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!


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.


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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.

Damaris Diaz Joins National Conversation with Latina Leaders to Address Small Business Recovery Post-Covid 19

Damaris Diaz, popular correspondent who runs entertainment, fitness, and unique human-interest stories in Despierta America, the national morning show on Univision network, joins the National Conversation with Latina Leaders as Celebrity Speaker. The event also gathers a stellar lineup of leaders, influencers and entrepreneurs from around the country to talk about “Latina Small Business Post-Covid Recovery: Resources and Trends”.

Damaris Diaz, Stacie de Armas, small business recovery post-Covid

Damaris Diaz joins Stacie de Armas as Guest Speaker for virtual National Conversation with Latina Leaders event.

The free virtual event takes place Friday, March 19 from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm EST – 9:00 am to 11:00 am PST on Zoom and Facebook Live. For free registration visit Open to all entrepreneurs regardless of gender, race or ethnicity, and the general public. Organized by Latinas in Business Inc. a national non-profit membership organization.

She joins Keynote Speaker Stacie de Armas, Senior Vice President of Inclusive Insights & Initiatives and a leader within Nielsen’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion practice, to help amplify the voice of the Latinx community struggling for resources and funding for small businesses, and protection of essential workers.

Susana G Baumann, President and CEO of Latinas in Business Inc, states, “After this very challenging year, it is important to regroup and think strategically about how to recover and protect our businesses and essential workers. I am very grateful for the response of these amazing Latina leaders that will provide the knowledge and resources needed for our community not only to survive, but to excel.”

Latina Leaders

Panel 1 Guest Speakers: Jennifer Garcia, Wendy Garcia, and Christina Fuentes.

The March 19 virtual event will include two panels with other remarkable guest speakers. Panel 1 will feature Jennifer Garcia, Interim CEO at Latino Business Action (LBAN), Stanford University; Wendy Garcia, Chief Diversity Officer at the Office of the NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer; and Christina Fuentes, Managing Director, Community Development, New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA).

Latina Leaders

Panel 2 Guest Speakers: Rosario B Casas, Ivelisse Rodriguez Simon, and Lucy Pinto.

Panel 2 will feature Rosario B Casas, CEO VR Americas; Ivelisse Rodriguez Simon, Managing Partner of Avante Capital; and Lucy Pinto, Grow with Google Program Manager.

“Although it is evident that throughout the United States, Latino entrepreneurs have encountered extreme difficulty, it is important to note that they have been extremely resilient and have adapted their businesses to navigate these ever-changing conditions,” Baumann continued. 

Join us and all our supporting organizations in bringing post-Covid recovery solutions to America’s backbone, small businesses, and especially minority women and Latina-owned businesses, their talent, innovation and their constant sense of purpose to support their communities. 

For registration to this free event, please visit:

small business recovery post-Covid, Damaris Diaz

Supporting media partners and organizations.

8 Latina entrepreneurs from NJ, NY and TX at Latina SmallBiz Expo Pitch Competition

Eight Latina entrepreneurs representing New Jersey, New York and Texas will participate at the Latina SmallBiz Expo Pitch Competition to take place at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Campus Center Atrium in Newark, NJ on November 9, 2017 from 4:00 to 9:00pm. Main Media Sponsor for this event is Univision 41. Proceeds of General Admission tickets will be donated to Puerto Rico Disaster Relief. For information and to register please visit Latina SmallBiz Expo.

Latina entrepreneurs Pitch competition

(Top from L to R) Brenda Nava, Elizabeth “Liz” Santiago, Karla Jimenez, Tania Molina (Bottom from L to R) Ivette Mayo, Janny Perez, Mary Dressendorfer, Isabel Ayala, the national digital platform that advocates for the economic empowerment of the Latina working woman, has announced the eight Latina entrepreneurs that will participate at the 2017 Pitch your Business to the Media Competition representing the states of New Jersey, New York and Texas. Main Media Sponsor for this event is Univision 41 and WABC TV.

“This year, eight brave Latina entrepreneurs are stepping up to promote their products and services to the most relevant media in the region,” said Susana G Baumann, Editor-in-Chief, “They are residents of the states of New Jersey, New York and Texas, and they will compete for an opportunity to win this year’s Best Business Award,” she added.

The participants –in registration order- are Janny Perez, founder and CEO of MiLegaSi (New York); Elizabeth “Liz” Santiago, founder and CEO, CeleBritAy (New York); Mary Dressendorfer, Co-founder, Princess Plie and Friends (New Jersey); Tania Molina, founder and CEO, Villakuyaya (New Jersey); Karla Jimenez, founder,  Caidos del Cielo Bakery; Isabel Ayala, founder, IsaBeauty Aromatherapy (New Jersey); Ivette Mayo, founder and CEO, Yo Soy Expressions (Texas); and Brenda Nava, co-founder, Brendallan’s Tax and Accounting Services (New Jersey).

Main sponsors step up to support Latina entrepreneurs

“We want to thank the tremendous support of our sponsors and supporters as well as all the organizations that are helping promote the event,” Baumann said. “Without them, this initiative would not be possible!”

Main sponsors for this event are Bank of America, Small Business, Presenting Sponsor; and MassMutual Tri State, Latina Leadership Sponsor. Supporters are New York Life Insurance Company, New Jersey General Office; Horizon BlueCross BlueShield; Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp LLP; PNC Bank; Freshie Feminine Care; Moët & Chandon, IFundWomen, and First Data Corporation.

small business Latina entrepreneurs

Sharon Miller, Managing Director, Head of Small Business at Bank of America

“It is our great pleasure to support the Latina SmallBiz Expo and Pitch Competition this year. Bank of America is very proud to be Presenting Sponsor for this event. We support the core mission of this organization because like all of you, we believe in the future of small business and entrepreneurship,” said Sharon Miller, Managing Director, Head of Small Business. “Bank of America has played a key role in helping the number of Hispanic and Latino entrepreneurs in the U.S. more than triple to over 2 million. This commercial confidence has added new Hispanic and Latino entrepreneurs to our economy at a rate more than ten times faster than that of the U.S. population as a whole. The empowerment of the Hispanic and Latino community is vital to sustaining the health of our economy and helping millions of people around the world achieve their financial aspirations,” said Sharon.

In addition, Baumann said, the Pitch your Business to the Media Competition has become a signature event that attracts strong and established Latina small businesses from around the country for an opportunity to be promoted in main media in the region. “We are extremely grateful to count with the support of NJIT as Hosting Sponsor and Univision41/WABC as Media Sponsor because they recognize the relevance and potential of this community,” Baumann added.

Confirmed participating Media Jurors so far are Univision 41/WABC (NY/NJ), Abasto Magazine (national), LatinTrends (NY); Omnikal (national); Social Vibes Media (NJ); Americano Newspaper (NJ); WCTC- AM radio; Nuestra Gente Digital and

Support to Puerto Rico Disaster Relief from Latina entrepreneurs

Latina entrepreneurs flyerBaumann also announced that proceeds from tickets purchased under the denomination LSBEPuertoRico General Admission will be fully donated to Puerto Rico Disaster Relief. “We cannot ignore the dramatic situation that our brothers and sisters of Puerto Rico are suffering as result of natural disasters and the tardy intervention of the Federal government. Every contribution, even if small, will bring the much needed help as long as it takes so Puerto Rico, ‘la Isla del Encanto,’ will flourish again,” Baumann said.

Attendees will find flyers in English and in Spanish in Americano Newspapers being distributed across the region announcing the event. They can register online or bring the flyer the day of the event to donate their ticket to Puerto Rico Disaster Relief ($10 for online registration, $15 at the door).

Baumann mentioned that the event is being promoted by organizations such as the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Newark Community Economic Development Corporation, Greater Newark Economic Corporation, UCEDC, EDA New Jersey, Rising Tide Capital, Red Shoe Movement and NYC LGBTQS Chamber of Commerce, Inc.

“Many thanks for attending this event, for participating in the broader conversation, and for joining all of us at Bank of America in celebrating the contribution that members of Latino community have made to help the U.S. economy grow. Bank of America understands that small businesses are the growth engine of our economy and resources are crucial to their success, which is why we have more than 1,700 small business specialists in local communities across the country. Whether you’ve been in business for 30 years or are just starting out, we’re committed to providing the expertise to help you grow and give you a competitive advantage,” Milled added.

The event will take place at the NJIT Campus Center Atrium, 150 Bleeker St, Newark, NJ 07102, on November 9 from 4:00pm to 9:00pm. Free parking will be available for all attendees at 154 Summit Street.

For information and to register please visit Latina SmallBiz Expo (

For sponsorship and promotional opportunities, please contact