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SHE founder Verónica Sosa builds Hispanic women entrepreneurs global community

She is an award-winning International Speaker, Relational Capital Expert, author and entrepreneur. She is a mother, mentor, coach, and publisher. She is Verónica Sosa, founder of Business Fit International, Business Fit Magazine, and SHE (Seminar and Society for Hispanic Entrepreneurs).  She is leading Hispanic women entrepreneurs on their professional journeys toward greatness and success.

Verónica Sosa, founder of Business Fit International, Business Fit Magazine, and SHE. (Photo courtesy of Verónica Sosa)From ‘the crazy life of youth’ to becoming a successful entrepreneur

 

 

 

 

 

From ‘the crazy life of youth’ to becoming a successful entrepreneur

Born in Venezuela as the eldest of four siblings, Verónica always knew she had an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire for adventure and travel. At the age of 18, she persuaded her parents to let her go by herself to the U.S. to study English. This was just the beginning of her journey and adventures abroad. 

By the age of 25, Verónica found herself living in the gorgeous Canary Islands off the coast of Spain. This was yet another exciting adventure full of beaches, parties, and drinking. 

“It was the crazy life of youth,” she says. 

During this carefree time, Verónica had the joy of settling into a serious relationship and soon decided it was time to have a steadier lifestyle.  

“I started a job as a secretary in an English advertising company and within six months I was heading up the business and I was fascinated by finding my ability to lead,” says Verónica. “I discovered I had a creative mind. I was an innovator, a generator of ideas and able to grasp a macro vision for the business.” 

Verónica’s next big career milestone came at the age of 33, when she was hired as the Sales and Marketing Director for a German company. 

It was during this time that her entrepreneurial journey truly began. Her experiences starting out as an entrepreneur fueled her desire to help other Hispanic women entrepreneurs find a community and offer guidance, mentorship, and coaching. 

“I believe I have always been an entrepreneur,” she says, “but it wasn’t until I moved to Belgium that the circumstances led me to start my entrepreneurial path with the Business Fit Academy and SHE.” 

Follow us on Instagram at @latinasinbusiness.us to see Veronica on her LIVE Interview on Friday July 24, at 3pm EST time. 

hispanic Women entrepreneurs

Veronica at an event of SHE in Amberes (Photo courtesy of Verónica Sosa)

Taking back control of her life

Verónica was destined to move yet again, this time to Belgium–quite a change from her life in the Canary Islands. Two years after her daughter Laura was born, it was decided as a family that they would move to Belgium as it would give Laura greater opportunities as she grew up. However, the move brought about more obstacles than Verónica initially expected. 

“This became the biggest challenge of my life,” says Verónica. “I had left behind a successful career and I naively assumed I would be able to pick up and continue where I left off once I arrived in Belgium. I couldn’t have been more wrong.”

In a short space of time, Verónica went from being an accomplished person who was stable and secure to the exact opposite. 

“I became this sad woman where everything was a problem, the weather, the cold, the language barrier. Everything was an issue. My clothes weren’t appropriate for the climate, no one would employ me as I didn’t speak Dutch or French. I hit rock bottom and no longer recognized myself in the mirror.” 

(L to R) Veronica Sosa with her daughter Laura, Ismael Cala and her husband Dave. (Photo courtesy of Verónica Sosa)

Then one day she decided enough was enough. She needed to make a change and take back control of her life. She learned the language and began working on her personal development. Veronica read several authors who inspired her to grow and become a better person. Then, she began practicing more self-care and revamped her entire lifestyle.

Most importantly, she found her mentors, phenomenal leaders like Viola Edward and Ismael Cala, and true friendship and partnership with Vikki Thomas, and was able to cultivated her tribe of supporters and build a solid community of other like-minded individuals call family SHEmprendedoras and SHEmbajadoras around the world.

“Never underestimate the value of having a good mentor,” Verónica says to other aspiring Hispanic women entrepreneurs. “Believe in yourself and find your tribe, the people who lift you up and who recognize your strengths and are aligned with your values. I always remember this quote: ‘People come into your path for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.’ To teach you a lesson to grow.” 

Her biggest pillar of support throughout her entrepreneurial journey has been her mother, supporting her both financially to get started and helping Verónica believe in herself and create her businesses. 

You might be interested: Visionary social entrepreneur Jacqueline Camacho inspires Latinas to land on their dreams

Building a community of Hispanic women entrepreneurs

Once she got her footing in Belgium, she began working in the community, studying and getting better at defining her purpose in life. Now that she is established and successful in her businesses, she’s working to give back through coaching and mentoring others who are in the same place she once was. 

Through SHE, Verónica is giving Hispanic women entrepreneurs a community of like-minded women. It is the first community in central Europe that helps women entrepreneurs build their business and achieve their dreams. SHE offers resources, community, mentorship, and special events that help women build their skills as entrepreneurs and business owners. 

During this time as a result of Covid-19, they are also offering online courses in place of their in-person events and presentations.  

Follow us on Instagram at @latinasinbusiness.us and see Veronica on her LIVE Interview on Friday July 24, at 3pm EST time. 

Hispanic women entrepreneurs

Verónica leading a SHE event. (Photo courtesy of Verónica Sosa)

Together Is Better!

One of the biggest driving forces behind Verónica’s passion to help others is her tremendous empathy. Empathy rests at the heart of all of Verónica’s business ventures. 

“I am an empathetic woman,” she says. “I have always led by my heart, so I have learned how to build bridges and deal with logic but still letting my heart lead the path.” 

To quote the go-to brand phrase, “Together is better.” Empathy means understanding. Empathy means connection. It’s what brings us all together, despite cultural difference or language barriers. 

Hispanic women entrepreneurs

Cover of Business Fit Magazine (Photo courtesy of Veronica Sosa)

“Spanish is my mother tongue, so I have an accent when speaking English or Dutch,” Verónica shares. “This has led to some very funny misunderstandings, but I love it. I love my Spanish accent. I love my roots and being international. For me that’s the key.” 

Verónica’s compassion for others is one of her many tremendous strengths. Her other fundamental strengths include her creativity, innovative instinct, and interpersonal intelligence. All of these strengths have helped her create her relational capital, and her multicultural experience position her to be able to connect and understand of Hispanic women entrepreneurs from all over the globe. 

“The fact that I have lived in four different countries has helped me to learn and understand other cultures,” she says. “I am trilingual and one of the most important things for me is the empathy I feel for women and helping them to become holistic entrepreneurs. I do what I do because I am passionate about helping others to realize their dreams and I want to help them reach their own success. I prefer to go to bed with my mind and heart expanded and proud.” 

This empathy is especially needed in our current business climate as we face economic trials and tribulations amid the Covid-19 pandemic. With many business-owners struggling during these uncertain times, it is important for us all to practice more empathy. 

“Now we are facing new challenges, we are going through an era of transformation, of healing and being part of an ecosystem which cares about the world and where we live,” says Verónica. 

If you’ve been searching for community and the guidance to get started on your business venture, consider joining the many Hispanic women entrepreneurs who have already taken that first leap toward accomplishing their dreams and check out SHE.

And remember: ¡JUNTAS ES MEJOR! Together is better! 

You might be interested: Women self-empowerment: the culture of diva-ness vs the power of collaboration

 

Feature American Dream Latina entrepreneurs

3 reasons the American Dream is not dead for Latina entrepreneurs

“The American Dream is dead”, according to recent studies cited by the New York Times. These studies reveal that more than half of Americans believe the American Dream is dead, never existed, or is unachievable. And nearly 6 in 10 people who responded to CNNMoney’s American Dream Poll, conducted by ORC International, feel the dream — however they define it — is out of reach.

Calling all Latina entrepreneurs and Latina biz owners in the Northeast rehhttps://latinasinbusiness.us/2017/09/04/american-dream-latina-entrepreneurs/gion to participate at our Latina SmallBiz and Pitch your Biz Competition November 9 in Newark NJ. For registration and details https://latinasbizexpo.eventbrite.com/ or call 848 238 6090

Latina entrepreneurs at GWHCC Biz Expo American Dream

Latina entrepreneurs at GWHCC Biz Expo

Despite the gloomy statistics there is one notable exception – Latinas. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Hispanic women are defying the trend and with great optimism starting businesses at a rate six times faster than the population at large. Along with their Latino hermanos, Hispanic-owned businesses have grown by over 43 percent in the last decade and now number over 2.3 million strong.

There are good reasons for the average American to feel they will never reach their dreams. Despite the recent economic recovery, lower unemployment and a stabilization of housing prices, the public continues to feel insecure about the future and their financial stability. This anxiety is palpable and exacerbated by the widening gap between rich and poor in America today. In terms of wealth inequality, we are the fourth highest in the world (trailing Russia, the Ukraine, and Lebanon).

According to recent studies upward mobility in the U.S. has stayed the same in the past 50 years despite skyrocketing inequality. Surprisingly, these studies reveal that it is actually harder to move up in America than it is in most other advanced nations. Today it is easier to rise above the class you’re born into in countries like Japan, Germany, Australia, and the Scandinavian nations, according to research from the University of Ottawa and others.

Americans’ pessimism about their future is reinforced by the realization that “upward mobility”, the bedrock tenet of the American Dream principle, is an illusion. It is widely accepted that for the dream to be real, everyone –regardless of their circumstances of birth, race, religion or gender–, should be able to reach their highest potential if they followed society’s rules, got a good education and worked hard and long enough. Yet, the reality seems much different today.

Ivette Monney and Ana Tellez Claros American Dream

Ivette Monney and Ana Tellez Claros, Housing and Comm Services Northern Virginia Inc.

“Latinas are one of the most resilient demographic groups I’ve met in business,” said Susana G Baumann, editor-in-chief of LatinasinBusiness.us. “Although we might not achieve the higher ranks in terms of wealth other groups do –such as white males– we are extremely consistent with our activity, provide employment for family members and other people in our communities, sustain our families as head of household in many cases –even supporting extended family–, all of it without letting negative circumstances or obstacles defeat us, and keeping our dreams alive,” she said.

While there are many individual reasons why Latinas continue to defy the odds and are confidently pursuing their dreams, the central reasons revolve around three core cultural values that define what it means to be Latino …Faith, Family and Frijoles.

Faith

Reaching for your dreams requires faith. And while it is true that most Latinos are religious, 68% identify as Roman Catholic according to the Pew Hispanic Project, faith means much more than adhering to religious doctrine or a belief in God. Faith is what inspires Latinos to be the first in our family to attend college, start a business or run for public office when money is scarce and the odds are against you. Faith is what sustains us when times are hard and the dream seems out of reach. For many Latinos, faith alone is the reason we believe in the American Dream instead of a life of struggle.

Family

Family is the heart of the Latin soul. Family, our extended family, is central to Latino identity and is where we get the inspiration, love and support to achieve our dreams. Every major decision Latinos make, like whether to start a business, is done not in isolation but is weighed against the impact on the family as a whole. According to a study by MassMutual, the reason 55% of Latinos start a business is to have something to pass on to their children.

Cecilia

Cecilia Arce, Verde Cleaning Services

Frijoles

Frijoles, of course, literally means beans. However, because of regional variations, Frijoles is the catchall term I use to describe Latino culture in its many wonderful manifestations. And it is Latino culture, including a strong work ethic and a desire to achieve success for our family, which sustains our belief in the American Dream.

Daniel Ortiz (Don Daniel) is the Award-Winning Author of How to Achieve the American Dream without Losing Your Latin Soul, an Inspirational Speaker and Host of the popular TV show “American Dream – Latin Souls.”

 For more information visit www.LatinoSuccess.com

LatinasInBusiness.us photo gallery

New survey shows US Latinas in business creating jobs and wealth

LatinasInBusiness.us photo gallery

LatinasInBusiness.us photo gallery

Hispanic Women-Owned Businesses NWBC 2012 Survey of Business Owners

We did it again! Although we knew that Latinas were the fastest growing demographic opening businesses in the USA, nothing better than facts to drool over! According to the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) 2012 Survey of Business Owners, Latinas are leading the ranks with 1.5M businesses owned, and these were the years of the Great Recession! Latinas almost tripled the national rates of women opening businesses at 87.3% compared to all women at 27.5% between 2007 and 2012.

Here are the facts:

As of 2012:

  • There are 1,475,829 Hispanic women-owned businesses1 in the United States. This reflects an 87.3% increase since 2007. In comparison, Hispanic men-owned businesses grew at 39.3%since 2007.
  • Women-owned firms make up 44.4%of all Hispanic non-farm and non-publicly-held businesses.
  • Hispanic women own 14.9%of all women-owned firms.
  • Hispanic women-owned firms generated a total of $83.6 billion in receipts, an increase of 50.3%since 2007.
  • 95.4%of these firms are non-employer firms, with average receipts of $19,537.
  • The remaining 4.6%of the firms have paid employees, employing 502,008 people in addition to the owners, with an annual payroll of $14 billion. These employer firms have average receipts of $824,301.

 

BY GEOGRAPHY:

 

States with the highest number of Hispanic women-owned firms Hispanic women-owned employer firms by numbers employed Highest number of Hispanic women-owned employer firms by average receipts
 

1. California (366,997 firms)

2. Texas (290.997 firms)

3. Florida (263,163 firms)

4. New York (137,400 firms)

5. Arizona (41,843 firms)

 

 

1. New York (502,008)

2. Arizona (137,814)

3. New Jersey (84,875)

4. Illinois (72,197)

5. Georgia (35,794)

 

 

1. Kansas ($2,056,502)

2. Connecticut ($1,799,482)

3. Alaska ($1,705,514)

4. Massachusetts ($1,580,958)

5. Indiana ($1,327,868)

 

 

 

BY INDUSTRY:

The top industries with the highest representation of Hispanic women-owned businesses include: The industries with the lowest representation of Hispanic women-owned businesses include:
 

1. Administrative Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services (310,286 firms, 21.02%)

2. Other Services (except Public Administration)2 (300,324 firms, 20.35%)

3. Health Care and Social Assistance (282,157 firms, 19.12%)

4. Retail Trade (126,797 firms, 8.59%)

5. Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (119,117 firms 8.07%)

 

 

1. Management Companies and Enterprises (49 firms, less than .01%)

2. Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction (812 firms, .06%)

3. Utilities (1,132 firms, .08%)

4. Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting (4,468 firms, .30%)

5. Information (10,935, .74%)

 

 

 

1Women-owned businesses, as defined by the US Census, are businesses in which women own 51 percent or more of the equity, interest, or stock of the business. Men-owned businesses are defined as men owning 51 percent or more of the equity, interest, or stock of the business. Equally men-/women-owned businesses those in which the equity, interest, or stock of the business is shared 50-50 among men and women owners. Publicly held, foreign-owned, and non-profit businesses are not included in this data.2 As an industry classification, Other Services (except Public Administration) is defined as businesses that provide services not specifically provided for elsewhere in the classification system. These businesses are primarily engaged in activities such as equipment and machinery repairing, promoting or administering religious activities, grantmaking, advocacy, and providing dry-cleaning and laundry services, personal care services, death care services, pet care services, photo-finishing services, temporary parking services, and dating services.