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 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

Robert Montemayor

Robert Montemayor Editorial Padrino will be missed

Robert Montemayor

Robert Montemayor

It is with great sadness that we are announcing the passing of Robert Montemayor, one of our Editorial Board “Padrinos” and a stellar figure in media and the academic field. Robert died in Lubbock, TX, last Thursday October 22 in the company of his family.

Robert was hired by the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at SCILS, Rutgers University in 2009 to teach introductory news writing and reporting. A veteran marketing executive, consultant, journalist, Robert brought more than 35 years of media experience to the NJ State University.

I met Robert through the Latino Information Network at Rutgers (LINAR), where I was hired as a freelance writer for a short period before the project lost its funding. Although we met for a few months, we had a congenial relationship in which we found common ground in political views, the love for our Latino community, and the passion for journalism. He was impressed with a piece I wrote about domestic violence and gained his favorable opinion –not an easy acknowledgment from Robert who was, I hear, pretty demanding on the job.

Born and raised in Texas, he graduated from University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) with a master’s in business administration, Montemayor worked in virtually all aspects of the business side of media, including advertising, marketing, distribution, and operations. He served as director of circulation marketing at The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s, as well as Senior Vice President of Consumer Marketing at McGraw-Hill.

Montemayor began his journalism career in 1975 at The Dallas Times Herald. He earned a George Polk Award in 1978 for his contribution on civil rights cases. In 1984, he was part of a team at the Los Angeles Times that won the Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service. Montemayor penned three stories and co-authored the lead story in the 21-part series, which documented the complex story of Latinos in Southern California.

He was delighted to hear about the project and he agreed to bring his latitude to the Editorial Board. He considered himself as much a businessman as a journalist, and he believed marketers as well as journalists are compelled to always put together a good story.

He told me at the time, “I don’t know how much I can help but at least I can bring some ‘clout’ to the project,” referring to this Pulitzer award.

Robert, wherever you are, you will be missed…