LatinVision Media News

Friday, October 10, 2014

Latino Entrepreneurs To Students: Ask Questions, Be Ready For Anything

HARTFORD — Leticia Colon de Mejias gave a swift rundown of her life in the Bulkeley High School auditorium Thursday.

"I'm a mother of six children, I own four companies, last year I made over a million dollars and I'm under 40 years old," said Colon, who founded Energy Efficiencies Solutions, a Windsor energy conservation firm, four years ago with a $25,000 loan.

The longer version? It involved seeing every job as an opportunity, researching ideas and being ready for anything, she told students. "None of the doors will open until you start asking the questions," she said.

Read full article

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Best And Worst Cities For Hispanic Entrepreneurs

Hispanics and Latinos now make up the largest ethnic minority in the U.S. By 2050 they will constitute a third of the country’s population, according to census figures and their impact in business continues to grow. Latinos today account for more than 70,000 of the country’s CEOs and the number of Hispanic entrepreneurs has tripled over the past twenty years – surging from around 557,000 in 1992 to over two million in 2012, according to a report by the Partnership for a New American Economy.

Together, they brought in an estimated $486 billion in revenue, says the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Read full article

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Laura Perez > www.bylaurapr.com

Laura Perez, Founder, By Laura PR 

Being Hispanic…Does it have any influence on your business?
Yes, it does influence my business. It sets me apart from many fashion publicists. Due to the fact that I'm a Mexican American fashion publicist, I'm bilingual, I'm fluent in both English and Spanish, nothing will be lost in translation when communicating with mainstream media in the U.S., Hispanic media and the media in Mexico.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
Of course having a business is difficult, but I work hard everyday to provide a unique service to my clients. I've always visualized myself being a business owner and now that I am one, I continue being persistent and consistent to reach my goals as a business owner and as a publicist.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced?
I'm sure just like any other PR agency, I also struggle to find great clients to collaborate with.

If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?
I wouldn't change anything because the challenges and the success I've had so far, have gotten me to where I am today.

What was your childhood ambition?
My childhood ambition was to encourage others to follow their dreams, I thought about being a teacher. This childhood ambition translated to wanting to be apart of the fashion PR industry and assist brands obtain exposure and achieve their goals.

Tell us about three people that you admire?
My adoring twin sister Lourdes, founder of My Coordinates My Compass, she always finds humor in the most difficult situations and encourages me to keep going. 
Crosby Noricks, founder of PR Couture. Crosby has been there since the beginning of my career, she has given me many opportunities to grow as a publicist. 
Jennifer Berson, founder and owner of Jeneration PR. Jen has been the most amazing mentor, she has been extremely supportive and encouraging, I have truly learned a lot about the industry because of her!

For meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Lunch, because it not too early, not too late and you can really carry on a conversation.

What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
Having to go from having a full time job with a steady income, to taking the leap to the unknown. In the end, it was worth taking the leap, because if you never try, you will never know.

What is your favorite quote?
"She was unstoppable, not because she did not have failures or doubts, but because she continued on despite them." -Beau Taplin 

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
Somewhat, being that my agency is Hispanic, digital and focused on fashion. It seems as if potential clients question how I can possibly complete my work and obtain results due to not being located in a big city and all my work is completed online.

Biggest mistake made?
Not taking the leap to start my own agency sooner.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
Yes, I consider myself an innovator. I've always considered myself a leader, not a follower. I knew I wanted to have my own business and once I was drawn into the fashion PR industry, I knew I wanted to provide a service unlike any other. I wanted to use my Hispanic background to set me apart from my competition, and I wanted to provide my PR services to both national and international brands, being digital allows me to travel and work remotely at a moments notice.

About the Company:
By Laura PR is a Hispanic digital PR agency. We specialize in the growth of Fashion, Accessories and Jewelry brands. Being a digital agency means, "Instant PR at your fingertips."

Website: bylaurapr.com



Monday, September 29, 2014

Jessica Alba Talks Latina Identity, Complexities Of Race In New Generation

Jessica Alba feels Latina thanks to her father’s Mexican roots, but she knows that topics of race and identity won’t be so clear cut for her children.

The “Sin City” star is the face of Glam Belleza Latina’s Fall issue and spoke to the magazine about her heritage and why race becomes a more complicated for her daughters’ generation.

Read full article

Friday, September 26, 2014

From Tobacco to Tortillas: Latinos Remake Durham, North Carolina

DURHAM, N.C. -- Roselia Flores rushes into La Superior and quickly genuflects before the encased Virgin of Guadalupe statue in the corner of her supermarket.

“My first priority is God, then family and then work,” said Flores, who built the expansive Latino grocery-, bakery-, meat shop-, tortilleria-in-one.

A native of Mexico, Flores came to Durham from California in the mid-90s when the Latino population was about 2,000 people, just 1 percent of the city's population, according to a study by the Latino Migration Project at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.


Read full article

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Baton Rouge among America’s best cities for Hispanic entrepreneurs

Data collected by researchers at WalletHub, a website that helps small business owners make financial decisions and save money, shows there is a growing demand for Hispanic-owned businesses in the U.S.

According to WalletHub, Hispanic-owned businesses contributed approximately $486 billion to U.S. revenue in 2013.
As of this year, Baton Rouge is the ninth-best place in the country for Hispanic entrepreneurs to make a living, according to WalletHub.

Read full article

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Rosie García >www.IconMediaAgency.com.

Rosie García, CEO & Founder, Icon Media Agency

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
Loyalty, Respect, Dedication and Love.

What inspired you to start your business?
The ability to be as creative and flexible to meet the needs of my clients with no rules or regulations or politics.

How did you finance it?
Through independent contracts with individually chosen clientele.

Does being Hispanic/Latina have any influence on your business?
Yes. Being an experienced Latina in the industry grabs the attention of mainstream clients that want to target the Hispanic market as well as the existing participants that want to expand to the Latino market.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to drive ahead?
I'm very observant.  I stay open minded and work with the wisdom and knowledge I've been blessed with everyday.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
The biggest challenge is knowing how to reveal at first sight the receivers versus the believers.

If you could change one thing about your business. What would it be?
I don't know.

What was your childhood ambition?
To show the world the value of humbleness and the passion of the ambition of fulfilling a dream.

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire.
Sofia Vergara, Oprah, and Jennifer Lopez

For business meetings, which do you prefer: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Lunch. It's brief and right to the point.

What sacrifices in your personal life did you have to make in order to become successful in your business?
I haven't been able to have a personal relationship.

What is your favorite quote?
Neo: What are you trying to tell me? That I can dodge bullets?
Morpheus: No, Neo. I’m trying to tell you that when you’re ready, you won’t have to.

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
No as long as you remain focus on your goal based on your own experience and instinct. It's always good to have the two mentors in two different divisions of your field of business, in my case the accountant and the creative. Not more then two. 

Biggest mistake made?
Not starting my own company sooner.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
Yes. Because I believe in the impossible. 

About the Company: 
Icon Media Agency caters to celebrity talent bookings on major TV networks and nationally syndicated radio segments. "The Luis Jimenez Show", Univision, Telemundo, Viacom, SBS, Music Choice etc. We hold the key to developing and cultivating the careers within the mainstream, Latin and Urban artists. Specializing in consistently generating a diverse fan base via social media, TV, radio and print promotion. From the management of press junkets for concerts, conferences and client events to implementing strategic market tactics to engage clients through exposure of cultural diversity. Icon Media Agency is the voice for todays entrepreneurs and tomorrows entertainers.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Online Hangout Sept. 25 about new course for young entrepreneurs in Spanish

Young entrepreneurs have a new tool to help determine if they’re ready for business ownership and help them get started. Young Entrepreneurs: An Essential Guide to Starting Your Own Business (Jóvenes Emprendedores) is a free, self-paced online course in Spanish that gives an overview of basic business principles and introduces resources available from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

“This month, the SBA recognizes the vital contributions Hispanic American small business owners have made to our economy as we observe National Hispanic Heritage Month,” said Maria Contreras-Sweet, SBA administrator. “As a proud Hispanic-American, I believe that providing financial, educational and technical assistance to Hispanic entrepreneurs is a major means to create jobs and stimulate the economy. The new course is an essential business development tool for young entrepreneurs that can be central to the future success for many generations to come.”

Read full article

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Franchise Business Opportunities a Growing, Viable Path for Hispanic Entrepreneurs

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla., Sept. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Coverall North America, Inc., a leading franchisor of commercial cleaning businesses, is a viable option for aspiring Hispanic entrepreneurs interested in starting a business. Franchised business owners have found that being your own boss and having a flexible schedule to spend more time with loved ones are the benefits of ownership.

Of the 8,000 Coverall franchised business owners worldwide, 25 percent of them are of Hispanic descent.

National Hispanic Heritage Month Sept. 15 – Oct. 15, was enacted into law in 1988 to celebrate the history, cultures and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. Sept. 15 is significant because it serves as the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

"Coverall offers people the opportunity to become their own boss and take control of their future," said Rick Ascolese, CEO of Coverall. "We wish all of our business owners continued success as they operate their businesses for themselves and their families."

From Mexico, Robert Yepez started a Coverall franchised business eight years ago. Over the years, his business grew exponentially. Today, his franchised business services nearly 250,000 square feet each month.

Alan Landaverde, another Hispanic Coverall Franchised Business Owner, is originally from El Salvador. Landaverde worked in the aerospace industry for 25 years before changing his career path and starting a commercial cleaning franchised business. Like many business owners, Landaverde wanted the freedom of owning a business and more time to spend with his children.

Mercedes Cisneros moved to the U.S. in the 1980s and later started a Coverall commercial cleaning franchised business. She has owned her business for eight years growing it through customer referrals.

Coverall franchised business owners cite customer service and going above and beyond expectations as keys to their success.

"When a customer calls we do everything we can to help," said Yepez. "There is no task that my team cannot take on."

Coverall has been recognized with numerous awards for its franchise opportunities. Recently, the franchisor was named by G.I. Jobs as a 'Hot Franchise for Veterans' and was also named to USA Today's 'Top 50 Franchises for Minorities' list in 2013.

Learn more about Coverall franchise opportunities visit http://www.coverall.com/tufuturo

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Best And Worst Cities For Hispanic Entrepreneurs

Hispanics and Latinos now make up the largest ethnic minority in the U.S. By 2050 they will constitute a third of the country’s population, according to census figures and their impact in business continues to grow. Latinos today account for more than 70,000 of the country’s CEOs and the number of Hispanic entrepreneurs has tripled over the past twenty years – surging from around 557,000 in 1992 to over two million in 2012, according to a report by the Partnership for a New American Economy.

Together, they brought in an estimated $486 billion in revenue, says the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Read full article

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Eddie Rodriguez >www.latinworksmusic.com

Eddie Rodriguez, CEO, Latin Works Music

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
Faith in God, passion, stick to it, preparation, a plan, contacts, opportunity and patience.

What inspired you to start your business?
I was working full time as VP Sales for Reed MIDEM involved in a new event called MIDEM Latin America & Caribbean. It is a Latin Music Industry Trade Show & Conference held at the Miami Beach Convention Center 1997, 1998 and the last event MIDEM Americas in 1999.  Since my position was eliminated due to budget cuts plus MIDEM decided to organize only one music industry trade show per year in Cannes, France at Le Palais du Festival as they have for the last 50 years I was on my way to being out of a job. A mentor, the late Jack Hooke (Tito’s manager with the late Ralph Mercado) passed away and I called Tito to express my condolences. He thanked me and asked if I was available to work for him. My answer was when did he want me to start and he said right away. I spoke to Ralph Mercado and Latin Work Music was contracted to manage the King of Latin Music The late Tito Puente.

Does being Hispanic/Latino have any influence on your business?
Yes, since being a bi-lingual Latino working as an entertainment marketing professional, I understand the diversity of the US Hispanic consumer being Hispanic has been key to my success with projects.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to drive ahead?
Faith in God and keeping the momentum going on a project until it is completed or you come to the end of the road with it. Then I look to my right and start a new road on a project that inspires me.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
Staying relevant with the fast paced evolution of the music industry globally in the last 15 years especially in the distribution of digital content, live concert streaming rights, downsizing of multinational recording companies and the continued growth of the smart phone / tablets / smart TV sectors.
.
If you could change one thing about your business. What would it be?
I would have more trade shows and conferences in New York, Miami and Los Angeles where the next generation of Latin music industry leaders can rendezvous annually to learn about the present and future state of affairs of the business.

What was your childhood ambition?
To be a doctor until I learned that studying chemistry and biology were too boring for me.

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire.
Sir Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, Jimmy Iovine.

For business meetings, which do you prefer: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
All three work well for business meetings for me.  However, I must be disciplined about nutrition and diet.

What sacrifices in your personal life did you have to make in order to become successful in your business?
Traveling alone up to 70% of the year for out of town business meetings, concert tours, trade shows, conferences and conventions. You miss special occasions with family and friends.

What is your favorite quote?
Let The Games begin.

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
Yes. It is difficult to find investors that have faith in the future of the music Industry. What generates revenues today is digital audio / video streaming (paid subscriptions) concert tours and music publishing. Being unconventional means thinking out of the box to be successful.

Biggest mistake made?
Wow, the biggest mistake was taking a break from the concert promotions business to focus on educating myself in the digital and technology side of the music Industry for the last 5 years. However I’m back with new ways to monetize content to generate revenues for investors and return on investment to our clients via traditional and new media outlets.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
I was involved in a anti-piracy software and digital download technology companies early on and have promoted recorded digital music and video distribution via mobile since before the iPod and smart phones.

About the Company
Latin Works Music is a 100% minority owned Latin music concert organizer, marketing and promotions company. We produce events in venues such as Madison Square Garden NY, The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles and nightclubs throughout the USA. We are experts in activations of experiential consumer engagement and experts in gathering data at live events to increase data base for brands messaging to the $1.2 Trillion dollar in annual spending (2013) US Hispanic consumer (population 56 M). 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Study: Albuquerque 31st for Hispanic entrepreneurs

A new report released by financial information site WalletHub ranked Albuquerque at no. 31 in the U.S. for Hispanic entrepreneurs. Rankings were based on each city’s Hispanic purchasing power (we’re number 26) and business friendliness (a less-exciting 71). 

Read full article

Springs Resident Honored As Stony Brook Hispanic Entrepreneur of the Year

A small-town boy from Palmas, Ecuador, Luis Heras felt he could accomplish big things, but staying in Ecuador, and pursuing electrical engineering as he had planned, didn’t appeal to him as much as making it on his own abroad. So he moved to the United States in hopes of something more.

Now, 20 years later, he owns his own fuel company, Heras Fuel Oil Corporation in East Hampton—and was just named Hispanic Entrepreneur of the Year by Stony Brook University’s Small Business Development Center

Read full article

Monday, September 8, 2014

Report: U.S. Hispanic entrepreneurial growth dramatic

The number of Hispanic entrepreneurs in the United States has grown exponentially over the past two decades and Hispanic immigrants in particular have a higher rate of entrepreneurship than the U.S. population at large, according to a report released Tuesday by The Partnership for a New American Economy and the Latino Donor Collaborative.

The study, “Better Business: How Hispanic Entrepreneurs Are Beating Expectations and Bolstering the U.S. Economy,” released in Miami during a panel discussion and press conference, showed that between 2010-2012 the entrepreneurial rate declined overall in the U.S., but among Hispanics the rate shot up, said Jeremy Robbins, executive director of the partnership, an organization of 500 government and business leaders who support immigration reform.

Read full article

Friday, September 5, 2014

40 Top Latinos in American Media

This has been a really great year for Latino talent in American media. But before we get into the details of a year in Latino media excellence, I want to first share how this list comes together every year.

Methodology 
Like most media events in digital times this list of top latino talent begins on Twitter. Friends, fans, family, and especially colleagues of excellent Latinos in media recommend them to @vato, me. I add all of the recommended Twitter handles to a private Twitter List that I build and monitor throughout the year in Tweetdeck.  I have created a Collection in Tweetdeck for storing specific top Latino tweets for embedding  throughout next year's list, just as I have Alberto Ciurana's mighty tweet below.

Read the full article

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Hispanic Media & Marketing Agency, Omni Direct, Announces 15-Year Anniversary

Omni Direct, a leader in U.S. Hispanic direct response marketing, celebrated its 15 years of business this summer. Specializing in direct to consumer, brand, and digital marketing, Omni Direct was established in 1999 by Alex Agurcia.

Agurcia first founded Omni Direct in recognition of the growing but virtually untapped potential of the Hispanic market in the U.S. Prior to starting Omni Direct, he led Gold Coast Media as their CEO spearheading their rapid growth in the 1990s to become a leader in launching direct products and services to both the general and U.S. Hispanic markets. 

Read full article

Friday, August 29, 2014

How start-up culture is changing Mexico

The story of Mexico’s private sector has long been one of monopolies and duopolies. These often massive companies dominate a range of Mexican industries, reaping the lucrative benefits of little to no competition, established distribution networks and widespread access to credit.

But another story is now emerging. Mexican start-ups, especially those in technology services, are taking off, and their success is quickly broadening the economic landscape.

Many Mexicans own their own businesses. 

Read full article

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Latino Entrepreneurs Get Ready to Pitch Their Startup Ideas at Demo Day Event in Silicon Valley

Manos Accelerator, a startup accelerator program with the vision to be recognized as an international hub in Silicon Valley where Latino entrepreneurs from across the globe can come to convert their big ideas into reality, is having six startup teams from their 2014 Summer batch pitch their ideas at an upcoming Demo Day event on Wednesday, August 27th, at Yahoo headquarters.

“From week one to week twelve, it has been great to see the overall development and progression of our 2nd batch of startup companies,” said Edward Avila, Co-founder and CEO of Manos Accelerator. “Part of what we do here is not only to assist these early-stage startups with their solutions but to inspire Latino entrepreneurs and have them see what is possible and to think big about what they can go do. We are also thrilled to have Manos be embraced by top-tier high tech companies in Silicon Valley like Yahoo and Google.”

Manos Accelerator is a tech accelerator that has partnered with Google for Entrepreneurs since 2013. It provides mentoring, training and investment connections for startup companies. Their 12-week accelerator program selects Latino-led startups and then helps to develop them into marketable, functional companies that are then displayed at the program-concluding Demo Day.

"Manos is building a strong community in Silicon Valley that nurtures and enables Latino entrepreneurs," said Mary Grove, Director of Google for Entrepreneurs. "Google is passionate about helping build inclusive communities with diverse perspectives and we support Manos' mission of providing resources and mentorship to help more Latino entrepreneurs excel globally. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the Manos community."

These companies that have been selected and developed under Manos Accelerator’s program these last 12-weeks get ready to pitch their business solutions to a distinguished panel of judges on August 27th at Yahoo headquarters starting at 5:30 PM. Participating startups include Audive, CoupleCare, Cuestiona.me, FashionTEQ and saySquare. The event is a day of celebration that gives these startup teams the opportunity to promote their companies to a cross section of the Silicon Valley community that includes entrepreneurs, media, mentors and prospective investors. These presentations are a showcase of their business models and the great progress that have been made due to their participation in the Manos Accelerator program.
About Manos Accelerator, LLC 

Manos Accelerator creates a Latino ecosystem of entrepreneurs, mentors, industry experts, leaders and investors. Through a mentorship-driven program, it provides education, resources and guidance for promising startup companies led by Latinos. For more information, please visit http://www.manosaccelerator.com.

About Google for Entrepreneurs. 
Google for Entrepreneurs provides financial support and the best of Google's resources to dozens of coworking spaces and community programs across 125 countries. We also create Campuses: physical hubs where entrepreneurs can learn, connect, and build companies that will change the world. To learn more about Google for Entrepreneurs, visit google.com/entrepreneurs or follow us on G+ (+GoogleForEntrepreneurs) and Twitter (@GoogleForEntrep).


Friday, August 22, 2014

For Fourth Consecutive Year, Republica Ranked as One of Inc. Magazine's 5000 Fastest-Growing Companies in America

República, a leading independent cross-cultural advertising, digital and communications agency, today announced its inclusion once again on Inc. magazine's exclusive list of the 5000 fastest-growing private companies in America. Ranked at No. 3006, this year marks the fourth consecutive time República is included by the Inc. 5000. Companies such as Yelp, Pandora, Timberland, Dell, Domino's Pizza, LinkedIn, Zillow, and many other well-known names gained early exposure as members of the Inc. 5000.

Read article

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Americanizados and Hispanos Lead the Growth of Hispanic-Owned Businesses and Self-Employment

Latinos are introduced to an entrepreneurial spirit and an enterprising nature during childhood. Good deeds and chores done well are rewarded with coins, or the coveted $1 bill. And summer time means earning "spending money," garnered by spending hours mowing lawns, selling lemonade, peddling candy and cookies, or unloading once-loved toys at garage sales.

The innocent desire to earn pocket change matures, and those children later become entrepreneurs who developed much-needed Hispanic businesses, helping to spur economic growth in U.S. markets.

Read full article

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Paola Sanchez > www.expertlatinos.com

Paola Sanchez, Co-Founder, Expert Latinos

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
Drive and determination. You need to make a decision that you are going to make it happen and work towards your goal until you make it a reality.

What inspired you to start your business?
Inspiration many times comes from being able to identify a need that hasn’t been met and my partner, Carmen Ordonez, and I saw the need there was for journalists and bloggers to connect with a variety of Hispanic experts/sources. Carmen’s experience as a journalist and blogger was what allowed her to understand that need for our specific market that not only helped reporters but in return helped the Hispanic experts by offering them free publicity every time they are mentioned or quoted in a media publication. Moreover, Carmen and I decided to partner up as we each bring different strengths to the company, Carmen specializing on Journalism and Public Relations and I specialize in Marketing and Advertising which makes us a strong team. With the inspiration and the perfect team, Expert Latinos was born.

How did you finance it?
Our company expenses have been very minimal until this point, so it hasn’t been necessary for us to finance Expert Latinos.

Does being Hispanic/Latina have any influence on your business?
Yes, completely! Both my partner and I are Latinas and our business is specifically for the Hispanic market which is why we decided to call our website Expert Latinos. Expert Latinos is a free online resource that connects journalists, bloggers and media professionals with Latino expert sources needed for their story, saving them time and energy. On the other end, it provides sources and PR professionals with the opportunity of free publicity.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to drive ahead?
By choosing to see adversity as lessons that life offers us in order to make us wiser. These difficult moments are the ones that make us stronger and more experienced for what is to come. When facing challenging moments, we all have a choice to see the glass half empty or half full, we just choose to always see the glass half full.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
The biggest challenge has been getting people to understand what our service is and how it works. This is tricky as if that message is lost or not delivered correctly; there is no foundation on which to create our business. That is why we’ve created and posted videos on our ExpertLatinos.com website in both English and Spanish explaining to people exactly what we are about which is a free service that gives Hispanic business professionals and entrepreneurs the opportunity to be mentioned as experts in media outlets such as Telemundo, Univision, Yahoo en Español, to mention a few.

If you could change one thing about your business. What would it be?
Having started Expert Latinos sooner! Expertlatinos.com went live April 1, 2014 and we’ve already had a great following and have received requests from strong media publications such as Univision, Telemundo and Yahoo en español in our first month looking for Hispanic professionals just like you and me. Can you imagine how long this free tool has been needed for to help our Latino entrepreneurs grow?

What was your childhood ambition?
My partner, Carmen, and I have actually known each other since we were kids and we’ve both always had the ambition to help people. As children, we weren’t always sure how to accomplish it, but we knew that we wanted to be able to make a change in people’s lives. Fifteen years later, we realize that we are accomplishing that through our business.

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire.
Tony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson

For business meetings, which do you prefer: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Lunch. It’s more casual giving you the opportunity to connect on a personal level.

What sacrifices in your personal life did you have to make in order to become successful in your business?
Social time is very limited as when you choose to have your own business, you don’t really have a start time or an end time as you’re always thinking and working on ways to improve and add to your business.

What is your favorite quote?
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” - Neale Donald Walsch

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
At times it can be, but if you want your business to stand out and be different from all of your competitors, guess what? You have to be unconventional.

Biggest mistake made?
We can’t think of our biggest mistake as it is just part of the mistakes that we’ve made along the way to help us form our business and our life. Mistakes are a part of our life and if we wouldn’t make them, we wouldn’t be human. They are the ones that allow us to learn the best way of doing things so that we can succeed in our business and in life.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
Yes! Innovators are those who ask themselves “how can I make it better? How can I help people and their business? And these are questions we both ask ourselves daily in order to offer the best in our business and any other business we provide.

Acerca de Expert Latinos
Expert Latinos is a free online resource that connects journalists, bloggers and media professionals with Latino expert sources needed for their story, saving them time and energy. On the other end, it provides sources and PR professionals with the opportunity of free publicity. This is a free and fast resource that is beneficial for everyone.

Journalists, bloggers and media professionals can easily post a request on Expert Latinos detailing the source they are looking to interview or quote in their story. The request is then distributed in a daily email alert directly to the database of Latino experts whom have subscribed to the service for free. If the expert is a match, they respond directly to the journalist or blogger through email. Expert Latinos is the perfect tool for experts, small business owners and entrepreneurs seeking to obtain free publicity and gain exposure. On the other end, it helps journalists find the expert source they need for their story, saving them time and energy. www.expertlatinos.com

Carmen Ordoñez is the co-founder.




Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Ramon Sandoval > www.vinolatinousa.com

Ramon Sandoval, Founder,  Vino Latino

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
A dream and the ambition to achieve it.

What inspired you to start your business?
I fell in love with Napa and was excited to learn that there are many Latinos making wine here and actually, all across the USA.  This gave me the idea to combining two things I am passionate about wine and supporting Latinos.

How did you finance it?
Lol..one day at a time.  The term “Boot Strapping” comes to mind.

Does being Hispanic/Latina have any influence on your business?
HUGE. IT’s the inspiration behind my business.  It also helps me find customers because Latinos love to support other Latinos.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to drive ahead?
Faith in Jesus Christ, perseverance (never give up), out-of-the-box thinking, and a supportive wife who is also my business partner.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
Marketing to consumers on a shoestring budget. 

If you could change one thing about your business. What would it be?
Nothing, I love my business and if there is something I don’t like I can change it.

What was your childhood ambition?
To get out of the ghetto.

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire.
Steve Jobs, Rolando Robledo, Mark Zuckerberg

For business meetings, which do you prefer: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Breakfast or Lunch, I’m an early riser.

What sacrifices in your personal life did you have to make in order to become successful in your business?
My corporate job, my fancy car, and vacations.

What is your favorite quote?
“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room”  ~unknown

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
Not for me, just the opposite in fact.  Following the crowd, towing the corporate line, doing everything the same old way bores me and makes me feel stifled. 

Biggest mistake made?
When I first started I would fall for everyone’s promise of “exposure” by pouring wine for free. I quickly learned the only thing it exposed me to was more requests for free stuff while my bills went unpaid.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
I do because I’m always looking for new and different ways of doing things. I think you have to when you are small.  I don’t have to money and influence of big corporations so the only way I can compete is to come up with new and fun ideas.  Vino With Amigos is a perfect example.  I had to figure out how to get in front of consumers so I started doing in-home wine tasting parties.  I am also launching my own wine label, “Vino S Vida” because no Latino winemakers made an affordable moscato so I decided to make my own.

Description of the company:
Vino Latino is a wine company that supports and promotes Latinos in the American wine industry by selling wine made or owned by Latinos in the USA.  We sell wine via newsletter specials, wine club, Vino With Amigos (in-home wine tastings), and tours.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Juan Manuel Perez > www.pitagrill.com

Juan Manuel Perez, Pita Grill Owner (Chelsea, New York City)

What do you need to be an entrepreneur? 
To be a good entrepreneur-because these days EVERYONE is an entrepreneur-you need to have a vision that you believe in and that drives you to make that vision a reality.  Then, of course, you need to be organized, ambitious and self-confident.  You can't let anyone deter you from realizing your goal, from attaining that dream that mobilized you in the first place.   

What inspired you to start your business?  
My parents bake bread for a living and work out of our home in Mexico.  I grew up watching not only their technical skill in executing great bread but also their entrepreneurial spirit: they always sold their product!  They taught me a great work ethic and they inspire me still, every day to excel.  When I came to the United States, I started at the very bottom of the totem pole so to speak, as a delivery boy.  But nothing was beneath me and I learned every facet of this difficult food industry.  When I finally got the opportunity to run my own restaurant, there was nothing that I did not do or could not do.  The business felt mine because I had cleaned the bathrooms, I had run the register, I had delivered the food and cooked the food.  I felt confident in my abilities because I knew how to do every job in the restaurant.  

How did you finance it?  
I saved for many years.  There were no tricks or gimmicks.  I worked very, very hard.  I worked long hours. I lived frugally and I saved. When the opportunity came to take over the Pita Grill restaurant, I seized the chance and was ready financially. However, I did need some financial help. I received funding through Fora Financial when I needed to fund restaurant renovations shortly after taking over ownership. Fora Financial helped me a great deal.  If you can find funding with a low interest rate, it can be a great financial tool.  It can help push you that extra step further.

Does being Hispanic/Latino have any influence on your business? 
No.  Not at all.    

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to drive ahead? 
My experience and my knowledge push me to excel and when I am faced with difficulties, I just push through.  I never stop or complain.  I never lament.  I just keep going looking for the pot at the end of the rainbow.  I never forget what brought me to where I am today.  I never forget how lucky I am.  I never forget that original vision.  

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?  
The biggest challenge in the food business is the big chain competition. Competing with Chipotle, Dunkin' Donuts, Starbucks, etc. is tough! These big corporate food chains have huge financial backing and huge advertising budgets.  They detract from smaller businesses and open so many stores within 1 square mile, that it takes a great deal of skill to keep a food business open.  It is a case of Simon and Goliath.  But I never lose faith in Simon and in us small business owners.  It is important also, as a consumer that you make purchase choices that help other small businesses.  I try to buy my coffee at the bodega near my house and I like to make local grocery purchases.  Every day we can make choices that help each other out, that can help our communities not get enveloped by the huge corporate chains that want to take over every facet of your daily life from pharmaceutical needs to pizza and coffee etc.  Just remember Simon and Goliath and contribute to the struggle as best you can.  

If you could change one thing about your business. What would it be?  
I don't think I would change anything about my business.  When I want to change something, I change it!  I can, however, think of things I would like to add.  I would like to drive sales up by taking advantage more of the area my restaurant is in.  We are near Port Authority and in the heart of Chelsea.  I would like to introduce more people to Pita Grill.  I am planning to take steps toward this goal this year: advertising, word-of-mouth campaigns, social media etc.    

What was your childhood ambition?  
Most of all I want to be a good human being.  I think being a businessman does not mean that my moral virtues have to fall by the wayside.  I think these can, instead, help me to make my business better in the end.  I grew up in a very poor family.  For a time we had no place to live and worked in the street.  I always dreamed about coming to the United States and I always dreamed of making my parents proud and becoming a success.  At the end of the day, I care most about taking care of others and keeping close to the good moral principals that my parents instilled in me.  I am proud of where I came from and I love the idea of helping others too, aspire to dream big and realize their dreams.
  
Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire.  
Carlos Slim.  Donald Trump.  Jorge Ramos.

For business meetings, which do you prefer: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?  
Lunch.  Definitely lunch.

What sacrifices in your personal life did you have to make in order to become successful in your business?  
My sacrifices have truly been great.  For the last 16 years I have not been able to see my family in Mexico, not been able to hug my mother or kiss my father.  I miss them so much and this sacrifice hurts a lot, it truly does. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of everyone I grew up with and long to abrazarlos.  
I am devoted to my business and I spend my days, my nights, my weekends, and my holidays working.  I love being a businessman and I know what it takes to succeed; but, yes, the sacrifices have been great.  

What is your favorite quote?  
“The biggest thing in life is not money, it is not power, it is not a position that you hold; it is what you hold in your heart and your mind.  Your heart and your mind have no limitations and their potential is never-ending.”  

Is it difficult to be unconventional?  
No, not at all.  When you have a goal, nothing holds you back.  There are no limits or conventions or traditional paths.  You just work toward your goal, you just realize it.

Biggest mistake made?  
I don't think there are mistakes. But there are weaknesses. I tend to trust people too quickly. I should be more wary. I should be more cautious.  I am working toward this. I am always a work-in-progress!

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?  
I do sometimes. I like to bring new concepts to existing businesses and I love to help business evolve. That means I have to observe a lot. I need to watch the needs of the clientele and adapt to suit their needs.

Description of your company: 
Pita Grill is an eclectic and healthy concept that was born in New York City and which I feel proud to be a part of. We sell fast-food cuisine with all-natural ingredients; we don't believe in serving processedfood and make all our food in-house. Our extensive menu offers things such as hummus, fish tacos,smoothies, pita sandwiches.  We serve food in a relaxed atmosphere and believe in always serving food with a smile.  We are always happy to serve you or fulfill your catering needs. See website www.pitagrill.com

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Bartek Oparski, CEO, Charlateria.us

Bartek Oparski, CEO, Charlateria.us

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
Being specialist in my area, vision, passion and willingness to work hard.

What inspired you to start your business?
To develop something meaningful for my customers.

How did you finance it?
Family so far, we might go for first external financing in 2014.

Does being Hispanic/Latino have any influence on your business?
I am actually European but the passion of Hispanic users drives Charlateria.us towards being one of most popular shopping sites in the US. We look also for Hispanic cooperation partners like bloggers and shop owners because they are very meaningful for our business.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to drive ahead?
I am convinced of the success even if it might be necessary to repeatedly align the strategy in a very fast changing business environment.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
Technical development - Charlateria’s system might look at first sight quite simple but it has a complex technological backend with diverse interaction possibilities and user friendly privacy settings.

If you could change one thing about your business. What would it be?
We will build out in the coming months the shopping part, Plaza. The direct e-commerce part gets more and more focus, though the social part offers already interesting features.

What was your childhood ambition?
Movie director - I always wanted to create and shape something inspirational and entertaining. Now, in the Internet industry it is also possible but in a slightly different way compared to the show business.

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire.
There are so many who impress me but if I had to tell only three then it would be Jeff Bezos, Larry Page and Mark Zuckerberg.

For business meetings, which do you prefer: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Dinner.

What sacrifices in your personal life did you have to make in order to become successful in your business?
I moved with my family to another corner of the country, invested all my savings and still work 60+ hours per week.

What is your favorite quote?
"If you're competitor-focused, you have to wait until there is a competitor doing something. Being customer-focused allows you to be more pioneering." - Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
Probably trying hard to be unconventional will usually not work out. Be yourself and do what you love and the rest will follow.

Biggest mistake made?
We needed too long for our first Alpha version, there are ways to do it better.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
Partially but we’re still heading towards enhanced shopping experience and are keen to find the ideal mix, that will be supported by technology and people.

Description of the company
Charlateria.us is a new Spanish language social commerce portal that makes online shopping easier. Visitors can always effortlessly find the right product for them or that special someone. The “Plaza” displays products from numerous American online stores and shoppers can find there virtually everything at the best possible price. An optional signup for a free account takes just a few seconds using own e-mail address or Facebook account.

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