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Ivelisse Rodriguez Simon

Ivelisse Rodriguez Simon discusses trends in investment capital for minority women asset managers

Currently, there’s about $70 trillion of capital to manage in the United States, yet only 1% of that capital is managed by women, or people of color despite these groups representing 75% of the US population. This is one of many barriers that prevent and limit access to capital for minority-owned small businesses.

During Latina in Business’ 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. 

We heard from Grow with Google Program Manager, Lucy Pinto, who shared resources and insights on how businesses are using digital resources to expand, grow, and connect. Later, tech entrepreneur, Rosario B. Casas discussed the rapid advancements in tech-fueled by the pandemic and identified some key tech trends for business owners and entrepreneurs to tap into. Finally, Ivelisse Rodriguez Simon, Managing Partner of Avante Capital, shared trends and insights in regards to access to capital for small, minority-owned businesses. 

Trends in capital for minority small business owners and entrepreneurs

Ivelisse Rodriguez Simon, Managing Partner of Avante Capital. (Photo courtesy Ivelisse Rodriguez Simon)

As Managing Partner at Avante, Ivelisse is responsible for identifying, executing, and managing investment opportunities. Over the last 11 years as managing director, Ivelisse has raised $800 million and has deployed $650 million already to 40 companies. Additionally, Ivelisse is a longtime advocate and champion for women, minorities, and the underserved and underrepresented. She holds leadership roles in several local and national non-profit organizations and even launched a philanthropic organization called We Will with her two sisters, to support and empower underserved women and minorities in the areas of healthcare, education, and financial literacy. 

During the virtual panel, Ivelisse spoke with Latinas in Business Executive Board Member, Pilar Avila, and discussed some of the ways she and Avante Capital are supporting the growth of women’s businesses and what trends she is seeing. 

Ivelisse Rodriguez Simon  17:19  

It’s so nice to be here. I wanted to start first by saying that while $800 million, does sound like a lot of capital, actually, in the grand scheme of things, it’s a drop in the bucket. So just as context, there’s about $70 trillion of capital to manage in the United States, $70 trillion. And only 1% of that capital is managed by women or people of color. Right. So even though women and people of color represent 75% of the US population, we only manage 1% of the capital. And the result of that is a lot of what we’re talking about today, which is that our communities don’t get access to that capital. 

No, the capital remains in the communities that manage it. And so it’s, it’s a very big issue that’s really obstructed a lot of businesses from growing, right. I’m encouraged because I feel like in the last year, a lot of our challenges in the country, a lot of our social and racial challenges have created a lot of awareness around it. And there’s a lot more intention and focus around investing in our communities. So there are a lot more options than there used to be. There are a lot more banks, a lot more creative finance companies that are evolving to serve our communities. 

That said, our businesses are still really small. You know, they’re really, really small. And while it’s one, it’s a wonderful place to start, for us to really create wealth and to create change and growth in our communities, we have to build them bigger, right, they have to get bigger…Because there’s no difference between us and companies that are larger. I mean, I look at these companies all the time and I think: We can manage these businesses. We can be the CEO, we can be the CFO. 

Pilar Avila  19:28  

We are the capital, right? We hired the talent. We know we have talent, too.

Ivelisse Rodriguez Simon  19:33  

We have talent too, exactly. So I think that that’s what we’ve been really committed to at Avante, which is not only supporting women and people of color managing businesses but really trying to get women and people of color into this industry to manage capital so that we can go out and find entrepreneurs from our communities and help them grow. Because if there are not many people in my seat that look like us, our people are never gonna get capital. 

Ivelisse Rodriguez Simon

Avante Capital Team in Los Angeles (Courtesy Ivelisse Rodriguez Simon)

Pilar Avila  20:16  

Have you seen particular trends in the extraordinary growth in certain industries or certain types of products or services that we should be aware of whether we have a company in that sector? Or maybe our companies can move into those services?

Ivelisse Rodriguez Simon  20:41  

It’s a great question, Pilar, because, you know, when you go to look to see, where are many of the companies owned by women, people of color, they tend to be in a lot of service industries. Right. And I think that there are so many opportunities in other industries that have larger scale opportunities, healthcare, for instance, technology, Business Services, engineering,  we’re just as capable. But for some reason, we haven’t really moved into those industries and not in a larger way. And so I think, people who are doctors or nurses or engineers or computer engineers, starting businesses in those fields, you can gain a lot of scale, you could really grow quickly and be large.

Pilar Avila  21:28  

Continue to place a lot of emphasis on STEM, right, at every level of education. And once you have the education, and maybe get some experience under your belt, the large companies come out and start the businesses. 

You might be interested: Applications for the SBA’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund are now open

Taking advantage of resources and opportunities to grow 

Pilar Avila  27:21  

So what would you recommend to our small businesses, micro businesses between you know, 250,000, half a million to 5 million, to do to really apply best practices for the organization, finances, to be prepared to present themselves in the best light to obtain loans, investments, strategic partners and really grow into multimillion dollar enterprises. What do we need to do? How do we need to present ourselves and prepare?

Ivelisse Rodriguez Simon  28:03  

I think that the best thing to do is to find mentors and people that have done it before, that can really help you walk through the process. Because it is complicated. There are a lot of different things that banks want to see. And we had panels earlier that also had access to resources. There’s a lot of resources out there, right, and we should utilize them. But the key is to understand that there’s a lot of capital now available. You know, where I wouldn’t have said this 10 years ago, I think that there’s a lot of capital, if you’ve got a good idea, if you got a good business, if you’re a growth brand, you can get access to capital at this point in our country’s history. And you can grow and you should do it.

fear of failure

4 Tips to overcome the fear of failure as a business owner

Fear of failure in your business is one of the most common feelings that prevent many potential entrepreneurs of growing their businesses and many others to even start a business dream. 

Camino Financial is a financial institution co-founded by Sean and Kenny Salas, children of a Latina entrepreneur who lost her business of 30 restaurants after 25 years of operation. Sean and Kenny have made the promise to never leave another Latino business behind.

by Guest Contributor Suanny Garcia

 

fear of failure

Sean and Kenny Salas with their parents at their HS graduation

You’ve accomplished launching a business and you’re now a small business owner and budding entrepreneur. Now that your business is stable, you can stop thinking about growth, right? Wrong.

Many small business owners are reluctant to grow their baby — using the term “baby” quite figuratively to illustrate a business that has not yet reached its full potential because it’s struggling from some serious attachment to its safe space. In reality, the correct term would be risk-averse, which quite literally means a disinclination to take risks. No entrepreneur is going to say building a business or creating a brand is fear-free, in fact, it’s quite the opposite… fear-full.

We all get it. Why fix what is not broken in the first place? Why increase your potential for failure when your current rate of success is not so bad? Well, when you’re not growing, you run the risk of staying behind, remaining stagnant, boring, passé, and eventually a thing of the past. In this social-network driven day and age when new technologies and marketing strategies are inundating buyers with the next new thing, it’s imperative you reconsider putting your fear on mute. As a business owner, you must learn to master the waltz of fear and possibility. That means, where there is no fear, there is even less possibility, and the reverse is also true: big fear almost always equals big possibility.

We’ll go over how important it is to invest, to fear big and fail fast, how you can measure your risk of investments, how to win from your business failures, but first… let’s talk simple steps on how to get over the fear.

fear of failure

Camino Financial team

4 Tips to Overcome the Fear of Failure as a Business Owner

    1    Imagine the worst, then let it go

Visualize the worst case scenario happening and then remove your thoughts from it. Accepting and removing the feeling of potential failurefrom your life will give clarity to your actions, inspiring every step to be imbued with a sense of optimism and good spirit — now that you’ve acknowledged what could go wrong, go right.

    2    Keep in mind: regrets are worse than failure

Regrets linger much longer and have much more weight than fear. If you’re reluctant to branch out because your fear of failure, imagine living with the perpetual weight of the doubt of never having reached further. If you’re reluctant to branch out because you fear for your family’s stability, there’s a chance down the line that your business might become stagnant as a result of your fear of growth.

3    Develop a culture of experimentation

If you’ve failed many times in the past, fail faster in your present. Numerous failed attempts certainly signify that you already know exactly what won’t work, which means you’re close to what will work.

    4    Accept inspiration

No, it’s not just a hoo-ha word artists use as an excuse to put off that new project “I’m not inspired today;” it’s science that you can make work to your advantage. Inspiration isn’t always everywhere, and won’t come every time you call for it…  sometimes you have to actively seek it.

Read about others who have accomplished the level of success you’re fearful of, or simply read about others who are successful regardless. Camino’s blog has several amazing resources that are sure to motivate:

How 3 Latinos Achieved the American Dream and Became Millionaires

How Dollar Shave Club Achieved A Billion Dollar Evaluation in Less Than 6 Years.

Now, let’s say we’ve finally crossed the bridge to the other side of fear, sided with the possibility rhythm of the waltz, became a growth experimenter… so now, what do you do?

You put your capital where your mouth is, and I’m not just referring to dentists. If you’re even considering growth, your business is probably stable and you’ve saved up some funds — or have investors backing you up — but regardless, you have the money to spare.

You might be interested: 

In The Importance of Working Capital, Camino Financial details exactly how you can use your funds to invest in your own company. New equipment? Check. New bathroom for your business? Check. New marketing team? Definitely, check (this is a huge factor for the growth of your business) — it took Jennifer López more than 10 years to become an overnight success.

 

This post was published on Camino Financial on June 24th, 2018. 

Access to capital for Latina entrepreneurs easier with Micro Offering Safe Harbor Act

Access to capital, one of the hurdles of Latina small businesses –and that of many other small business owners, is getting a lift. The Micro Offering Safe Harbor Act, which will help small businesses raise capital, was introduced by Congressman Tom Emmer of Minnesota’s 6th District and approved in the House of Representatives.

salary reviews, salary reports, access to capital

This legislation makes a simple technical amendment to the Securities Act of 1933 by defining exactly what qualifies under the “non-public offering” exemption as a way of access to capital. This would allow small businesses to operate with confidence that they are not in violation of the law when doing a non-public securities offering if one or more of the following requirements are met:

  • Each investor has a substantive pre-existing relationship with an owner,
  • There are 35 or fewer purchasers, or
  • The amount does not exceed $500,000
access to capital

Tom Emmer MN 6th District 114th Congress

“Entrepreneurs will be able to more easily launch their startups and existing businesses will have better prospects for growth,” said Emmer. “By simply clarifying an old law, more small businesses will raise capital through non-public offerings, easing the burdens of red-tape, onerous paperwork, and the threat of lawsuits. Congress has much more work to do to fully unleash the American economic engine and this legislation is one of many steps I will take to help Minnesotans achieve the American Dream. With labor force participation at an all time low and many families still having less income than they had before the 2008 economic collapse, it is my duty to do everything I can to get America’s economy firing on all cylinders.”

Several small business advocacy organizations have endorsed the Micro Offering Safe Harbor Act including the National Small Business Association and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBEC). The SBEC stated, “The legislation would appropriately scale federal rules and regulatory compliance for small businesses, thus providing another practical option for entrepreneurs to raise the capital they need to startup or grow their firms.”

The “Micro Lending Safe Harbor Act”, sponsored by Congressman Tom Emmer, has captured some solid endorsements as both the National Small Business Associationand the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. The bill is part of a growing recognition by elected officials that small business powers the economy and the need to make laws easier for SMEs to find access to capital.

Latina entrepreneur brings best crafts of Puerto Rico to fair trade designs

If you have visited Puerto Rico, you know that Old San Juan is a “Must See” in the island scenery. This old historic district offers the best crafts of Puerto Rico combined with beautiful views, restaurants, art, museums, history, sculptures, music, dance, bars and nightclubs.

And if you haven’t, then prepare yourself for a treat. You will be walking around an old city in the tropics – it is very hot and usually humid. You must wear sun screen and a hat, and bring a bottle of cold water with you. You may even consider carrying a sombrilla for shade. And for all of it, just consider buying a Concalma tote bag right there, in the heart of Old San Juan.

Concalma cover best crafts of Puerto Rico

For the last few years, news from Puerto Rico has been related to high unemployment, corruption and government mismanagement. However, in the midst of all the negativity coming from the news, the people of Puerto Rico continue to be its bright spot.

Case in point is Matilsha Marxuach, a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, who has made a name for herself. With a background in Design and Fashion, Matilsha has been on a dual mission- promoting her creations while generating employment for others.

Matilsha Marxuach Concalma best crafts of Puerto Rico

Matilsha Marxuach Concalma Founder and Designer

Matilsha knew the moment she finished her schooling that she would one day open her own business. She had become obsessed with the idea of recycling and eco-preservation, a new push in the Enchanted Island to preserve its scenic views and natural environmental beauty.

She became aware that women were spending more on quality and not quantity when choosing certain accessories or pieces of clothing. Her initial plans were to open up a boutique with second hand items but she also knew that the best crafts of Puerto Rico came from its rich source of labor and skilled artisans.

Blessed with a strong work ethics, she worked hard and opened her first store in Puerto Rico ten years ago but business was difficult in the first few years because the country was mired in a deep recession. Locals were only buying things they needed. Luxury was a forgotten item for many Puerto Ricans.

Matlisha’s initial venture into the world of business was a collaborative effort with a women’s co-op, which supplied labor for a third party to make hand-made designer bags, totes and clutches. When the third party textile business went bankrupt, the workers started to work for her.

She opened her store Concalma –with calm/at ease– in 2006 and has never looked back. Inspired by local culture and concepts of friendliness and functionality, she created a product that is relatively cheap, elegant and also helps build local communities.

With the use of social media and the quality of her products, her business began to pick up. Soon she saw tourists venture over to her shop instead of the ritzy malls. She could hardly keep up with production, and the rest is now history. She recently was one of eight finalists of the AccessLatina Business Accelerator program.

Concalma “with calm / at ease” brick and mortar store

Concalma store best crafts of Puerto Rico

Concalma store is one of the attractions in Old San Juan

Located away from the posh hotels selling purses and bags at exorbitant prices, Matilsha’s Concalma store has bags that can match any budget. Plus, her bags are environmentally friendly and look immaculate. The artistic bags are made of cotton with nylon liners and all the fabric is exclusively acquired from Puerto Rico suppliers.

The majority of her messenger bags are not only functional but elegant. They come with fine hand-made details and a mixture of fabrics. Prices vary from $35-$120.

In addition to offering their products, Concalma’s mission is to raise awareness about the importance of fair trading partnership with local producers and suppliers of the best crafts of Puerto Rico, based on transparency and respect that sustains equity in international trade.

While most Puerto Rican entrepreneurs have set up their businesses for the international markets, Matilsha is one of the few pioneers who believe in the term “going local.” The importance of local design and manufacturing as well as promoting sustainable practices makes Concalma a quality and creative design store with products that are the result of sustainable, social and responsible actions.

Doing business Concalma

Totebags Concalma best crafts of Puerto Rico

Totebags Concalma one of best crafts of Puerto Rico

Over the past few years, Matilsha has continued to produce a line of product that matches the store’s Spanish name “Concalma,” meaning to “approach everything with a sense of calm.”

Concalma serves as a marketplace for its own product line of designer tote bags and also distributes other best crafts of Puerto Rico from local designers or brands.

She fervently encourages local consumption and production, which has also created employment in this city with massive layoffs. While her major business is selling hand-made bags, you can also pick up some high quality exotic Puerto Rican coffee in her shop.

Matilsha still maintains her down to earth personality and her motto is to always please the client. She is well aware of her destiny and is embracing it with delight. Nothing makes her happier than to see people carrying her bags and to see her artisans well rewarded.

She has received recognition for her work and her creations as the 2014 winner of the “Microentrepreneur of the Year” by the Citi Foundation and the Puerto Rico Community Foundation; and the 2009 finalist of Guayacán, Inc.– EnterPRize Business Plan Competition.

Conscious buyer or conscious shopping

Concalma store Old San Juan

Concalma store in Old San Juan sells fair trade designs

Concalma designs and sells its products with the life cycle of the product in mind. They have set up different ways to encourage conscious shopping at its brick and mortar shop in Viejo San Juan –it doesn’t matter where buyers had acquired their product.

If you have been using your Concalma bag for a while and you are ready to give it up, you can visit the store and trade it in for a new one with up to a 15 percent discount, or you can do a straight exchange for a used one available at the store. Finally, feel free to buy used bags in store at a discounted price.

“We are happy to share with our customers the culture of conscious shopping, fair trade and solidarity in the economy,” Matlisha said.

business accelerator Access Latina

Access Latina announces business accelerator for Latina entrepreneurs in STEAM

Access Latina, a business accelerator for Latina-owned firms headquartered in Florida, New York, Massachusetts, Texas, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, launched its second cohort to compete for a chance at more than $100K in capital and resources for Latinas to grow their businesses.

business accelerator Access Latina

Access Latina official launch in New York City

Access Latina announced the details for its second round of applications at the Golden Seeds Headquarters in New York City, along with cross collaboration initiatives with the Stanford Latino Entrepreneur Leaders Program to continue to grow the database of U.S. Latino-owned companies, Meredith Corporation’s Siempre Mujer Magazine as a part of their ‘Projects That Can Change the World’ initiative, and Lili Gil Valletta, creator of Dreamers Ventures and HSN partner to Project American Dreams to select up to three semifinalists to access the fast-track program and be among the twenty semifinalists of HSN’s Project American Dreams.

CNNMoney writer and editor, Octavio Blanco, conducted a question and answer session with the 2016 finalists and one of the winners, New York-based Francesca Kennedy, owner and founder of IX Style and TEDx resident.

“We are focused on finding ways to fill the gaps Latina business owners face, such as limited access to capital and mentorship. We strive to propel high-growth Latina entrepreneurs and create a network of successful trailblazers. As we’ve seen with our 2016 alumni and their remarkable achievements, latina women represent key engines of economic growth,” says Lucienne Gigante, co-founder of Access Latina, adding that according to the most recent State of Women-Owned Businesses Report by American Express, Latina-owned businesses created over 550,400 jobs and contributed over $97 billion in revenues to the U.S. economy in 2015.

Some of last year’s finalists went on to compete at Project Runway: Fashion Startup a Lifetime Reality TV show, were profiled by Forbes and TIME, and got a chance to launch a line with renowned business woman and designer, Rebecca Minkoff. The finalists in year one together generated over $1.2 million in revenue.

business accelerator

(L to R) Lucienne Gigante, Octavio Munoz, CNN Money, Marta Michelle Colon

To participate, the Latina entrepreneurs need to own at least 20% of an early-stage company in the industries of STEAM, social innovation and agriculture. Up to ten finalists and up to five winners are selected by independent judges and will receive:

  • A three-day acceleration module “Growth Spark” with global leaders
  • The opportunity to present their business to Golden Seeds.
  • Access to seed capital in the form of a grant, crowdfunding rounds with Kiva Zip, and/or direct traditional and non-traditional investment.
  • Connection to a network of advisors, sponsors, and mentors.
  • The opportunity to collaborate with other business owners going through the same journey.
  • The opportunity to win a $25k grant

“Research continues to validate that Latinas are an under-tapped force and make successful entrepreneurs. They are achieving innovative endeavors, while actively fueling the economy. This is the reason and passion behind Access Latina, to drive Latina entrepreneurs’ economic potential by opening new channels to capital, resources, and knowledge. Empowering Latina entrepreneurs is good for the economy and has a positive impact in our society,” says Marta Michelle Colon, Co-Founder of Access Latina.

For more information about Access Latina or to apply to the business acceleration platform please visit www.accesslatina.org. To join the conversation online please use #AccessLatina2017 and follow us @AccessLatina.

Join the conversation: #AccessLatina2017        @AccessLatina

AccessLatinas finalist with co-founders Lucienne Gigante and Marta Michelle

8 Latina business owners finalists for AccessLatina accelerator

AccessLatinas finalist with co-founders Lucienne Gigante and Marta Michelle

AccessLatina finalists with co-founders Lucienne Gigante and Marta Michelle-Colon

AccessLatina announced the names of eight Latina business owners chosen as finalists for its accelerator competition. Together, they generated more than $1.2 million in revenue during the last two years.

AccessLatina, the first multi-market accelerator program designed to help Latina business owners in various sectors reach their entrepreneurial and economic potential, announced its last round of eight finalists competing for $25,000 grants.

Chosen by a panel of over 40 judges, the selected Latinas in business have already shown success with the help of technology and a positive impact in building opportunities for underserved community around their served geographical areas.

AccessLatina co-founder Lucienne Gigante told LIBizus that she is very excited about this opportunity to work with a diverse group of Latina business owners with high growth profiles. “We were impressed by the level of innovation and creativity of these Latino women,” she said. Although the group has generated $1.2 million in revenue in the last two years, the companies’ scale remains small –less than 25 employees.

“Latina-owned businesses have increased nearly 200 percent over the past decade and we want to help them grow through access to mentorship, networks and opportunities,” added co-founder Marta Michelle Colón.

In fact, renowned global entrepreneurship and innovation professor Antonio Dávila hosted a one-day seminar on the challenges in managing startup growth for the finalists of the 501(c)3 accelerator. The seminar was hosted at District Cowork in Manhattan, New York.

Francesca Kennedy, AccessLatina finalist

Francesca Kennedy, AccessLatina finalist

They discussed examining the management challenges of a startup as it moves from the entrepreneurial to the growth stage, similarly to the stage of their business. The seminar, based on Professor Dávila’s book, “Building Sustainable High Growth Startup Companies: Management Systems as Accelerators,” examines how to best address the management needs of a growing business.

“It is very interesting to work with people like these Latina business owners who are enthusiastic about building companies and organizations that are helpful to society, said Professor Dávila. “It has been a pleasure to be a part of a non for profit helping women achieve their goals,” added Dávila.

And the selected Latina business owners are:

Francesca Kennedy’s artisan sandals donate clean drinking water to children in Guatemala for every purchase made. Francesca has been featured by Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Her sandals have been worn by A-listers such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Amanda Seyfried, and Rachel Roy, among others, and has collaborated with top brands such as GAP, Anthropology, and J Crew.

Victoria Flores, AccessLatina finalist Latina business owner

Victoria Flores, AccessLatina finalist

Victoria Flores, a former Morgan Stanley executive, and Leslie Namad’s launched the first ever affordable and luxury hair extension and beauty product subscription box. They are also the founders of Press On Hair by SOBE Organics, sold at mass retail, and have pitched on Shark Tank. Flores is on-set for the 2016 Housewives of New York of Bravo.

Michelle Perez Kenderish’s e-commerce platform feature independent designers, makers, collectives and local brands. She’s also the founder of ChicaPReneurs, a monthly meetup and platform for collaboration that brings together creative entrepreneurs and cultural innovators from Puerto Rico living abroad.

Trina Bardusco’s digital branded content company specializing in women. She’s also the creator of the documentary series, Wanderlust. Her original web series’ for Yahoo Mujer that ran from 2008-2014, boasted 25 million unique monthly visitors, and came in second to People en Español’s most trafficked site by Latinas in the U.S.

Catherine Lajara’s clinical and pharmaceutical research company aims to reduce disparities in clinical trials and runs trials for pharmaceutical companies looking to develop new treatments. Lajara had very few connections and savings when she launched her business. The company today has five clinical studies. Lajara is passionate about health equity, women’s leadership, entrepreneurship and community development.

Matilsha Marxuach, AccessLatina finalist Latina business owner

Matilsha Marxuach, AccessLatina finalist

Matilsha Marxuach’s marketplace for fair-trade, environmentally responsible, and local artisanal tote bags has a mission of practicing sustainability.  Marxuach is a designer and entrepreneur who’s inspiration comes from local culture as well as from traditional lifestyles and knowledge. She also serves as an avid advocate of the concepts of fair trade and local consumption.

Cindy Cruz’ agricultural business to export exotic and natural goods grown locally in Puerto Rico. Cruz has made it her mission to use innovation and sustainable agriculture to advance local crops.

Sacha Delgado’s full immersion and cultural language school. Delgado is an educational entrepreneur and is the Co-Founder of a Waldorf Inspired School.

In addition to the finalists, and as part of AccessLatina’s alliance with Puerto Rico’s entrepreneurship show hit3001.com, AccessLatina awarded a spot in the Advanced Education Module, for Decennia Vega’s Semila, LLC- a company dedicated to the wholesale of clones of cocoa trees. 

Selection criteria for AccessLatina accelerator

AccessLatina’s criteria for selection included owning at least a 20 percent share in businesses within STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math), social innovation and urban agriculture industries (including ag-farm and ag-tech) that are headquartered in New York, Washington, D.C., Florida and Puerto Rico.

The finalists will receive three Advanced Education Modules with top global leaders. Then, the judges will select up to five winners that will receive a $25,000 grant and a crowd-funding round, publicity, mentoring and access to a high-profile network of professionals including entrepreneurs and investors.

AccessLatina is composed of a group of dedicated social and business entrepreneurs and is supported by Georgetown University’s McDonough Graduate School of Business, Kiva Zip, Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College, Golden Seeds, Guayacán, the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, Oriental Bank and the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative, among others.