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panel speakers

Leaders, influencers and entrepreneurs converge in NJ at 2019 Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch (EEL)

The first set of panel speakers including leaders, influencers and entrepreneurs for “Beauty, Health and Wealth: Taking Charge of Our Lives” event have been announced, giving an insight into our biggest and best EEL yet!

panel speakers

The 2019 Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch is hosted by Hudson County Community College.

The excitement is growing as we are getting closer to “Beauty, Health and Wealth: Taking Charge of Our Lives”  this year’s theme for the 2019 Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch. Organizational leaders, social media influencers and successful entrepreneurs have been tapped to gather at the Hudson County Culinary Conference Center,161 Newkirk Ave, Jersey City NJ 07306 on June 13, 2019 from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm(Registration, breakfast and networking starts at 8:00am )

“In addition to exceptional keynote and celebrity speakers, leaders, influencers and entrepreneurs from around the country are converging in Jersey City on June 13 to produce the most dynamic event for Latinas and other minority women entrepreneurs in the Northeast region. We continue with our goal to help them “Learn. Connect. Succeed!” and find the network and resources they need to advance their businesses,” said Susana G Baumann, President and CEO, Latinas in Business Inc.

Choose one workshop from each session at registration. Maximum capacity for each workshop is 35-40 participants on a first come, first serve basis. We reserve the right to move participants to other workshops on the same session if workshop is at full capacity so register soon!panelist speakers

EEL Panel speakers from around the country

From Los Angeles to Miami, Virginia to New York and New Jersey, participants at the workshops include the who’s who in this spectrum of leaders, influencers and successful entrepreneurs.

A new addition this year are the “talleres en español” (Spanish Workshops) where women will find information to start, grow or expand their businesses. “We had many requests from women who are just starting as entrepreneurs or would like to start a side business, so we added these talleres en español. In this way, we give them an opportunity to meet other successful women conducting their businesses and encourage them to  pursue their dreams,” Baumann said.

panel speakers

Some of the panel speakers announced  include organizational leaders Diana Franco, Director, Women Entrepreneurs of New York  (NYC), Trinidad de la Rosa, Spanish Language Manager at Rising Tide Capital (NJ), and Samantha (Unger) Katz, CEO & Co-Founder, Left Tackle Capital.

Also announced are social media influencers Stephanie Flor, founder, AroundtheWorldBeauty.com (NY); LeAura Luciano, EverSoPopular (NY); Sugey Palomares, Social Media manager, Family Circle (NY); and Danay Escanaverino, founder, LunaSol Media.

Entrepreneurs include Maria del Pilar Avila, founder Renovad and InterDUCTUS; Dr Ginny A. Baro, founder, Fearless Women @Work; Nelly Reyes, Founder and CEO, Freshie Feminine Care (NJ) ; Silvina Rodriguez Picaro, SRP Health Care Communications (FL), and Gladys Voghlan, co-founder, K&G Agency Solutions. (This is a partial list of speakers, more to be announced soon).

panel speakers

“We are grateful to Hudson County Community College and their new President, Dr. Chris Reber, for their constant support and hospitality. As a Hispanic-serving institution,  they are again co-hosting this magnificent event that showcases the best and most successful stories of Latinas and other women entrepreneurs building businesses, families and community around them,” Baumann said.

You might be interested:  2019 Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch announces keynote and celebrity speakers   

Workshops at 2019 Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch

SESSION 1 (9:30 am to 10:30 am)

  1. Win the Marketing Battle: How to get your foot in the door with major buyers

What are large companies looking for in diverse suppliers? How can you market your products to major chains? Learn from entrepreneurs who sold their products to large companies and from companies with a solid supplier diversity program how you can sell your products to the general market.

  1. The Healthy Consumer Trend: What’s in it for me? 

Consumers’ health is front and center for those who churn out the food products that will line supermarket shelves in the next year. Selections like “organic,” “no added sugar or artificial ingredients,” “no-GMO,” or “gluten free” are now available to the consumer. Find out the trends that are disrupting the market and hear from companies and local incubators what you need to start or expand your healthy product business.

  1. The Wellness Industry: Users, providers and technology 

Mindfulness, clean eating, spas and essential oils— it’s all part of the wellness trend that’s growing faster than the veggies in your friend’s rooftop garden. The wellness industry is now worth over $3.7 trillion. Hear from these entrepreneurs how they founded and expanded their wellness businesses, how technology is helping them grow and expand, and how they are riding the wellness wave.

  1. Incubadoras: Oportunidades para negocios entre 1 y 3 años 

Cuando se comienza un negocio no basta tener una idea; es necesario gestar un plan que proyecte el desarrollo y la ejecución del emprendimiento. Las incubadoras son excelentes herramientas para impulsar el nacimiento de empresas, pues proporcionan la asistencia necesaria para crecer. Conoce cómo funcionan y aprovéchalas para emprender.

SESSION 2 (11:30 am to 12:30 pm)

  1. Raising Capital for Startups: The tough road to success 

Of the more than $40 billion of funds raised by venture capital firms, less than 3% is allocated to minority-owned startups. However, if the startup has a “double-minority” owner –for instance, woman and Latina– that figure drastically drops to just 0.2%. Interact with angel investors and alternative sources of income to learn how you can present your business to obtain funding.

  1. Strategies to Expanding and Securing your Business Future 

Do you want to expand your business but don’t know how? Are you stagnant and need to create new strategies to secure the financial growth of your business? You may be wondering how to take the next step and grow your business securely beyond its current status. Hear from women entrepreneurs who successfully strategized their businesses’ growth and from experts who can help you achieve a new level of success.

  1. Branding in the Era of Social Media 

Your brand is your company’s identity. It is the link that connects your company to your customers and vice versa. A strong brand provides your business value. It is reflected in everything from “look and. feel” to your mission and vision. A strong brand provide value to your organization well beyond your physical assets. Join our Branding Experts and Social Media Influencers to discuss how you can also create a strong brand for your company and for you!

  1. Empieza tu negocio en belleza, salud y finanzas ya! 

Tienes una idea y no sabes por dónde empezar? Quieres desarrollar o establecer tu negocio con servicios y programas que te ayuden a capacitarte y ampliar las oportunidades económicas como dueño/a de negocio? Ven a presenter tu caso a estas organizaciones que tienen oportunidades y recursos para que comiences o expandas tu propio negocio.

Choose one workshop from each session at registration. Maximum capacity for each workshop is 35-40 participants on a first come, first serve basis. We reserve the right to move participants to other workshops on the same session if workshop is at full capacity so register soon!

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.

        You might be interested: Ready to Run® Conference and Eleccion Latina pushes for more diversity in politics

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)