Find the perfect holiday gift at the Latinas Are Back In Business silent auction! 

The holiday season is upon us and everyone is looking for the perfect holiday gift for loved ones. Our annual fundraiser and silent auction this year centers around the joy of giving and receiving. Thanks to our wonderful donors, we have a variety of amazing prizes available from businesses within our Latinas in Business community. 

Join us in celebrating and amplifying the voices of minority owned small businesses and entrepreneurs this holiday season! 

The free virtual event will take place tomorrow, Wednesday, December 8 from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm EST –Zoom and Live streamed on Latinas in Business Facebook page, featuring special guests, celebrities and female founders. 

You won’t want to miss it! Register now! 

Bid on amazing holiday gifts and support minority owned businesses 

We shared some of the prizes available last week, and now thanks to our donors we have even more prizes to share! Find the perfect holiday gifts for your loved ones and help support minority owned businesses this holiday season. 

holiday gift

A Visit to Oaxaca’s Mexico Culture and PrideSpend one week in Oaxaca as Adriana Pavon’s guest to share her mission at Mexico Culture and Pride. 

Adriana is the creator of Mexico Culture & Pride (Mexico Cultura y Orgullo), an initiative inspired by traditional Mexican textiles and fashion accessories designs who employs artisans and crafters from indigenous cultures around the country.

The trip includes: Hotel, Food, local transportation, guided visits, and unique experiences  for 7 nights. Air transportation is not included.

holiday gift

1-night with New York View from Edgewater Hotel! 1-night stay certificate that includes a breakfast buffet for 2 people.

Courtyard Edgewater NYC Area is ideally situated in New Jersey along the shore of the Hudson River, just steps away from sweeping views of the iconic New York City skyline. The waterfront hotel boasting stylish decor is just a one-mile scenic ferry ride away from popular landmarks in Midtown, Time Square, and the Garment District. Stylish rooms with contemporary decor are well-equipped with plush bedding, efficient ergonomic workspaces, mini-refrigerators, and a 39-inch LED flat-screen TV. 

Stay connected throughout your journey with our complimentary Wi-Fi, premium movie channels, and a modern business center. Before ending your night, stop by The Bistro for delicious casual dining and enjoy a cocktail.

FAB Cenia NY Stretch Crepe Forest Green Dress Look Fab in this Dress by Latina designer Cenia NY for the Holidays!

Cenia New York is a revolutionary, tasteful, and sexy clothing line for women who celebrate their femininity and want to look radiant no matter what size or body type.

Designer Dress by Yas GonzalezGenesis, a dress part of the collection “Letters to Jesus” by Yas Gonzalez. 

Yas González is a fashion designer, journalist, and businesswoman of Cuban origin based in the United States.

Her company “House of Yas” has produced pieces for artists such as Alejandro Sanz, La India, Diana Fuentes or the duo Gente de Zona. She has also been in charge of making costumes for music videos for Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, and Pitbull. She is recognized as the first Cuban to have presented her work at Paris Fashion Week.

Simplify your wash day with our 3-Step System! Plus a one-hour hair consult with Scarlett Rocourt, the founder of Wonder Curl & Healthy Hair Summit.  

This bundle includes: 8oz Detoxifying Clay Cleanser, 8oz Moisturizing Hair Pudding, 8oz Get Set Hair Jelly

Scarlett has been a hair enthusiast ever since she was a small child, styling everyone’s hair in her family as well as becoming the resident “hairstylist” in her college dorms. Her love of hair became a business when she founded Wonder Curl. She wanted to create hair products that worked on all textures of curly hair that simplified the styling process down to just 2-3 products. With over 11 years in the natural hair industry, having done hundreds of hair demonstrations as well as researched curly hair, she has become an expert in caring for our hair.

holiday gifts

Get Sweet Love for your Holiday Gifts!A beautiful basket full of delicious and amazing holiday gifts for you or someone you love!

Basket includes:

*Swarovski Earrings

*Foot lotion

*Cozy socks

*Caramel Popcorn

*Coffee mug


*Mini agenda

*A coupon for 50% off for SweetLove products

Lourdes “Lulu” Carey is the owner of SweetLove gifts, an online gift shop that personalizes anything you can think of, from wine bottles to balloons and surprise boxes. Her growing business is still new, but Lulu is proud of what she has accomplished so far and the support she has received from her community. Joe. A full-time mom and Local Consultant for Cultural Care Au Pair, Lulu decided to start her small business, SweetLove, after discovering her creative side this past year.

A Lemonade Day “Little Lemmy Curriculum” PackageThe Lemonade Day “Little Lemmy Curriculum” package is ideally suited for a church youth group, a classroom, a homeschool teacher, or a library.

Limited to no more than 50 youth participants. Includes basic program training provided by the National office.

Lemonade Day is a fun, experiential program that teaches youth how to start, own and operate their very own business – a lemonade stand. Each year, in participating cities, youth have the opportunity to experience entrepreneurship by setting up their business during their city’s community-wide Lemonade Day. 

Ace your Next Job Interview with Gabby Rincon!Learn how to Connect, Communicate and Finally Ace your next Job Interview in English. 


“I’ve packaged up for you my own simple and strategic interview preparation program to guide you every step of the way. 

This is not a traditional course full of “tricks” or lists of common job interview questions. It is a transformational self-study program designed to give you the support, practice, and feedback you need.” 

You will also learn from exclusive hiring managers the exact steps you need to follow on how you can stand out from the competition, but more importantly, you’ll have a step-by-step plan that leaves nothing out and takes nothing for granted as you implement it.

The end result: You will have the strategies and tools to answer any question. You will also feel comfortable, prepared, and confident expressing yourself for your next interview in English. And your chances of getting hired will increase dramatically.

Digital Protocol and Etiquette Workshopfor 20 people – Led by Felipe Forero-Hauzeur (en español). 

This 2-hour workshop is designed for teams. Felipe goes through the key concepts explained in his book “Manual de Protocolo y Etiqueta Digital. Productividad en la Nueva Realidad Digital”.

The book can be found here: 

This workshop has been implemented with teams in companies like Ogilvy, Anglo Gold Ashanti, Unimetro, Chambers of Commerce, and the Brooklyn2Bogota Digital Transformation Community incubation program, impacting more than 500 people on their work and productivity.

Workplace Productivity and Time Management Problems with remote work and productivity? Your group to the next level!

Led by Rosario B Casas and Felipe Forero-Hauzeur (English or Spanish), this virtual workshop is for a group of up to 40 people in your workplace.

– Optimizing time management and being more productive has become a priority and a necessity; through simple methodologies and digital tools, we find help to build routines, create good habits, focus, be more productive, and thus improve your performance and at the same time, your quality of life, achieving the right balance, physical and mental health.

This workshop is a 4 hours workshop designed for teams and business leaders in every role. It results from the best practices and real experience Rosario and Felipe have. If you see what they accomplish daily and their success, you can see they work through excellence while having time for themselves. As for the last few years people used to ask them, “how you can do it without being overwhelmed” they decided to design the workshop.

A thousand entrepreneurs and business leaders benefited from the workshop and improved their use of time, productivity without the overwhelming sensation, and being happier.

holiday gifts, silent auction, fundraiser

Register Now on Eventbrite and visit our auction page to participate! 

Ivana Sedia is helping people connect and transcend borders through language translation services

Ivana Sedia is the founder of Unida Translation, which delivers both spoken and written word translation services in over 125 languages for projects in the certified, legal, government, medical, and technical fields. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ivana moved to the U.S. with her family in 1989. In addition to her Argentinian roots, Ivana is also Italian and Macedonian and is fluent in Spanish, Italian, and English with knowledge of Macedonian.

Ivana Sedia,  Unida Translation

Ivana Sedia, founder of Unida Translation. (Photo courtesy Ivana Sedia)

A passion for language-learning sparks business 

Ivana Sedia, founder of Unida Translation. (Photo courtesy Ivana Sedia)

Ivana’s interest in languages began when she was a little girl and only continued to grow throughout her life. She is passionate about helping people and cultures transcend borders and find understanding and commonality through language. With experience with writing in Spanish and English for Latino Social Magazine and working for the government by assisting non-English speaking immigrants, an MBA in management, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, International Relations and Diplomacy with a minor in Italian, Ivana decided to open her own translation service business, Unida Translation.

The idea for her business was born after the birth of Ivana’s first child. 

Ivana recounts, “The idea of trekking from home in Indiana to Chicago downtown every day, with my new baby on my hip, was less than ideal and with the exuberant cost of daycare close to home, I chose to leave the Illinois Secretary of State and step into my new role as a full-time mom.” 

While at home, Ivana kept herself updated with the “working world” by translating documents and hosting Spanish and Italian lessons. These hobbies would eventually turn into her very own translation service business. However, like many entrepreneurs and business owners know, the road was not without some struggles. 

Ivana with her husband and two children. (Photo courtesy Ivana Sedia)

“Teaching Italian and Spanish is my passion, but I was advised by so many individuals that my classes were not going to be enough to grow my business,” said Ivana. “Then COVID-19 hit, and my clients were too afraid to come to my classes. Contracts that I had were canceled. Halfway through 2020, I thought my business was over, but then I received a surprise call and found out that I had won the Indiana Technical Assistance Program (INTAP) grant. Thanks to this grant, I was able to launch a new brand to refresh and become Unida Translation.” 

This experience taught her not to lose faith as the grant came just when she needed it most. 

“Do not lose your faith in applying for help and God,” she says to other entrepreneurs. “I applied for this grant twice and failed the first time, but then the grant came at the right time.” 

You might be interested: Popular English ESL YouTuber launches innovative new language learning app 

Connecting and transcending across borders 

Ivana cites her knowledge of cultures and languages as one of her greatest strengths. It is through these strengths that she is able to help people understand each other and connect and transcend across borders. Her connections with people across the world have also helped her in her business and in the business world. Another crucial strength for Ivana was growing up in a family of entrepreneurs which gave her early life experience in business. 

“Nothing beats experience!” she says. “Even if it is experience from watching your parents sell while you were playing with your Barbies.” 

translation services, Unida Translation

Ivana and the Unida Translation team. (Photo courtesy Ivana Sedia) 

For Ivana, success is achieved whenever she is able to help people communicate and connect better. She shares with us one of her favorite stories of a time she helped someone through her translation services. 

“It is no secret to the people who really know me that I am always a hopeless romantic! Still, my favorite story about my business was when a client from the government approached me and asked me to translate a letter from English to Spanish because he wanted to ask for his girlfriend’s hand in marriage. It was such a romantic and respectful letter and I really enjoyed translating it! It is translation jobs like that sort that keep me going so that I can continue to help people communicate and in turn, achieve success.” 

To other minority women who are thinking of starting their own venture, Ivana shares a few words of wisdom that she has learned along her own journey as a Latina entrepreneur and business owner. 

“Just do it. Do not be afraid because you never know what your business will be, and you will always wonder ‘what-if.’ Of course, do not go crazy! Have limits especially on how money is spent. Also, be open to interacting with others, put all your insecurities and judgement aside. Lock it up! Ask questions and mingle with others so get off your phone. To the women who want to be successful in their professions or careers and I think the same applies to entrepreneurs, remember that learning is never enough. Go get that degree or take that course to get certified. After all, like my mom always said to me, ‘They can take away your car, house, man, friends, ideas, but no one can take away your degree or certification!’”  

startups and entrepreneurs

US Hispanic businesses reach staggering numbers: 4.37 million and counting

US Hispanic businesses are at over 4.3 million, a number that has grown steadily for the last two decades beating growth of any other businesses in the United States. This article was published on Abasto Magazine by Contributor Kimberly Olivera.
startups and entrepreneurs US Hispanic businesses
It’s no surprise that Hispanics are a crucial part of this nation. As of July 1st, 2016, the Hispanic population reached a whopping 57.5 million, making them the largest ethnic or racial minority in the United States. With those kind of numbers, there’s no denying that they are a big part of this country.
With the rising of Hispanics in the U.S., there is also a rising of Hispanic-owned businesses. According to Business Wire, Hispanic-owned businesses have grown 31.6 percent since 2012, more than double the growth rate of all businesses in the U.S (13.8 percent). They show consistency and growth, with a projection of there being 4.37 million Hispanic-owned businesses this year.
Published in partnership with the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the 2017 study of Hispanics in Business details the growth of Hispanic business ownership, high levels of entrepreneurship and contributions to the U.S. economy. These numbers were revealed at the USHCC National Convention in Dallas, Texas this week.
According to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, Hispanics are 1.5 times more likely to start a business in comparison to the general population. Hispanic entrepreneurs represent 24 percent of all firms, compared to 10 percent a decade ago, which is a 140 percent increase.

Increase in Hispanic women-owned businesses

Latina entrepreneurs US Hispanic Business

A group of Latina entrepreneurs at the 2016 Pitch your Business Competition (L to R: Lu Camarena Mesulam, Nelly Reyes, Susana Salazar, Susana G Baumann, Maggie Casera, Jennagloria Pacheco, Hipatia Lopez)

Sales from Hispanic-owned businesses contribute $709 billion to the U.S. economy and between 2012 and 2017, 27.4 percent of the growth in all businesses in the U.S. can be attributed to Hispanic-owned businesses.

Not only are Hispanic businesses increasing, but businesses owned by Hispanic women are also rising in number. Between 2007 and 2012, the number of female Hispanic-owned businesses grew 87 percent, from 800,000 to 1.5 million. This is the largest increase in female businesses of any race or ethnicity.

“Throughout the United States, Hispanic entrepreneurs play a crucial role in supporting the growth of local communities,” said Javier Palomarez, President & CEO of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “They create American jobs, maintain our leadership in global markets, and contribute toward the mutual prosperity that makes America’s economy the greatest in the world.”

About Kimberly Olivera

Bilingual Social Media Coordinator of Abasto Magazine. She is a recent graduate with a Bachelors of Science in Journalism, as well as a freelance writer and photographer
speakers at the Latina SmallBiz Expo

Relevant speakers at the Latina SmallBiz Expo hosted by NJIT

Speakers at the Latina SmallBiz Expo and Pitch your Business to the Media Competition include Aisha Glover, President and CEO, Newark Community EDC; Karen Cahn, Founder and CEO, IFundWomen; Luis O De la Hoz, Vice President, Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey; Enrique Tarazona, Small Business Division at Bank of America; and Bellaria Jimenez, President of MassMutual TriState.

speakers at the Latina SmallBiz Expo

(L to R) Enrique Tarazona, Bank of America; Aisha Glover, NCEDC; Karen Cahn, IFundWomen; Luis O De La Hoz, SHCCNJ; Bellaria Jimenez, MassMutual TriState. has announced relevant speakers at the Latina SmallBiz Expo and Pitch your Biz to the Media Competition. The event will take place at the NJIT Campus Center Atrium, 150 Bleeker St, Newark, NJ 07102, on November 9 from 4:00pm to 9:00pm. Free parking will be available for all attendees at NJIT Garage located at 154 Summit Street.

“We are honored and humbled for the relevance of the speakers who have agreed to be part of our Latina SmallBiz Expo and Pitch Competition this year,” said Susana G Baumann, Editor-in-Chief, “Their support means a great recognition for the labor of love we extend to all Latinas in business and the workplace,” she added.

Senator Cory Booker has provided a video message to welcome guests of the Expo. Additionally, the Senator’s staff will be on hand at an outreach table to offer attendees with general information about the federal services they offer, and efforts to assist fellow Americans victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

Opening remarks for the Latina SmallBiz Expo will be addressed by Enrique Tarazona, Small Business Divisional Sales Performance Manager responsible for the North East Division at Bank of America, the event’s Presenting Sponsor. Enrique leads six Small Business Banking Managers with over 90 associates.

speakers at Latina SmallBiz Expo

Senator Cory A Booker provided a video message to welcome guests of the Expo.

Welcoming attendees to the City of Newark will be Aisha Glover, President and CEO of the Newark Community EDC. Aisha leads NCEDC as the City of Newark’s economic catalyst that strengths small businesses, supports a thriving entrepreneurial base and attracts businesses in emerging markets. Ms. Glover has over 15 years of experience as a convener, champion and agent for economic empowerment and social justice.

She will introduce the event’s Guest Speaker, Karen Cahn, Founder and CEO of iFundWomen, a crowdfunding platform for women-led startups and small businesses. “My personal brand is all about helping women with the funding they need to get their businesses off the ground,” Karen said. She will also staff a table at the Latina SmallBizExpo to start applications for crowdfunding campaigns for all women entrepreneurs, philanthropists, or vocational artists who are seeking funding for their projects.

You might be interested: 2017 Latina SmallBiz Expo & Pitch Competition hosted at NJIT

Opening the Pitch your Business to the Media Competition will be Luis O De La Hoz, VP of the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (SHCCNJ) and member of the Editorial Advisory Board at De La Hoz works tirelessly to help his fellow Hispanic entrepreneurs and has received numerous awards, such as the Business Advocate of the Year Award in 2012, a distinction for corporate and government advocates who have contributed to and demonstrated exemplary excellence and leadership in business.

De La Hoz will introduce the event’s Keynote Speaker, Bellaria Jimenez. CFP®, MBA, ChFC, President of MassMutual TriState, and Latina Leadership Sponsor.  A Latina leader in her own right, Bellaria have been working since 1995 with women and the Latino community providing education about the importance of financial planning. “My passion has been to attract, train and develop women and Hispanic advisors to help them reach their full potential,” Bellaria told

For information and to register or to participate in the Pitch your Business to the Media Competition, please visit Latina SmallBiz Expo (

For sponsorship and promotional opportunities, please contact or call 848 238 6090.

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 reh to participate at our Latina SmallBiz and Pitch your Biz Competition November 9 in Newark NJ. For registration and details 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 “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.


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 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 Arce, Verde Cleaning Services


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 announces its Pitch your Business competition

Ending this year in a high note, we are proud to announce our Pitch your Business to Media competition at our signature event 2016 Best Business Awards and Media Networking Event, to take place at Son Cubano, West New York, NJ on November 29 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm.


Our annual event will include a Pitch your Business to Media Competition, a fantastic opportunity for only six Latina business owners who would present their products or services in front of a Panel of Media Experts and compete for the opportunity to become the 2016 Best Business Pitch winner.

This year we have gathered the finest media and social media experts. Our Panel includes Angel Vazquez, Director, Communications and Community Empowerment at Univision Communications Inc.; Vicky Llerena, Social Vibes Media’s host, content creator, and public relations strategist; Sylvia Jáuregui, founder partner and co-owner of Jersey Bound Latino; and the exciting presence of Lili Gil Valletta, co-founder and President of XL Alliance and creator of Dreamers Ventures, a platform that selects, mentors and launches products created by Latinos to sell on television. It can’t get better than this!

Pitch your Business competition

Panel of Media Experts (L to R) Angel Vazques, Univision; Vicky Llerena, Social Media Vibes; Sylvia Jauregui, Nj Bound Latino and Lili Gil Valetta,


Thanks to our Sponsors and Supporters

At, we advocate for the economic empowerment of Latinas in business and the workplace. We represent the voice of small businesses owned by Latinas who usually do not have an opportunity to show case and promote their products or services.

2000px-wells_fargo_bank_svgWe are very grateful for the support received from Sponsors and Supporters who value our mission including our Gold Sponsor, Wells Fargo; Silver Sponsor,; Bronze Sponsors, including Access Latina and Herbalife Nutrition; Product Sponsor LUMESH; Media Sponsors, Univision 41, NJ Bound Latino, Social Vibes, and; and Supporters including Rising Tide Capital; LIFT Empowering Lives; Larrea Wealth Management; Son Cubano; Hanging Secrets;; Clason Point Partners Inc.; 5Salon and Spa; The Adelante Movement, My Healthy Gourmet Coffee, and Lux Beauty Club.

“Wells Fargo is proud to support, a leading national platform that brings resources, free promotion and information to Latinas in business and the workplace,” said Tomas Porturas, Community Development Leader for Wells Fargo’s Northern New Jersey Region. “Wells Fargo celebrates the strength, vision and innovation of Latina entrepreneurs and business leaders.”

Meet our Pitch your Business to Media competitors

Now let me introduce you to the six Latina entrepreneurs who would be participating at the Pitch your Business to Media competition. 

freshie Natural Feminine Care Pitch your Business

Nelly Reyes

Pitch your Business competitions

At freshie our goal is to revolutionize the feminine care industry. Our Founder is working to become a change leader in this very important category, by helping women understand the importance of aware self-care through education about the effects of chemicals in personal care products, and by creating feminine care products that are superior natural alternatives to conventional brands.

freshie products are free of sulfate, paraben, DEA, have no synthetic fragrances, no dyes, are not tested on animals, and our proprietary formula gives women a perceived sensation of freshness, so they feel truly fresh without the use of any harsh ingredients.



H.L Unico LLC, Empanada ForkPitch your Business

Hipatia Lopez

Hipatia Lopez



H.L. Unico LLC was started because I invented a kitchen utensil.  The pastry press, which was named Empanada Fork makes fork like impression on dough to seal it closed.  The idea was born in the kitchen and out of frustration when making empanadas.  I wanted a quicker and easier way to do this.  I have learned that to be an entrepreneur means to follow your dreams and pursue them with all your energy! It’s not an easy road and it makes you sweat and cry but it will all be worth it! Do not give up!




House of MC by Little Dragons in TrainingPitch your Business

Maggie Mondragon Cassera

Pitch your Business



I started House of MC by Little Dragons in Training on March of 2015 with the mission of  helping children in need. The Hope Necklace was my starting piece for Little Dragons in Training. After achieving my first goal, helping the children of Eva’s Village with a summer activity in the state of NJ I felt the need to expand our help to teenagers, young adults or anyone experiencing any difficulty.

My vision for House of MC jewelry was to give customers a classy, quality and inexpensive piece all wrapped in one. Our beautiful timeless pieces are made of 925 Sterling Silver.



Lu Camarena Mesulam


Pitch your Business


LuMESH brings order to the complexity of beauty through a focused assortment of must-have products that every woman needs.  LuMESH products are popular in the US among women of all ethnicities, because it works with the undertones of the skin and has a chameleon ability to transforms into the perfect shade on any complexion.

Currently LuMESH offers, multifunctional products such 2 in 1 lip/cheek sticks, lip gloss, and mascara plus will soon be launching a universal aerosol foundation. Our product are available primary on the East coast in boutiques and salons such as Warren Tricomi which is the #1 salon in the country, online at and Birchbox.




Really Natural by SuePitch your Business Really Natural by Sue

Luvia Susana Salazar

Pitch your Business



The desire to make natural juices was inspired by my family and my own wellbeing. Creating these natural supplements became a simple and delicious way for everyone to obtain necessary nutrients on a daily basis.

That is where Really Natural by Sue was born, so that people outside of my family could take part in this easy, fun, and 100% natural way to feel good because we love life too much not to.





Sweet Glori’s Dessert CompanyPitch your Business

Jennagloria Pacheco

Pitch your Business


Sweet Glori’s Dessert Company is an online-based company specializing in high-quality, decorative vegan, allergy-free, all-natural, decadent sweets, with gluten-free options. Jennagloria Pacheco, born with severe food allergies, started Sweet Glori’s Dessert Company due to the lack of taste and presentation found in dessert products catered to individuals with dietary restrictions. Sweet Glori’s is dedicated to providing desserts that are rich in flavor, appealing to the eye, while continuously satisfying the needs of those affected by special dietary needs.

Sweet Glori’s features items such as cake pops, chocolate covered ‘Oreos’, mini cupcakes, pie pops, and decorative sugar cookies. All products are free of the top eight allergens (our facility is nut and dairy-free). Products are made with all natural ingredients. Our company provides a solution for every event planner, friend, and family concerned about serving guests who may have dietary restrictions. You will be able to offer your guests desserts that are not only appealing to the eye but also satisfying to the palette. No guest is excluded, everyone is always included. Our products are ready for your celebration, even if it’s no special occasion.


Join us for the Pitch your Business to Media competition and a night of fun and recognition! Come to cheer for your favorite Latina business owner! We expect a full house, sold-out event so do not delay in getting your tickets now!

For additional information and registration please visit our event at 2016 Best Business Awards and Media Networking.

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, 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.


Inner peace water Lily flower

A Latina entrepreneur coaches others in the path of self discovery

Fortuna Alcocer profile

Fortuna Alcocer, School Of Prosperity Shri Sama LLC

Fortuna Alcocer is an International Coach and Master Business Coach with NLP (Coach Internacional y Master Coach de Negocios con PN). She is the Owner & Director of School Of Prosperity Shri Sama LLC and the Owner and Director of Escuela de Empresarios Multinivel Exitosos. She was awarded the 2015 Best Business Award.


I’m Tula Alcocer, Fortuna, for you, an expert at coaching individuals bloom their Inner Self.

A happy Peruvian woman, a mom of two kids, a linguist, a personal and a Master business neuro-coach, a mentor and a professional speaker that loves to inspire, listen, guide, educate and empower entrepreneurs to manage personal inner issues that prevent them to achieve their expectations in life and business.

I’m the owner of School Of Prosperity Shri Sama LLC, with a mission to provide proper knowledge and right guidance to entrepreneurs and small/medium-sized business owners who want to increase their productivity and leadership.

I am an entrepreneur since I was 14 years old. I started my entrepreneurial journey in the United States after the birth of my second child for three reasons:

  1. To accomplish my purpose in life. Entrepreneurship gives me the opportunity to use my talents, gifts and abilities to serve humanity.
  2. To enjoy freedom. For me, freedom is one of the most important values that every human being must enjoy. Entrepreneurship gives us the opportunity to accomplish it.
  3. For the satisfaction of being a mom raising her kids personally. Spending quality time with my kids, taking care of them is very rewarding and enjoyable. I accomplish this goal through entrepreneurship.

I realized that most entrepreneurs in the Hispanic community looking for prosperity end up with a life full of stress, frustration and dissatisfaction. They follow the wrong formula due to lack of proper knowledge and guidance. In fact, I was one of them. Even though I was successful in my network marketing business, my personal life was a real mess. After I received the proper education and mentoring, my life and business changed forever.

Fortuna Alcocer winner 2015 Best Business Award 2015

Fortuna Alcocer winner 2015 Best Business Award 2015


In 2009 I created the ACFA program for network marketing entrepreneurs. After a while, I realized that most of the personal, business and marketing strategies that I was sharing with them could be applied to entrepreneurs from other industries. So, in December of 2010 I decided to expand my services to local business small/medium-sized business owners in New Jersey with the vision that all entrepreneurs receive proper knowledge and guidance delivered in their Spanish native language so they increase their productivity and leadership.

In the first days of 2011, my life suddenly turned upside down leaving me in a homeless situation with no money and the only parent to support my two kids. It was a tough time. However, it was a blessing because it led me to self-realization.

I remember everybody saying that I was crazy thinking about starting a business in New Jersey in such adverse circumstances. Most people told me to look for a job. I thought to myself, however, “It is time to create my own company.” That’s what I did and I am so happy. I love what I do. How can’t I be successful?

Inner peace School of ProsperityMy first obstacle was the lack of knowledge and guidance. I didn’t know how to start my business and I didn’t know who could help me. I overcame this situation by taking entrepreneurial classes.

Then, I had no money for marketing purposes so I decided to create an online marketing strategy for my business, cut off unnecessary personal and business expenses and focus on what was really productive.

I also had to confront the lack of family support so I learned to balance my personal and entrepreneurial life by prioritizing tasks, managing my time and delegating. I created a very supportive community at home. I didn’t want to be a Super Woman, just a happy mom and a happy person.

Having a positive attitude, thinking big, keeping focused, going small, being faithful, organized and persistent are the strengths that helped me to move forward with my business.

I consider myself a person with a very positive attitude. I start my days with gratitude. I have faith that things will happen. I have a clear vision of what I want and where I’m going, and I never give up. I achieve my goals step by step with patience and enthusiasm. I organize my time with a weekly schedule for my business, my kids and myself.

School of prosperity banner

To those starting their own business, I recommend to:

Go ahead! Stop thinking. The only right time to start something is Now!

  • Use your brain:
    • Define ‘Why’ (values, not reasons) you want to start your business. Values are your source of self-motivation. Build your business on the foundation of self-motivation. Don’t wait others to motivate you.
    • Create a positive entrepreneurial mindset and attitude. You are the only responsible for your success. Believe in yourself!
    • Stay focused and manage your emotions that hold you back.
    • Educate about the business you want to start. Get the basics of the industry you want to work in. Knowledge matters!
  • Use your heart:
    • Feel passionate about what you do. Don’t think how much money you will earn. But how many people you will serve instead.
    • Use your talents, gifts and abilities to serve humanity. Living on purpose matters!
  • Use your hands:
    • Hold a mentor and a coach’s hand. You are not alone. There are people out there willing to guide you along your journey. Hold on to one!
    • Shake hands with positive people.
  • Use your feet:
    • Walk step by step. Take congruent and consistent actions until you accomplish your goals.
    • Dance, jump and celebrate your goals. Reward yourself. Never give up!


Cliquea Me Gusta y Se Mi Fan /Like & Fan Me Facebook

Sigueme en/Follow Me Twitter

Leeme y Suscribete/Read me & Suscribe Blog

Members of the AccessLatina accelerator

AccessLatina launches accelerator for economic empowerment of Latinas in STEAM


Members of the AccessLatina accelerator

Members of the AccessLatina accelerator


 AccessLatina, a non-for-profit organization pioneering entrepreneurial growth for women, announces the launch of the first-ever multi-market accelerator program developed to reach one of America’s fastest growing populations—Latinas—in STEAM, social innovation and agriculture.

The organization parallels the passion, authenticity and cultural roots that Latinas proudly share. The accelerator was launched by two female entrepreneurs: Lucienne Gigante and Marta Michelle Colón. It is open to Latinas who own businesses headquartered in New York, Washington, DC, Florida, and Puerto Rico, focused on STEAM, social innovation, or the agricultural industry (including ag-farm and ag-tech), and have been doing business for at least three years.

According to the American Express State of Women-Owned Businesses 2014 report, women in the continental U.S. are opening an average of 1,200 businesses a day, double the rate from three years ago. Women-owned businesses generate more than $1.4 trillion in revenue and employ more than 7.9 million people.

Latinas in particular are paving the way by opening businesses six to one above other market segments, proving to play an instrumental role in unleashing the potential of the American economy. Over the past decade there has been a nearly 200 percent increase in Latina-owned businesses. 

“Studies show that Latina business owners have a startup rate of six times the national average. Latinas hold amazing possibilities to create employment, exports and continue to significantly impact the economy,” said Marta Michelle Colón.

AccessLatina aims to provide capital injection and resource investment to women-owned businesses with high-growth potential through a yearly competition for which applications are being accepted starting immediately at

AccessLatina will provide capital and resources to Latina entrepreneurs, including a $25,000 grant and a crowd-funding round, advanced education, publicity, mentoring and access to a high-profile network of professionals, other entrepreneurs and investors.  

The accelerator comprises three modules taught by top professors and experts on topics including management, sales, marketing, investors, business plans, and mentoring sessions. Ten finalists will be chosen by more than 40 judges participating in the process.

“Investing in women’s economic development is a significant economic driver for any country,” said Lucienne Gigante.

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

To be part of the #ACCESSLATINA experience or for more information on the program and details of the application process please visit Follow on social media  @AccessLatina on Facebook and @AccessLatina on Twitter. Please use #FUNDLATINAS on social media.


Key Dates:

Accelerator’s deadline to submit applications is

November 28, 2015

 The 10 finalists will be announced on

January 4, 2016

 The five winners will be announced on:

March 28, 2016