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SBA: How these cities support Latinx small businesses, J.Lo. fireside chat

The SBA (U.S. Small Business Administration) Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced today the full speaker slate for National Small Business Week, including entrepreneur Mark Cuban, Chef José Andrés, and White House Senior Advisor and Director of the Office of Public Engagement Cedric Richmond.  The National Small Business Week Virtual Summit takes place September 13-15, 2021.

 

Photo Credits: Mark Cuban (Wikimedia Commons – Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America – Mark Cuban & Doug Ducey) –  Jennifer Lopez (Wikipedia Commons dvsross – Jennifer Lopez at GLAAD Media Awards.jpg) – Jose Andres (Wikimedia Commons David Shankbone – Own work José Andrés Puerta at the 2012 Time 100 gala.)

The theme for this year’s event is Celebrating Resilience and Renewal, spotlighting the resilience of America’s entrepreneurs and the renewal of the small business economy as they build back better from the economic crisis brought on by the pandemic.

Administrator Guzman will kick off National Small Business Week with an opening address on September 13. In addition to this and the new keynote speakers, other panelists and participants will include Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles, Calif.; Mayor Steve Adler, Austin, Texas; Mayor Regina Romero, Tucson, Ariz.; Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, Chicago, Ill.; Tarik Brooks, President of Combs Enterprises, and Oisin Hanrahan, Chief Executive Officer of Angi.

Here’s how you can participate:

Photo of Jennifer Lopez

Register for the National Small Business Week Virtual Summit, September 13-15 for business tips, chat with other small business owners and connect with industry experts.

Also, hear from guest speaker Jennifer Lopez as she joins Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman for “Pathways to Entrepreneurship: A Fireside Chat” on Tuesday, September 14.

For more information, see the Virtual Summit agenda.

Photo credit SBA

NSBW Virtual Summit Speakers Line up

Monday, September 13 – “Getting Back on Track: Resources to Build Back Better”

  • Opening Keynote Address by: Isabella Casillas Guzman, SBA Administrator (11-11:30 a.m. EDT)
  • Keynote Address by: Cedric Richmond, White House Senior Advisor and Director of the Office of Public Engagement (11-11:30 a.m. EDT)
  • Keynote Address by: Mark Cuban, Entrepreneur (11-11:30 a.m. EDT)
  • “Life after COVID – A Fireside Chat with SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman and Restaurateur Chef José Andrés”- José Andrés, Chef, Restaurateur and Founder of World Central Kitchen (12:40-1:10 p.m. EDT)

Tuesday, September 14 –Better Serving Small Businesses and Underserved Communities

  • “Support Latino Biz: How these Mayors are Leading the Way” – (3:40-4:40 p.m. EDT)
    Participants: Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles, Calif.; Mayor Steve Adler, Austin, Texas; Mayor Regina Romero, Tucson, Ariz.; Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, Chicago, Ill.
    Moderator: Antwaun Griffin, Chief of Staff for the SBA
  • Special Remarks by: Tarik Brooks, Chief Operating Officer of Combs Enterprises, will speak on the importance of Black and Brown communities coming together to support each other. (4:45-5:00 p.m. EDT)

Wednesday, September 15 “Continuance to Support Resilience and Renewal”

  • Special Remarks by: Oisin Hanrahan, Chief Executive Officer of Angi (formerly Angie’s List), will share small business experiences as well as trends and insights on how Angi has maneuvered through the pandemic and positioned for the future.

Biographies for Keynote Speakers

Cedric Richmond: White House Senior Advisor and Director of the Office of Public Engagement
Cedric Richmond is an attorney and former Democratic Congressman for Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District from 2011-2021. Richmond now serves as senior advisor to President Biden and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.

Mark Cuban: Entrepreneur
Mark Cuban is an entrepreneur, television personality, and media proprietor. He is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks professional basketball team of the National Basketball Association, co-owner of 2929 Entertainment, and chairman of AXS-TV. He is also one of the main “shark” investors on the hit ABC reality TV series “Shark Tank.”

José Andrés: Chef, Restaurateur, and Founder of World Central Kitchen
José Andrés is a chef, restaurateur, and founder of World Central Kitchen, a non-profit devoted to providing meals in the wake of natural disasters.  He is often credited with bringing the small plates dining concept to America. He owns restaurants in Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Las Vegas, Nev.; South Beach Miami and Orlando, Fla.; Chicago, Ill., and New York, N.Y.  Andrés received the National Humanities Medal at a White House ceremony in 2016. In 2018, Andrés’ World Central Kitchen provided meals to furloughed federal employees during the federal government shutdown.

You might be interested: Isabella Casillas Guzman confirmed as new SBA Administrator, a big win for small businesses 

Administrator Guzman announced National Small Business Week 2021 in a news release last month. The free, three-day conference will take place in a virtual atrium, which will showcase a series of educational panels on best practices for small businesses to pivot and recover in a changing economy. NSBW events this year will also provide a forum where business owners will be able to get expert advice, learn new business strategies, connect with industry experts, and meet other business owners as they look to pivot and recover. Additional speakers will be announced. Details and information will be posted on https://www.sba.gov/NSBW  as events are finalized.

To register for the National Small Business Week Virtual Summit and participate in summit workshops, please visit http://www.sba.gov/NSBW. All events will be live-streamed and will use the event hashtag #SmallBusinessWeek.

WEES, WEES 2021

Save the Date: June 10 for the 2021 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit & Latina Leaders Award

LEARN. CONNECT. SUCCEED!  Our 3rd consecutive WEES will provide you with inspiration, resources, and networking connections that will allow you to THRIVE!

WEES, WEES 2021

Join us for our first hybrid event, the 2021 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit, June 10 in NYC.

We are pleased to invite you to attend the 2021 Women Entrepreneur Empowerment Summit, our unique conference that year after year gathers Latinas and other minority women entrepreneurs in the region to Learn, Connect, and Succeed!  

“We are extremely excited to deliver our first hybrid event since the pandemic began, a significant change from the solely-virtual events of the past year, to bring a sense of normalcy to our audience. And we are very grateful to Berkeley College, a Hispanic-serving institution in New York City, for co-hosting the event this year,” said Susana G Baumann, President and CEO, Latinas in Business Inc.

The conference will take place on June 10, 2021 from 1:30pm to 6:30pm in our Virtual Space, and 6:00pm to 8:00pm at our Live Site, at Berkeley College’s  Mid-Manhattan Campus, a short walk from Grand Central Station. Be sure to save the date! 

It’s your time to THRIVE!

The 2021 theme, “THRIVE! Imperatives Shaping the Future of Women Entrepreneurs,” is reflective of the changes and trends generated by the COVID19 pandemic. We bring together corporations, minority women entrepreneurs, and students to take advantage of tools and insights that will propel YOU forward to THRIVE in the “new normal.” 

First Lady of New Jersey

Mrs Tammy S. Snyder, First Lady of New Jersey, addresses women and men entrepreneurs at the 2019 Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch in Jersey City.

Just as our past events featured inspirational guest speakers such as First Lady of New Jersey Tammy S. Murphy and Cenia Paredes, celebrity designer and founder, Cenia New York, this year’s conference will feature inspiring Keynote speakers, fun networking sessions and a surprise Celebrity Speaker! 

Jackeline Cacho with actor, TV writer and producer, and women’s advocate Ivana de Maria during Fireside Chat at 2019 Entrepreneur Empowerment Lunch. 

Highlights of the Conference:

  • Personal Power, Financial Wellness, and Business Innovation: Deep-dive workshops discuss three essential imperatives for business development: 
  • THRIVE! Women Turning Adversity into Success: Three inspiring women entrepreneurs will share their journeys to success while fighting the odds of being a woman and reinventing themselves during the pandemic.  
  • THRIVE! Enlisting Men’s Support to Expand your Networks:  Three national leaders will share their initiatives in the Men’s Panel on how women can recruit them to expand and grow their businesses and networks. 
  • Peer-to-Peer Networking Sessions: Allow participants to exchange experiences and innovation that they have used to advance their businesses in the wake of the Covid19 pandemic. 
  • WIN A TRIP: The opportunity to WIN a trip to Morocco in October 2021 with Renovad! 

You might be interested: Latina Leaders share small business post-Covid recovery resources 

From 6:00pm to 8:00pm, during the LIVE portion of the conference, the Latina Leaders Awards and Reception, 12 successful Latinas will be awarded for excelling at growing their businesses or building community around them. The LIVE segment will be broadcasted to all virtual audience from our Berkeley College in NYC. 

Great surprises and the winner of the Morocco trip will be announced! 

Join us for this must-attend event where we will help you gain the tools, insights, and resources that will propel you and your business forward in post COVID-19 world, not only to recover but to THRIVE! 

instagram for small businesses, instagram,

How Instagram is helping Latina entrepreneurs survive the pandemic

The pandemic put most brands into turmoil, if not out of business. It’s a dire situation for all businesses, but the minority-owned businesses bear the brunt. This is especially true for Hispanic-owned businesses, which took a 42% nosedive in sales from February to March 2020 alone. A similar report even suggested that the impacts of the coronavirus would be twice as bad on black- and Hispanic-owned brands than for white-owned businesses.

Despite this outlook, many Latina entrepreneurs weathered the crisis by pivoting their operations. These Latinas turned to Instagram to reach consumers and connect with others in the community. Get to know these three Latina-owned businesses that beat the odds via Instagram.

Cafe Con Libros (Bookstore)

The bookstore closed up shop in early March of 2020 when the pandemic broke out. It was a tough decision for Latina owner Kalima DeSuze since the business relied heavily on their storefront— they sold coffee and pastries. But DeSuze knew that it was the best thing to do in the interest of her staff and customers’ safety.

41-year-old DeSuze took social media, SEO, and e-commerce courses to learn how to effectively use Instagram. Applying what she learned, the bookstore gained 15,000 followers on social media. DeSuze successfully tapped into online retail and created a platform to share books authored by women of color in the process.

 

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A post shared by Cafe con Libros (@cafeconlibros_bk)


Flower Bodega (Floral Design & Content Studio)

Florist and owner Aurea Sanabria Molaei was forced to rethink her business strategy after the pandemic hit. Her 2020 contracts started to fall through almost all at once. She came up with the idea of creating floral kits instead.

She would scramble to deliver all the kits to customers around New York. After completing deliveries, Sanabria Molaei would host a live floral arrangement class on Instagram, filmed from her studio. Other brands took notice and now ask Sanabria Molaei to do Instagram takeovers and live video sessions to teach floral design.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Flower Bodega (@flowerbodega)


Franca (Ceramics)

It was a massive blow to Jazmin de la Guardia and her business partner when their wholesale accounts shut down, crippling 95% of the business. This was when they decided to look to social media to drive sales up.

 

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A post shared by FRANCA (@franca_nyc)


The Franca staff poured their efforts into growing their Instagram account, and it proved to be a success. Online orders started to come in, and their products even caught Michelle Obama’s attention. She commissioned a line of mugs as part of her ‘Vote 4Ever Merch’ collection

You might be interested: 3 Marketing challenges Latina-owned businesses face

How you can maximize Instagram for your business

Maintain high-quality visuals

Aesthetics is crucial on Instagram. It’s a photo and video-sharing app, so there’s simply no room for shoddy shots.

Your photos and videos need to look professional if you want to be taken seriously— well-lit, in high-definition, and tasteful. Furthermore, make sure that your posts are cohesive. Choose a theme or color palette that best reflects your brand and stick with it.

Follow a schedule

More than pretty visuals, you need consistency to keep followers engaged on Instagram. This is why you need to plan out your content calendar in advance. In fact, you can even use a dedicated Instagram scheduler to ensure this calendar is followed down to the minute.

Some schedulers also deliver personalized insights that let you know when your followers are most engaged and suggest the best time for you to post. This is especially important given Instagram’s latest update to their algorithm, where new posts are noticed more. 

Take advantage of live videos

Take a cue from the Flower Bodega and the Fashion Designers of Latin America, start doing live videos. This gives you a unique opportunity to showcase your products as well as your brand personality in a more casual and intimate way.

Instagram allows you to broadcast live through the Stories format and even the IGTV format, which lets you upload longer-form videos, too.

COVID-19 put a strain on Latina entrepreneurs, but it’s also proven how their entrepreneurial skills and tenacity can tide them through even the most difficult times.

Key Insights from the 2020 State of Latino Entrepreneurship Report 

The 2020 State of Latino Entrepreneurship Report released by Stanford Graduate School of Business in collaboration with the Latino Business Action Network reveals that Latino-owned businesses are becoming the fastest growing segment of the U.S. small business ecosystem. 

The New Latino Entrepreneur  

Data over the years have expanded the narrative on the average profile of all Latino business owners: they are more highly educated than the general U.S. Latino population, have higher homeownership rates relative to their wageworking counterparts, and in general, generate greater personal income, representing a path to upward mobility and community wealth. 

Latinos are starting businesses at a faster rate than the national average across almost all industries.

According to the 2020 State of Latino Entrepreneurship Report, the number of Latino-owned businesses has grown 34% over the last 10 years compared to just 1% for all other small businesses. Were it not for the growth in the number of Latino-owned firms, the total number of small businesses in the U.S. would actually have declined between 2007 and 2012.

Between the years 2012 to 2017, the number of employer Latino-owned businesses (LOBs) grew by 14%, over twice the U.S. average of 6%. Additionally, the number of employer LOBs grew across 44 out of 50 U.S. states, and grew at a faster rate than the national industry average across 13 of the 15 industry sectors that include a substantial number (over 1,000) of employer LOBs. Among these industries, the growth rate is highest in the following industries: 1) Construction, 2) Finance and Insurance, 3) Transportation and Warehousing, 4) Real Estate.

Latino-owned employer businesses are growing revenues at a faster rate than White-owned employer businesses. Over the past two years, Latino-owned firms grew revenues an average of 25% per year while White-owned businesses (WOB) revenue grew at 19%.

In pre-pandemic times, the roughly 400,000 Latino-owned employer businesses generated nearly $500 billion in annual revenue and employed 3.4 million people.

Latino-owned employer businesses are significantly less likely than White-owned employer businesses to have loan applications approved by national banks, despite reporting strong metrics on a variety of key lending criteria. 

Only 20% of LOBs that applied for national bank loans over $100,000 obtained funding, compared to 50% of WOBs. Considering only scaled firms (annual revenues greater than $1 million) requesting a similar size loan, only 29% of Latino-owned businesses were approved, compared to 76% for WOBs. If loans of all sizes are considered, 51% of LOBs were approved for all or most of their loans requested from national banks, compared to 77% of WOBs. Importantly, after controlling for business performance measures, the odds of loan approval from national banks are 60% lower for Latinos. Explored below are some key areas business performance measures from the report: 

  • Credit: Latinos who own employer businesses are no more likely to have high credit risk than their White counterparts. Additionally, when considering credit performance, among the most credit vulnerable business owners (e.g., undocumented and microbusiness owners) the default rates are no higher than those among non-Latinos. 
  • Profitability: While WOBs are more likely to operate profitably than LOBs, three quarters of all LOBs report breaking even or generating profit in the last 12 months — a similar rate relative to WOBs. This is despite the impact of the coronavirus generating greater losses than in previous years. 
  • Liquidity: LOBs and WOBs report comparable liquidity with 52% of LOBs and 55% of WOBs reporting they have ample liquidity to operate without the need for credit. 
  • Business age: Given the recent booming growth in the number of Latino-owned businesses, it follows that LOBs are younger than WOBs. On average, LOBs are 10 years old while WOBs are 14 years old. The median age for both is 12 years.

Scaled Latino-owned employer businesses are more likely to seek and receive funding from sources that expose them to more personal financial risk compared to White-owned employer businesses. 

After accounting for application rates, the survey data showed that the top sources of funding (over $100,000) with the highest approval rates for scaled LOBs include: 1) Personal or business lines of credit (51%),i 2) Personal/family savings (43%), 3) Business credit card(s) (40%), 4) Personal/family home equity loan (37%). On the other hand, the top sources for scaled WOBs include: 1) Business loans from national banks (76%), 2) Business loans from local or community banks (45%), 3) Private equity (36%), 4) Personal/family home equity loan (34%). 

Latino-owned employer businesses that participate in formal business organizations (e.g., chambers of commerce and trade associations) are more likely to experience funding success. 

LOBs that leverage formal business organizational networks are more than twice as likely to experience funding success as those that did not engage in any networking activities (63% versus 28%). The report’s data shows that businesses that leverage organizational and personal networks are more likely to come in contact with capital providers, which may provide opportunities to build the relationships needed to facilitate funding requests.

Pandemic has disproportionately impacted women, specifically Latinas  

Much of the growth in the number of new businesses among Latinos has been driven by women. Latinas represent 40% of all Latino business owners and the number of Latina-led employer firms has grown 20% within the last five-year period of data available. As part of the gender wage gap, Latinas earn 54 cents on the dollar relative to White non-Latino men, trailing women of all other racial and ethnic backgrounds, which might be one of the driving factors leading to Latinas exiting the formal labor market to start their own businesses.

You might be interested: It will take two centuries for the gender wage gap to close for Latinas if we do nothing

However, despite Latinas representing a large number of LOBs, they have been the most impacted negatively by the pandemic.

Source: 2020 State of Latino Entrepreneurship Report

Data shows that twice as many Latina-led companies experienced closure compared to Latino-led businesses (30% versus 16%). Layoffs were also higher for Latina-led companies (17% versus 12%). This gender gap holds among WOBs as well. The difference in industry distribution by gender does not fully explain the gap in business closure by industry. The data reveals some differences in having cash on hand. 

Source: 2020 State of Latino Entrepreneurship Report

Only about 1 in 10 Latina-owned businesses have enough cash on hand to survive beyond 6 months compared to 2 in 10 Latino-owned businesses. This gap is less pronounced for WOBs. In addition, working from home is also more challenging for Latina-led businesses. Only 20% report that the majority of their employees can work remotely, compared to 34% of Latino-led and 48% of White-male-led companies.

The 2020 State of Latino Entrepreneurship report reveals that while Latino-led businesses are clearly crucial to the U.S. small business ecosystem, there is still much work to be done to ensure that Latino entrepreneurs are awarded the same opportunities as White entrepreneurs. Latino-led businesses have also faced greater hardships in the past year due to the pandemic and future economic recovery efforts will need to include greater support and aid to minority business owners going forward.

Latinas in Business partners with Rutgers’ Entrepreneurship Pioneers Initiative (EPI) Program

Jasmine Cordero is the director of Rutgers’ award-winning Entrepreneurship Pioneers Initiative (EPI) Program where she manages the 9-month training program focused on helping entrepreneurs in NJ grow their businesses and attain resources, financial coaching, peer-mentoring, and networking opportunities. 

Entrepreneurship Pioneers Initiative

Apply today! Deadline March 31.

The Entrepreneurship Pioneers Initiative (EPI) offered by Rutgers University’s Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development (CUEED) is an exclusive program that has helped countless entrepreneurs grow and improve their businesses for over 13 years. 

Now, Latinas in Business is becoming Strategic Partners with Rutgers’ EPI program to bring our Members more support and resources and help them get their businesses to the next level. Latina in Business Members will receive an exclusive discount on the program, paying only $300 instead of $550. 

Additionally, Rutgers will be sponsoring 3 scholarships for Latina in Business Members each year. 

“We are grateful and excited that Rutgers EPI program has partnered with Latinas in Business to give access to better knowledge, support and resources to our members. Latina entrepreneurs are a hard-working community that can use all the help they can get,” said Latinas in Business President and CEO, Susana G Baumann. 

Susana G Baumann with 2019 Latinas in Business Pitch Competition winners.

How the EPI Program will help you grow your business

Speaking with Jasmine, she explains what the EPI Program does, what participants can expect and gain from the program, and how to apply. 

“The EPI is an award-winning program and has won several national and international awards for its innovative curriculum and aiding economic development. The goal is to help entrepreneurs have thriving, sustainable and profitable businesses.

Participants receive intensive business training, individual business and financial coaching, peer mentoring, networking opportunities and mentoring over a 9-month period to help them grow and improve their businesses. The program also helps participants develop the skills and tools needed to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and any other crisis that their business may face.” 

Jasmine Cordero as one of the judges at the 2019 Latinas in Business Pitch Competition.

What do small Business owners take away from the program? 

“Entrepreneurs leave the program with a road map, actionable, and measurable plan on how they are going to grow their business within the next three years. They also leave with an expanded network, a support network, and increased business knowledge to help them with their business growth.”

How do they graduate, and what are the requirements for graduation? 

To gain the full benefit of the EPI program, all participants must commit to:

    • Half a day training sessions biweekly on Fridays (Virtual via Zoom)
    • Additional hours (approximately 6-10) over the nine-month program for business development and financial coaching 
    • Developing and presenting a customized growth plan for your business
Entrepreneurship Pioneers Initiative

Visit https://www.business.rutgers.edu/cueed/epi for more information on the program and how to apply.

Is there funding involved?

Each participant will have their own business and financial coaches. As part of the coaching, the business coach will help them identify opportunities to grow and the financial coach will help them find funding. 

Who can apply? 

In order to be able to apply to the program you must be in business/fully operational for at least a minimum of 2 years and located in NJ.

Registration is now open for the 13th cohort. The deadline to apply is March 31. You can complete an application at https://www.business.rutgers.edu/cueed/epi.

UN Women

Maria-Noel Vaeza of UN Women discusses key issues affecting women post-COVID

In the past year, due to the COVID-19 crisis, women have experienced job loss in record numbers and suffered from economic barriers. To address these issues UN Women is creating a variety of programs and initiatives that will help further the advancement of women globally, increase their access to capital, and promote gender equality.

UN Women, gender equality

Maria-Noel Vaeza, UN Women. (Photo credit: Pablo Sanhueza)

How UN Women is working to support women post-COVID Crisis

Maria-Noel Vaeza is the Regional Director of UN Women for the Americas and the Caribbean. A Uruguayan native, she holds a doctorate in Law and Social Sciences from the University of the Republic of Uruguay and a master’s degree in public policy from John Hopkins University in Washington DC. Prior to this role, Maria-Noel served as Director of the Program Division at UN Women headquarters in New York. 

Before joining the UN she also held various positions in the Uruguayan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including Political Counselor at the Uruguayan Embassy in Washington DC and delegate to the United Nations General Assembly. 

Currently, UN Women are working to develop various programs to support women in business, especially those struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the key objectives UN Women are working to address is advancing gender equality. 

“Advancing gender equality continues to be strategic, and becomes even more important in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to McKinsey Global Institute estimates from July 2020, the rate of job loss for women has been 1.8 times higher than that of men,” says Maria-Noel. 

UN Women

Maria-Noel Vaeza, Regional Director of UN Women for the Americas and the Caribbean. (Photo credit: Pablo Sanhueza)

According to their estimates, not taking gender-lens actions to address the impact of COVID-19 in a way that would widen the gap in labor participation between men and women would result in a decrease in global GDP by $1 billion in 2030, compared to its value if the crisis had affected women equally. In contrast, if actions were taken now to improve gender equality, so that gender equality improves over the next decade, global GDP could be $13 billion higher in 2030, an increase of 11% over the no-action scenario.”

To encourage advancements in gender equality, UN Women are creating a variety of programs to address gender biases and inequalities in business. One of these programs is the Win-Win program. 

Formed in collaboration with ILO and with financial support from the European Union, the Win-Win program seeks to contribute to the economic empowerment of women, recognizing them as beneficiaries and drivers of growth and development, in partnership with the private sector through the incorporation and/or improvement of corporate management with a gender lens, with the understanding that in addition to an ethical imperative and social justice, gender equality is good business for companies, for the market and society as a whole.

The Win-Win Program’s 3 Key Focus Topics

The Win-Win Program is framed within the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development focusing on 4 Sustainable Development Goals (5,10, 8 and 17). To address opportunities for economic empowerment and open spaces for women, the Win-Win Program addresses the issue in 3 dimensions of work: with entrepreneurs and businesswomen; with companies (supporting them in a gender-focused management) and with the financial sector to develop innovative financing initiatives with gender impact.  

Maria-Noel Vaeza at Forum WEPs. (Photo credit: Rodrigo de la Fuente).

There are three topics that have become essential for women’s businesses and that UN Women seek to promote through the Win-Win Program. Maria-Noel describes these three key focus topics below:

  1. First, the use of digital tools to reach their target audiences, position their businesses and sell, including digital marketing and e-commerce. This crisis is deepening the Fourth Industrial Revolution and digitalization processes, so it is essential to adjust to change and rethink the ways of doing business. 
  2. Second, access to financing. The evidence is clear: investing in women is good business. But for many women, access to capital remains a major barrier. According to the IFC, only 7% of private equity and venture capital is invested in women-led businesses. This lack of capital or funding is not only detrimental to women’s progress, but to social and economic growth itself. Therefore, from the Win-Win Program, we are working on an innovative financing initiative with an impact on gender equality. 
  3. Third, there are the strategic alliances and linkages that can be made between women’s companies and between companies committed to equality, to generate business opportunities or mutual benefit, as well as the promotion of gender-sensitive procurement in corporate or public procurement processes. By gender-sensitive procurement, we mean the review of procurement processes to identify barriers to the participation of women-owned businesses, as well as the possibility of implementing affirmative actions to include more women-owned businesses in supply chains.  

Within the framework of the Win-Win Program, the UN Women have also developed the Investors for Equality Initiative, a space for meeting and dialogue between the different actors of the financial, investment and entrepreneurship ecosystem to raise awareness and mobilize investments with gender impact.

The Investors for Equality Initiative seeks to become a space that puts women at the center of investments, making them visible as businesswomen, entrepreneurs and investors. It also seeks to involve more actors in this effort and to mobilize more capital flows and financial instruments to reduce the financing gaps that women face today and to generate a commitment to the principles involved in promoting gender-sensitive investments and gender equality within organizations in the financial sector.

“To this end, we call on more investors and financial institutions to join us, transforming their internal practices to promote women’s empowerment, generating more innovative financial instruments and mechanisms that incorporate a gender perspective and thereby achieve greater impact on gender equality and women’s empowerment,” says Maria-Noel.

The impact of Latina women and entrepreneurs

According to recent World Bank data, in the Latin American and Caribbean region, women represent approximately 40% of the economically active population. According to IDB data, the average rate of entrepreneurial activity of women in the region is 15%, of which 71% undertake out of opportunity and 29% out of necessity. 

“Latin America in general is one of the regions with the highest rates of entrepreneurial activity, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, the six countries with the highest rates are in the region, with Chile and Ecuador at the top of the list. This speaks of a huge opportunity,” says Maria-Noel. 

UN Women, gender equality

Marie-Noel Vaeza, UN Women. (Photo credit: Pablo Sanhueza)

“Women play a central role in our societies, not only because they are almost 50% of the population, but also because women control around 20 billion dollars in consumer spending, and generate around 18 billion, which widens their circle of influence. In Latin America, women make 64% of the purchasing decisions in their households. Data shows that women entrepreneurs generate 20% more income than men, even though 50% less is invested in them.” 

This begs the question: Why, if women generate more income, decide on consumption and undertake profitably, do they have fewer opportunities? According to Maria-Noel, one of the current challenges for women’s economic empowerment is the mobilization of the capital necessary to have impactful businesses, diversify sources of financing, and develop more innovative mechanisms.

Still, Latinas are innovative and eager to move forward,” Maria-Noel says, though they face  “enormous frustrations due to the barriers they face: no access to financing.” 

If these barriers are to be broken down, we must work on social norms and eliminate unconscious biases and stereotypes, which is what the UN Women are striving to do with their various programs focused on promoting the advancement of women. 

Marie-Noel Vaeza, taking a selfie with others. (Photo credit: Pablo Sanhueza)

We have to accelerate the pace for the advancement of women. It is absurd to continue discriminating. What we need to do as society is to start working and advocating toward gender equality. Women represent 50% of the world population, and women’s contribution to global gross domestic product (GDP) is 37%. Women are on the front line of the response and bear greater physical and emotional costs, as well as a higher risk of infection in crisis response.”  

And yet, Women are underrepresented as voters, as well as in leading positions, whether in elected offices, civil services, the private sector or academia. 

You might be interested: Mariela Dabbah, the perils of a global pandemic for gender inclusion in the workplace

“Investing in women’s economic empowerment sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth,” says Maria-Noel. “What we need to guarantee is that human rights, that are women´s right, are respected, guarantee their participation in decision-making spaces, in political parties and in all aspects of society. And that is why the work that we do at UN Women is so important, we focus on priority areas that are fundamental to women’s equality, and that can unlock progress across the board.” 

Moving forward: UN Women’a 4 areas of focus

Moving forward, the UN Women will continue to focus on priority areas fundamental to women’s equality and create programs that will further the advancement of women. Four primary areas of focus are: Political empowerment, economic empowerment, eliminating violence against women, and promoting peace and security. 

Maria-Noel Vaeza, UN Women. (Photo credit: Rodrigo de la Fuente).

Political empowerment: For this, we are working with the electoral tribunals to train women candidates. We have a wonderful platform that is active and has more than 5,000 women who want to be candidates or who are already candidates so that they can continue to be trained in negotiation, public policies. Today, 70% of the parliaments are made up of men, 100% of the presidents are men and 85% of the mayors are men. We have to move the needle and reach this parity. Our goal is parity. 

Economic empowerment: In this line, our priorities are the care economy and gender-sensitive financing and investments. 

Eliminating violence against women and girls is fundamental. To this end, I place great emphasis on prevention, because not enough is being done, and on access to justice. 

And finally, everything related to women, peace and security. Working on how women are placed at the tables to negotiate social peace, for preventive diplomacy, to avoid the conflicts that occur every day in our region and all that is humanitarian aid.

Additionally, this year the UN Women will focus on having women at the center of the response for COVID-19, to ensure women’s needs are taken into consideration for the recovery plans. They will be working intensely with the establishment of care systems in the region, to recognize, redistribute and reduce unpaid care work. Innovation will be at the center of the UN Women’s work moving forward as they also continue to focus on the overall advancement of women and further gender equality. 

Latinas in Business Inner Circle

Latina Equal Pay Day is a call to action

Latina Equal Pay Day — the day when Latina pay catches up to that of White, non-Hispanic men from the previous year. This year it is being observed on November 29, 2020.

More than 50 years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Latinas typically earn only 54 cents for every dollar earned by White, non-Hispanic men and must work more than 22 months to earn what white men earn in 12 months. Indeed, given that this is the last “Equal Pay Day” observance of the year, Latinas must typically work longer than … everyone.

latina entrepreneurs, latinas in business, latinas in the workplace

Latina entrepreneurs are the slowest growing demographics in revenue and economic growth. 2019 Latina SmallBiz Expo participants. 

This disparity hurts not only Latinas, but also the families and communities they support. In 2017, this is unacceptable. We need to act now and let everyone know that we support #LatinaEqualPay! Join the women’s rights community, Latino advocacy organizations, the labor movement and workers’ rights advocates  for the #LatinaEqualPay Day.

Blog contributor Corine Sandifer covers thoroughly the facts on this important issue and the actions to be taken to close this 47% pay gap that hurts Latino families, and follow Latinas into retirement. Read on!

We will be on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn using the primary hashtag #LatinaEqualPay and secondary hashtags #Trabajadoras, #EqualPay and #LatinxEqualPay. A toolkit including educational resources, sample promotional tweets, info-graphics, and memes can be found at http://www.latinaequalpay.org/.

Latina equal pay day

Click on the picture to find out how to join in the Call to Action – Latinaequalpay.org

People are overly optimistic about the state of Latinas 

Over four in ten white men think obstacles to advancement for Latinas are gone, but just 32% of Latinas agree. Moreover, nearly 62% of people who are not Latino think that racism, sexism, or both are uncommon in their company. Yet 51% of Latinas say they’ve experienced discrimination at work taken from a Survey by SurveyMonkey conducted on March 22-27, 2018.

This reality is what Latina’s in the U.S. face every day, and it’s holding us back from reaching our highest ambitions and our toughest goals.

2020 Latina Equal Pay Day

Is it because Latinas choose worse paying jobs? 

Many people think the gap exists because Latinas choose worse paying jobs. A third of Americans believe the gap occurs because Latinas work in occupations that don’t pay as much – and four in 10 white men think so. Only 20% of Latinos agree with that assessment yet when Latinas are in the same careers as white man they are paid significantly less. It is important to note that Latinas are overrepresented in low-wage jobs, and underrepresented in high-wage. What is frustrating for me is that they are still paid less than white men in the exact same jobs, even when they have high-wage jobs.

The unfortunate double discrimination

Latinas face unique challenges in the workplace. They are subject to biases for being women and biases for being people of color. This kind of double discrimination can intensify common biases faced by Latinas, but it can also play out in distinct forms of bias not faced by women more broadly.

latinas equal pay day

Read the new report from Lean In and McKinsey & Company https://womenintheworkplace.com

Turn Awareness into Action

These stats are pretty upsetting. We cannot sit back and let this go unnoticed. Obviously, we still have a long way to go to close this wage gap for Latina women. There are ways for all of us (not just Latinas) to fight this wage gap. Here are just a few call to action provocations.

  • Many Equal Rights Advocates are taking the lead on implementation and enforcement efforts related to the Fair Pay Act. Find out who they are in your city.
  • Vote at this year’s election on November 6.
  • Tell your representatives in Congress to vote for legislation that will close the Latina Wage Gap.
  • Read and Share the LeanIn.org & McKinsey annual study on Women in the Workplace
  • Support your Latina co-workers & friends (If you don’t have one, connect with me on LinkedIn or Instagram)

You can also turn awareness into action by joining a Lean In circle and taking strides toward a more equal world. Lean In Circles are small peer groups that meet regularly to share ideas, gain skills, seek advice, and show solidarity. They’re a place where women can be unapologetically ambitious. Being in a circle has allowed me to ask for what I want and to aim higher. I am supported by a whole world of powerful women.

This article was also published on LinkedIn On October 31. 2018 and has been updated to October 29, 2020. 

 

 

Business.NJ.gov

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

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

Business.NJ.gov

Cover of the new Business.NJ.gov en Espanol

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

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

Business.NJ.gov

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

strategic alliances

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

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

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

You might be interested: REGAIN OUR LATINO POWER – A National Conversation with Latina Leaders

resilience in children during Covid-19

How MiLegasi’s founder deals with resilience in children during COVID-19

Over the past few months, Covid-19 has had a tremendous impact on everyone world-wide. It has disrupted our routines, sense of structure, and security. The pandemic has not only threatened our physical health but also our mental health as we all try to adapt to these changing and uncertain times. While we as adults are able to understand the situation, children are struggling during this time, which is why it is crucial that caregivers work to build emotional resilience in children during Covid-19. 

#DONATE10 Donate $10 or more to our #2020WEES Giveaway and we will send you a mask like this one, fun, washable and reusable made by a Latina entrepreneur! Help Latina entrepreneurs who are struggling keep their businesses afloat! 

https://pages.donately.com/latinasinbusinessinc/campaign/2020wees

resilience in children during Covid-19

Janny Perez and her daughter (Photo courtesy Janny Perez)

Janny Perez, founder of Mi Legasi, has been working to do just that with her young daughter. Family has always been at the center of Janny’s life from growing up in Miami surrounded by a rich cultural community to becoming a mother herself and starting her family-focused brand, she has always believed in the power of family. 

Her company is a brand that offers both clothing and multicultural tools to help parents raise bilingual children who appreciate their Latino heritage. Her work centers around building strong bonds between parents and children through a positive celebration of heritage and her belief in the power of family has only strengthened during the pandemic. 

Managing big emotions in children

Children have big emotions for such little people. These emotions are often difficult to handle, even in normal situations. During times of stress and trauma, it can become even harder for young children to regulate their own emotions and you may notice children acting out more and having tantrums. These responses are expressions of their own stress and anxiety.

resilience in children during Covid-19

Janny Perez and her daughter (Photo courtesy Janny Perez)

Many parents, like Janny, have been thrust into new and uncertain territory as they try to juggle quarantine, homeschooling, running a business and just trying to stay sane! They may feel uncertain themselves and may not know how to handle their own emotions, let alone their child’s emotions.

However, having a sensitive, responsive caregiver is essential to building resilience in children during Covid-19. Children depend on the adults in their lives to provide a sense of safety and security. They can easily pick up on stress, anxiety, and negative emotions and will model their behavior after others. Children learn to regulate their own emotions from these models, so it is especially important that parents and caregivers take the time to manage their own stress and emotions in positive ways for children to emulate their responses. 

Talking to your child about Covid-19

Adults should also be honest about the situation with their young children and maintain open communication by using age-appropriate information to talk about Covid-19 .

Janny and her husband, Percy, faced this difficulty with their own daughter. Recently turned 5-years old, their daughter was looking forward to her birthday party and to see her friends and family. However, due to the pandemic, the party had to be virtual. 

resilience in children during Covid-19

Janny, her husband and their daughter celebrating her birthday (Photo courtesy Janny Perez)

“It was especially hard to explain to her that no one besides mom and dad would be physically there,” says Janny. “As adults we are resilient, but kids are definitely going through a very hard time right now.” 

Many parents are having similar conversations with their children and while it may be difficult, having these open conversations, as Janny did with her daughter, will help children develop great resilience and understanding of the situation. 

Additionally, parents can follow the 3 R’s suggested by experts of reassurance, routine, and regulation to help build further resilience in children during Covid-19. 

You may be interested: Repositioning her brand, Gladys Cleaning Services faces COVID-19

Resilience as a foundation for life

 By creating a safe, supportive environment and communicating with her young daughter about the situation, Janny is working to instill life-long resilience in her daughter.  This resilience will equip her with the tools to navigate these uncertain times and any future obstacles in life. The major lesson Janny and her family have learned during the pandemic is how to approach unexpected situations with a flexible and resilient mentality.

“This whole experience has taught us that in life you can only plan so much,” Janny says. “Sometimes life has its own plans and you have to be flexible and willing to adapt.” 

Though there have been some challenging and exhausting moments, Janny feels blessed to have her husband at home more and they have become a stronger, unified front for Mi Legasi. Additionally during this time they have helped serve their community by making affordable face masks which are available for sale on their site now. 

resilience in children during Covid-19

MiLegasi masks for adults and children (Photo courtesy Janny Perez)

“I believe that if we can go through this now, we can face any challenge or adversity in the future,” she says. “When you’re surrounded by people that lift you, anything and everything is possible.” 

And while each day may bring new challenges and difficulties, Janny and her family are taking it one day at a time…”one cafecito at a time.”