recognized by the Female Founders Competition judges was Webee’s mission of sustainability. Webee has specifically been working within the Food, Beverage, and Agriculture industry to help reduce ineffecient processes that lead to food waste.

Webee Corporations has developed a unique, no coding visual approach to building complex IoT applications for the industrial and commercial markets. Their products enable customers to benefit from IoT technology without impacting operations and obtaining an immediate return on investment. 

For those who may not be as familiar with the world of tech, IoT refers to the Internet of Things. IoT technology is defined broadly as “objects that ‘talk’ to each other.” It is everything connected to the internet. It’s about networks, devices, and data working together in communication. From your phone to smart-refrigerators, home security systems, and automated light fixtures, these all operate as part of IoT. 

So what does this have to do with agriculture? And how is Webee working to help the Food, Beverage, and Agriculture industry? 

Well, IoT has become a crucial component in the current agricultural industry, helping to eliminate food waste. 

“One-third of all food produced in the world every year goes to waste, and 40% of that comes from inefficiencies during manufacturing processes,” says Cecilia. “IoT is a key enabler of the ‘Third Green Revolution’ to achieve efficient production and sustainability.” 

The original Green Revolution has Latino roots, originating in Mexico during the 1940s. This first revolution began as a means to develop new, disease resistant crops. Through the use of technology, scientist Norman Borlaug began conducting research in Mexico to produce a disease resistant variety of wheat that would also produce a high-yield of crop. This technology then spread across the globe in the 50s and 60s, revolutionizing food production by allowing a single plant to produce far more crops than ever before.

Now, IoT is spearheading a new Green Revolution by helping to combat food waste in the manufacturing process through what is being called “smart farming.” 

Like our smartphone and smart-houses, smart farming is utilizing technology to make farming more efficient. By using a system of sensors, farmers are provided with a mobile application that receives input and data from the sensors. These sensors can be used for a variety of functions such as crop monitoring, watering, cattle monitoring, and greenhouse automation. With IoT, smart sensors collect information on the soil, which help assess the quality of the soil and crops. Smart sprinklers are also set to water plants when soil reaches a certain level of dryness. This helps reduce wasting water and is cost friendly as well. 

These are just a few of the many ways IoT technology is helping to revolutionize the agriculture industry. 

“We work tirelessly to continue our deployment to reduce the impact of the inefficient manufacturing processes on the environment,” says Cecilia. “Our mission is to democratize the adoption of disruptive technologies to achieve sustainable industrialization.” 

With the USD $2M investment from the Female Founders Competition, Webee will be continuing the expansion in the Food, Beverage, and Agriculture industry and help reduce the impact of Food Loss on the environment. 

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Webee and COVID-19 

In addition to their work in the Food and Agriculture industries, Webee has also been involved in helping industries across the globe transition their manufacturing processes during Covid-19. 

Since the Covid-19 outbreak began, we have seen industries across the globe impacted by the virus. Supply chains were quickly shut down worldwide causing many companies to re-examine their supply chains and how they will ensure continuity in the event of the next crisis. 

Technology, such as Webee’s IoT and AI tools, will be a key ally in this transitional process. Automation and AI can help take over the redundant tasks in the supply chain of production, reducing human error and allowing employees to stay safe at home with their families without disrupting the supply chain. 

Cecilia Flores and Lucas Funes with their daughter, Lisa. (Photo courtesy Cecilia Flores)

We are only seeing the beginning of where IoT tech will go. But in order to ensure future innovation and development, it is important that more companies follow in the footsteps of the Female Founders Competition to create opportunities for women in tech and female founded companies to receive the necessary support and financial backing to continue producing innovative technologies. 

First Lady of New Jersey

First Lady of New Jersey emphasizes women entrepreneur leadership at Latina conference

First Lady of New Jersey Tammy S. Murphy addressed women’s leadership at 2019 Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch organized by Latinas in Business Inc.

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)