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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.”

economic growth

Lt Governor of New Jersey addresses economic growth topics with Latina entrepreneurs

Economic growth for Latina entrepreneurs in the State of New Jersey was the topic of discussion between Lt Governor Sheila Oliver and members of Latinas in Business Inc. She was invited to participate in a Town Hall Latina Business Meeting, graciously hosted in the City of Perth Amboy by Mayor Wilda Diaz and the local Business Development District.

economic growth

Attendees with Lt. Gov Sheila Oliver, Mayor Wilda Diaz and Susana G Baumann, Latinas in Business Inc.

economic growth

Susana G Baumann, President and CEO, Latinas in Business Inc acknowledged the importance of Lt Gov Oliver’s presence for Latina entrepreneurs. “We need to ‘see and be seen,’ she said. (Photo courtesy Americano Newspaper)

In her introduction, Susana G Baumann, President and CEO, Latinas in Business Inc. recalled, “Only 4 years ago, when I started this initiative to advocate for the economic empowerment of Latina entrepreneurs, little I imagined that today, in our 4th anniversary, we would be receiving the visit of one of the highest ranking members of the State of New Jersey, Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver.”

Baumann emphasized the importance of Latina entrepreneurs to “see and be seen.” “We need to ‘see’ those successful role models and mentors from whom we can learn but we also need to ‘be seen’ by decision-makers and influencers such as Lt Governor Oliver. We need them to hear our concerns and our needs so they can address them in programs and policies customized for Latinas and other minority entrepreneurs,” she said.

economic growth

Silvia Caravella, Franchise Owner, addressing important issues related to hiring illegal immigrants (Photo courtesy Americano Newspaper) EmployBridge – Remedy Intelligent Staffing

Attendees concerned for economic growth of Latina small businesses

A large group of Latina entrepreneurs from around the state attended the event to ask questions of concern about the economic growth of their small businesses. Lt Governor Oliver responded with her vision as a member of the Murphy’s Administration; her knowledge as a former Speaker of the Assembly, having served in the Labor, Higher Education, Women and Children, Commerce and Economic Development, and Transportation and Independent Authorities committees; and her own experience as a business consultant in the past.

economic growthShe recalled that years ago, she was in a business partnership with two male partners. One died two years after starting the business and the other moved away. She was left alone to build the business, “And it was not easy,” she said.

Questions from Latina entrepreneurs were related to the Minority Certification process, the announced minimum wage raise in the state, businesses that belong in the “informal economy,” the exploitation of illegal workers by industries that seek their hiring, and other related issues to economic growth and expanding small businesses opportunities.

Lt Governor Oliver approached each of the questions by mentioning an array of resources and information at her disposal. “Also, I have an ‘open-door’ policy so that any of you can access me and all the resources under my control,” she said. Oliver referred to her combined role as Lt Governor and Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, a unique opportunity that allows her to combine an executive position with a hands-on involvement in all New Jersey municipalities.

economic growth

Mayor Wilda Diaz, City of Perth Amboy (Photo courtesy Americano Newspaper)

Mayor Diaz was excited to host the event in Perth Amboy, a city with a large Business Development District. She is the only Mayor Latina of Puerto Rican descent in New Jersey re-elected for the third time. In 2008, she faced a difficult electoral process and came through with flying colors.

Diaz’s aggressive outreach and promotion of business advocacy can be seen in the development of the Perth Amboy Business Improvement District, helping businesses find new customers, assisting them with marketing products and services, connecting business owners with organizations that offer financing, and producing and presenting attractive special events and festivals.

You might be interested: 

“All these efforts could not be more aligned with the vision that Latinas in Business has for our members. Together, we can help them succeed by providing the ABC of success: ACCESS to opportunities and clients, BRANDING and promoting their businesses and CONNECTING them to decision-makers and influencers,” Baumann said.

economic growth

Bert Lopez, MC and host, Latino Motion, with Lt. Gov Oliver (Photo courtesy Bert Lopez)

The event was followed by a networking party with the presence of business leaders in the community including the Executive Director of the Middlesex Regional Chamber of Commerce Lina Llona, President-Elect Alana Cueto, MSN, RN, CNL, of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses; and Elayne McClaine, Regional Director, New Jersey Small Business Development Center at Rutgers New Brunswick; Elisa Charters, President of Latina Surge, and other authorities.

Bert Lopez, host and producer of the TV show Latino Motion was the MC for the evening.

Baumann also thanked the support of Investors Bank and Comcast Spotlight for sponsoring the event at the beautiful Raritan Yacht Club; and to Mayor Wilda Diaz’ team -Dianne Roman, Jeanette Rios and Junel Hutchinson- for the fantastic job they did in hosting the event.

 

 

 

 

roadblocks to success Danay Escanaverio

How Latina serial-preneur Danay Escanaverino overcame roadblocks to success

Roadblocks to success, whether those she encountered in business or life, did not stop Danay Escanaverino, CEO of LunaSol Media, a digital agency she has owned for 9 years to help brands connect with Hispanic consumers online.

She is also the Founder of MiraClick. her new venture, an affiliate network for Hispanic and Latino bloggers and creators to monetize their following with campaigns made for Latinos. We interviewed Danay as our Latina Entrepreneur of the Month. Congratulations on a fantastic journey and thanks for sharing with our readers!

roadblocks to success Danay Escanaverio

Danay Escanaverino, CEO LunaSol Media and MiraClick.

LIB. How did you start your venture or make the decision to go into business?

I have been an entrepreneur for as long as I can remember. When I was little, my brother and I would go door to door selling whatever we could get our grubby little hands on that had some type of value. In fact, our dad was the superintendent at the projects where we grew up, and we would scavenge apartments after someone moved out and find things to sell.

I became an internet geek when I was in college in the 90s and built my first website in 1995 when there was only HTML1.0 and mosaic browsers.

In the late 90s and early 2000s I did everything from owning an internet café with my brother to contracting with companies to train their workforce to design websites, and other related tasks.

In 2003 I created and managed my first affiliate program for an online travel agency named eLeisureLink. After that, I worked for a couple of startups in the online marketing space including MediaWhiz, which was acquired in 2006.

Between 2005 and 2009, I launched several successful affiliate networks including Filinet and Filiado. My passion has been introducing the affiliate model to the Hispanic market, but it wasn’t until recently that the market finally reached a place where there was a mass of US Latinos creating content to monetize.

roadblocks to success

LIB. Tell us the obstacles and struggles you had with your business or career and how did you overcome them so our readers can learn from your experiences.

I’ve had several failures and obstacles, and each has taught me very valuable lessons. The first was with my first partner. That one taught me to really flesh out each partner’s vision of what is being invested and what everyone expects as the business starts to make money.

Most people don’t talk about how much needs to be reinvested for growth, which can lead to a lot of problems when revenue starts growing. It was painful walking away from a company I had built into a successful business, but it was the right thing to do and was a hard-won lesson.

My second failure was yet another partnership, and my last. It taught me that I didn’t need a partner to begin with. I could bootstrap my business and grow it slowly which enabled me to make the right decisions for my business but most importantly, my clients.

My third setback and the biggest was the death of my brother Gene two years ago. The death of my only sibling left me in a depression that rocked my world in a way I couldn’t really fathom.  He was my big brother, my mentor and the one person I always wanted to impress.

I had to take a step back and learn to re-connect with life in a way I wasn’t prepared for. I started to blog in trying to get some of those difficult emotions out.

During that process I connected with a lot of Latina bloggers and I realized how much the Latino blogging and creator space had grown. During the same time, the political climate and the negative views of the Latino contribution to this country really were bothering me. I knew that we were an incredible asset, a huge, positive part of the economic fabric of this great country.

roadblocks to success Danay Escanaverio

The Latina Meetup in DC was a networking success. #hispanicwomenlead #networking #latinaprofessionals — with Claudia Patricia González, Norida Torriente, Danay Escanaverino and other members at Tredici Enoteca DC.

That’s when I realized that the time for MiraClick was finally here. It was time for a place to facilitate that economic power between the people who have an audience and those who have the products.

LIB. What are your strengths as a Latina business owner that allowed you to overcome roadblocks to success and how do you apply them to your activity?

I am an immigrant and I grew up watching my parents and their friends working really hard. My brother also was a very hard worker and my mentor when it came to embracing technology as a kid. I’ve always been willing to work harder than anyone else I know, and that has enabled me to find success as an entrepreneur. I don’t ask myself if I can do something. I ask myself what tools do I need to do to get the results I want.

roadblocks to success

LIB. Tell us an anecdote or favorite story about your business and why you are so eager to achieve success.

I’m incredibly passionate about the Hispanic market in general. It blows my mind that 55 million US Latinos represent what could be considered the world’s 7thlargest economy with an economic output of over $2 Trillion. As a capitalist and entrepreneur, that spells a huge opportunity for us to defragment our spending power and unite it in an effort to support Latino causes. The money is there, we just need to choose where and with whom to spend it.

That is one of the catalysts for launching MiraClick, where Latino creators and influencers can monetize their audiences and followers with Latino businesses and products.

LIB. What would you say to other Latinas who are thinking of starting their own business or would like to achieve success in their profession or career?

Draw power from your immigrant story, whether it’s yours, your parents or farther up the family tree. That work ethics is our superpower.

I know there has been a lot of buzz the last few years about the laptop lifestyle and working less. Most of the people who are promoting this really aren’t as successful as they are trying to portray. They are usually trying to get you to buy some kind of coaching or consulting. You don’t own a business, it owns you.

And if you want to succeed, you have to be willing to put in ridiculous hours until you get to the point where you can hire others to do it. And even then, no one will tend to your vision the way you will.

You might be interested: Four Latina entrepreneurs featured on LatinasinBusiness.us semifinalists in HSN competition

That said, you CAN have some work-life balance, but it will look very different from the 9 to 5 crowd. For example, you will be able to volunteer at your kids’ school, but you will probably have to make up for that time off by being up past midnight finishing up some work.

You must be honest with yourself about whether it’s worth it. I think that for the true entrepreneur, it’s always worth it.

best Holiday gifts

10 best Holiday gifts to support Latina entrepreneurs

Still looking for the best Holiday gifts? Here are some ideas that not only will be a great gift but also will help a Latina entrepreneur achieve her dreams!

At LatinasinBusiness.us, we are all about promoting Latina entrepreneurs and Latina small businesses. We also support the work of numerous Latina leaders in the country so here is a list of the best Holiday gifts you can choose to make a great impression and yet support a Latina working woman.

  1. Donate $50 to our campaign and receive a beautiful LatinasinBusiness.us Tote Bag

Looking for a gift that will make a difference?

We donated $2000 to Puerto Rico and Mexico Disaster Relief funds through the Hispanic Federation. Now we need YOUR help to continue supporting our labor of love.

For three years now, we have been promoting Latina small businesses with five employees or less COMPLETELY FREE! Only a small $50 donation will help us continue helping Latina entrepreneurs and Latina small businesses achieve their dreams.

Donate $50 and you will receive our thanks with a very practical LatinasinBusiness.us Tote Bag that will proudly announce, “I support a Latina entrepreneur.”

 

  1. Today’s Inspired Latina™
best Holiday gifts

Yai Vargas, Founder Latinistas and Minue Yoshida, business and public speaking coach

 

Today’s Inspired Latina™ is a book series of inspiration and hope, a poignant collection of personal stories that will activate your passion.  These are success stories that need to be told, to motivate our community for generations to come. By overcoming language barriers, self-doubts and other obstacles in their way, these strong Latinas are a great example of how inspiration and perseverance can lead you to happiness and success in business and life. It’s a positive, empowering read for anyone sitting on a dream and thinking it can’t come true. Today’s Inspired Latina™ shows that it can!

 

 

 

 

Hanging Secrets intimate apparel organizer closet

Hanging Secrets intimate apparel organizer

3. Hanging Secrets

Frances Prado is the winner of several national contests and a Home Shopping Network regular with her extraordinary bras and underwear organizer “Hanging Secrets.”

Frances is a proud daughter of Mexican immigrants who found her passion of being a Latina entrepreneur later in life and is devoting part of her profits to cancer research. ‘

This practical and useful product comes in two versions so you have choices, the regular size that fits perfectly in your closet, and the traveler size to take all your intimates in a perfect condition no matter where or how long you are traveling. Get them both!

 

 

  1. Tu Mejor Edad – Para tener una vida extraordinaria

The inspiring story of the founder and editor-in-chief of Vivafifty.com, a community of women in their thirties, forties, fifties and beyond who want to live their lives without barriers and enjoy every minute of it. Lorraine C Ladish is a prolific author, blogger, writer and social media maven that has created a dynamic community of women around the world.

your best age lorraine ladish

 

  1. Lux Beauty Club Hair Extensions

From Human Wavy Tape-In Hair Extensions to Clip-Ins, and from Synthetic Clip-In Hair Extensions to Synthetic Straight Flip-In Hair Extensions, there is something for everyone who would like to have astonishing hair. Lux Beaty Club is now offering 10% discount if you get in before the end of year!

hair extensions Lux Beauty Club

 

  1. Red Shoe Movement

Buy any of the products featured on the Red Show Movement site and you will be on your way to a fantastic journey of empowerment and networking. From books to webinars to charms and more, the Red Shoe Movement is a powerful opportunity to make your career dreams a reality in corporate and in business.

Red Shoe Movement Signature Event

Showing support for #RedShoeTuesday Red Shoe Movement event

 

gourmet popcorn Carmen Milagros Torres

 

 

 

  1. The Popcornerie

Why do people love popcorn? Carmen Milagros Torres grasped the childhood tastes and smells of our childhood to remind everyone that popcorn is a commodity no matter our age. Tampa Bay’s The Porcornerie takes your order by phone or online so don’t wait to visit their site!

 

 

  1. LuMesh Lip Gloss

The only lip gloss you will ever need! It takes care of your winter lips and hydrate the thirsty summer kisses! LuMesh lip gloss is a permanent solution to regular and bothersome touchups and in a great variety of shades that interact with every skin tone. Buy it as a gift or for yourself!

LuMesh lip gloss

 

Chef Amalia's first book received nine national and regional awards.

Chef Amalia’s first book received nine national and regional awards.

 

 

  1. Amalia’s Guatemalan Kitchen – Gourmet Cuisine with a Cultural Flair

Internationally known as a socially responsible innovative entrepreneur, chef and philanthropist, Amalia Moreno-Damgaard has dedicated a great part of her life to becoming a healthy gourmet chef, author and speaker and has received numerous awards and international recognitions. A great gift for those with Guatemalan cuisine nostalgia or just those who love to try new recipes!

 

 

  1. Empanada Fork
Hipatia Lopez with Empanada Fork, best Holiday gifts

Hipatia Lopez with her invention Empanada Fork

 

 

We could not end our 2017 Holiday Gifts list without our Empanada Fork, the creation of inventor Hipatia Lopez who was last year winner of Project American Dreams at the Home Shopping Network. Hipatia is one of very few Latina entrepreneurs in the USA with a patented invention. She has dedicated her life to promote Latino culture and encourage other Latinas to create and innovate.

 

So make your selections and support our work of love by helping any of these Latina entrepreneurs by finding your best Holiday gift!

Latina entrepreneurs

Red Shoe Movement interviews Susana G Baumann, LatinasinBusiness.us

Latina entrepreneurs are a rare species, not in numbers but in quality. Once they find their life purpose, they dedicate their lives to it. Mariela Dabbah is one of them. I met Mariela, founder of the Red Shoe Movement, a few years ago and we connected, maybe because we have similar backgrounds -in country of origin, as immigrants and in many other aspects of our lives. Mariela has become a great supporter of LatinasinBusiness.us, and I’m eternally grateful for it. 

Susana G Baumann with Red Shoe Movement leader Mariela Dabbah Latina entrepreneurs

Susana G Baumann with Red Shoe Movement leader Mariela Dabbah

For Latina entrepreneurs interested in growing their business, there are few people as focused on their challenges as Susana Baumann. Inspiring, generous and connected, her organization is making a difference for small women-owned businesses and the communities they serve. Get to know her!

A multicultural expert, award-winning business writer, public speaker and published author, Susana Baumann is the Founder and Director of LCSWorldwide, a Multicultural Marketing Communications consulting firm located in New Jersey. Susana is the Editor-in-Chief of her company’s new initiative, LatinasinBusiness.us, an online platform dedicated to the economic empowerment of the Latina working woman.

The platform has received the attention and support of Latina leaders around the country including the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the New America Alliance (NAA), and the National Latina Business Women Association (NLBWA). She has received the Latina Excellence Award, the TECLA Award for Best Business Blog at Hispanicize 2015, and was invited to become a media member of the NAA American Latina Leadership Caucus. In 2017, Susana Baumann was named a 2017 Latina of Influence by Hispanic Lifestyle Magazine.

Most importantly, Susana Baumann is a constant presence in initiatives that matter to Latina entrepreneurs, always ready to provide insights, support and visibility to those who need it most.

Susana Baumann supporting Latina entrepreneurs

Susana Baumann supporting Latina entrepreneurs

RSM— How does someone with your background in architecture and marketing communications decide to focus on Latina entrepreneurs?

Susana G Baumann (SB) — The beauty of moving to another country is the opportunity to find who you really are and what your purpose is. I studied Architecture in Argentina because my father chose that career for me. I had some inclination for the arts but he considered Architecture a more profitable career. I only worked as an architect for a few years and then I became a college professor.

When I had the opportunity to move to the US, I decided a professional accreditation would allow me to work here in something that I always loved, writing and publishing. So I went back to the student’s seat and finished a second Masters degree. My knowledge of English was also an advantage to find work as a bridge between Americans and a burgeoning Latino market that was still growing. I immediately recognized the opportunity to become the voice of many Latinos who didn’t or couldn’t speak for themselves.

After several jobs in corporate and public service, in 1996 I started a home-based, side business. I started as a small translation company but many of my clients had little understanding of the Latino market cultural nuances. A simple translation would not deliver their message. The business took a life of its own and we became a Multicultural Marketing Communications agency.

The focus on Latina entrepreneurs came later, only three years ago, as a result of my experience as a Latina small business owner, and the need to “pay it forward.” I launched LatinasinBusiness.us as my legacy to those young Latinas starting their own struggle as entrepreneurs, to help them overcome the obstacles I had to conquer on my own. Nobody needs to do this alone; there are many resources out there to help Latina entrepreneurs and small businesses if they reach out and show up.

The Role of Latina Entrepreneurs in the U.S. Economy

RSM— Why are Latina entrepreneurs a key segment of the U.S. economy?

SB— Latinas are, as everybody knows by now, the fastest growing demographic opening businesses in the U.S. Not everybody knows, however, that they have a high rate of failure as well. And their revenue growth is not as relevant as their white female counterparts –that extends to Latino male-owned businesses as well.

By helping them grow and sustain their businesses, not only we help them. We also help close a gap in the US economy (a gap that runs in the billions of dollars,) of missed revenue and job creation opportunities. This could help the communities that Latina entrepreneurs serve, grow. Latina small businesses are American businesses. They represent almost 20% of 4.3M Latino-owned business across the country and these are big numbers!

RSM— What do you think are some advantages that Latina entrepreneurs have in this VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) business environment?

SB— The same advantages small business owners always have to hone! I will bring you another acronym, SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats). As a small business owner, you have to be constantly vigilant about everything that is happening around you, locally, nationally and internationally, so you can make the best decisions for your business. This principle allowed me to survive for over 20 years and constantly reinvent myself according to the circumstances and opportunities that presented themselves. An entrepreneur is a person who is constantly looking for innovation, improvement and to size up new opportunities!

Susana G Baumann, Editor-in-Chief LIBizus Latina entrepreneurs

Susana G Baumann, Editor-in-Chief LIBizus

Learning From Failure and What Can Latina Entrepreneurs Do Better

RSM— Understanding we are generalizing here, are there any particular areas where Latina entrepreneurs could make some adjustments to better reach their business goals?

SB— I speak about this all the time: Break out of your isolation and support each other. We work hard but tend to stay isolated, make our own decisions without bouncing off ideas of other entrepreneurs or business people. And sometimes, being your own advisor might not be the best advice!

Another important issue is that women need to support each other, something men do very well. Women tend to be more judgmental with each other –again, generalizing- and decide in the first three minutes of meeting someone if they like them or not. This judgment is usually made as a response to the other person’s appearance. We need to stop those behaviors, become more socially adept and find good in every person we meet. They might have qualities we don’t have that can help us grow as a person and as a business!

RSM— What have you learned from your own failures as a Latina entrepreneur?

SB— Looking back, when I started my business I had the idea that I was invincible and I was never going to fail. HA! I was hit hard many times. Some situations were of my own making –such as when we had to fold our beautiful bilingual newspaper Periódico Latino, because we couldn’t sustain it. Others were circumstances out of my control –such as the Great Recession of 2008-2010. In both instances, I stayed in the pity-pot for a while, and then I picked up myself and reinvented my business. Once at the bottom, I didn’t feel I had a choice other than going up. I just had to work smarter and even harder, be very persistent. Having a business involves a lot of sacrifices, long hours, lost vacation opportunities, little social life, plus being constantly on the look out for opportunities and for those who can provide them.

Latina entrepreneurs with Susana Baumann

Latina entrepreneurs with Susana G Baumann at 2016 Pitch your Business Competition

RSM— You offer a wonderful opportunity for Latina entrepreneurs to pitch their business and learn a ton of insights from leaders in the field. Tell us about the Latina Small Business Expo.

SB— After two successful years of conducting our “Pitch Your Business to the Media” competition, we have added the Latina SmallBiz Expo to this annual event. We want to celebrate and showcase the power of Latina entrepreneurs in the region, the driving force of many markets such as beauty, retail, clothing, telephone services, food and beverage, financial services and many more.

As I said before, Latina entrepreneurs and small businesses work in isolation. We need to get them out of that isolation and help them find the resources they need to succeed. This is another reason we have the Latina SmallBiz Expo: To bring resources such as IFundWomen, a national organization that runs crowfunding campaigns only for women’s businesses, and the Union County Economic Development Corporation (UCEDC), which is offering a discounted rate business loan through the Tory Burch Foundation. Both organizations will take applications at our event so I encourage those who are looking for funding not to miss this unique opportunity.

One last comment: We encourage the general public to attend this great event and choose LSBEPuertoRico General Admission ($10) at online registration ($15 at the door). Those tickets will be donated in full to Puerto Rico Disaster Relief. To register and for information: https://latinasbizexpo.eventbrite.com/

You can connect with Susana Baumann via social media on Twitter: @LIBizus

Facebook: LatinasinBusiness.us  FB Discussion group: We are LatinasinBusiness.us

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/susanabaumann/      LinkedIn Page: LatinasinBusiness.us Discussion Group

This article was published originally on the Red Shoe Movement site.