Tuesday, January 3, 2017

7 Incredible Facts About Women-Owned Businesses

Owning your business is life-changing. It entails setting your own hours, pursuing your projects to provide the best products or services for your customers, and giving everything you’ve got into it, as if it is your own baby. This is one of the reasons behind why men are mostly dominating. But this has slowly been changing.

A new breed of women has emerged over the past years who were able to cement their names in the business world. They not only built an empire but also took down the most common notion that women cannot survive in the world of business. According to a study, those women who have started their business within the past 10 years were more experienced in managerial aspects and have almost, if not greater, revenue and employment diversity compared with renowned business. This is only one of the many facts about women owning businesses.

There are more statistical data and studies over the years proving how women created a wave of change and diversity in the once male-dominated sector. Both now have equal footing as regards venturing into new types of businesses. This didn’t happen overnight. Decades ago, a few women began the movement by surviving and proving the opposite sex that they too can be firm owners and be successful at it. A number of women saw this and joined the fray of women who stood their ground in the business sector.

We could go on all day about the facts. Instead, check out the colorful and eye-catching infographic that we have prepared below where we gathered all necessary and crucial data so that we could understand how women were able to succeed in the business.
Scroll down and see the graphic to be inspired to become one of them.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Top 20 Venture Capital Investors Worldwide

Who has the hot hand in venture capital?

To identify today’s top venture investors, CB Insights, a research firm that tracks the venture capital industry, created a data-driven list. The firm based its report on factors like connectedness, since people with access to the best information hear about hot companies first, and exits, meaning the returns generated when a start-up is sold or goes public. For exits, the firm considered the valuation and when the investor first put money into the company.

Read full article

Friday, May 27, 2016

Master Fernando Camareno > www.mastercamareno.com

Master Fernando Camareno, Keynote Speaker, Personal Safety Life Skills Coach, Business Program Developer & Consultant.

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?

Desire, passion, vision and a mission. Being determined to develop your talents and abilities to their fullest, recognizing that they were given to us in order to live and perform by them.

What did inspire you to start your business?
The capacity of achieving independence, time management, better income, self fulfillment and pride. The opportunity to make a contribution to society, becoming a part of its improvement.

How did you finance it?
Interesting question. For 44 years I have been investing in the Martial Arts discipline, which has become the basis to my professional career. You may wonder what I am talking about; during my 33 years as Martial Arts instructor, developing behavior modification and character development programs, I have been able to develop the entrepreneurial attitude to become a leader, which led me to the achievement of 7 World Championships and 6 World Records among other achievements as an athlete. Holding such distinctions become my best financing actives for the present and future global business models.
People decide to join your projects for three reasons: They know you, they are attracted by your personality and they trust you. This combined with business alternatives of global scalability that require minimal investments of less than $ 1k, perhaps up to $ 5k.

Being Hispanic…Does it have any influence on your business?
Hispanics share a unique spirit of self-improvement and strength empowered by their passion on doing things. On the other hand, in my case as Puerto Rican, we have the advantage of being Bilingual, as we are educated both in Spanish and in English (as our second language). But with today’s technology language gave more opportunities.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
I only need to take a look at the process of everything that I have invested and done in order to be where I am now. The value that I give to those processes gives me the strength and focus to go on. We need to remember that it is not about what we have lived but what we are about to live…So we must live intensely.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
Being an orphan since an early age, having lost everything, I had an accident where I received a 13,570 volts charge; it was uncertain if I would ever walk again. The moments that I lived after the accident gave me strength and helped me look at life from another angle. Today, I share that experience with my work team.

If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
The only thing that I would change is having started the use of development systems, duplicable in a way that would hold constant productivity.

What was your childhood ambition?
When I was eight years old, a World Champion told me that if I really wanted to, I could achieve anything I wanted, even become a World Champion myself! I believed in him and initiated my process, which was interrupted during the best time of my life by the loss of my parents, all the money and my accident. I was kept out of any competitions for twelve years. I was able to recover from all this with the use of nutraceutical technology in 2004. And being thirty-eight years old I was able to achieve my goals, including being a part of Team Bergamo, Martial Arts World Champions from ESPN-2.

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire?
Wow its almost impossible to choose only 3 but here I go: Steven K. Scott (with the Book “The Richest Man Who Ever Lived”), Angel M. Nieves (the one that introduced me in the Direct Sales and Social Network Biz) and Alex Hoffman  & Laura Boerr (both my direct upline sponsors in my actual Business ISAGENIX)

For business meetings: breakfast, lunch or dinner?
Depending on the audience, the product and the approach required, any of the 3 are effective to me.

What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
Investing everything I had, including all my time. However, the results are worth it.
What is your favorite quote?
VIVE LA VIDA!  Which means:  LIVE LIFE! (The name of our organization and brand)

It is difficult to be unconventional?
For those who are at the forefront of marketing models, it is quite normal, actually.

Biggest mistake made?
Not paying enough attention to the multi-level marketing business models sooner.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
Yes. Upon acquiring personal experience and combining it with the experience of other successful people, you get your personal formula for getting innovating results. Good or bad results, still from innovative efforts.

About the Company
Master Fernando Camareno – Puerto Rico
Keynote Speaker, Personal Safety Life Skills Coach Business Program Developer & Consultant.
Website: www.mastercamareno.com

Tel: 787-603-5333
Skype: fernando.camareno

13,570 VOLTIOS.. - "Conoce Su Historia" http://tcpros.co/Nf6Cx

Friday, March 25, 2016

Ginalisa Monterroso > www.themedicaidexperts.com

Ginalisa Monterroso, Founder of Medicaid Advisory Group

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
To be an entrepreneur, you have to believe that you can truly make a difference. You are providing a service that you have created to help people. You have an idea that answers the questions of others and you have to be proud of that too.

What inspired you to start your business?
I wanted to become an advocate for people who are lost in the complicated Medicaid system. I wanted to prevent other families from suffering the way that I suffered when trying to help my 

How did you finance it?
By applying to Medicaid as a supplementary service, we receive some of the funding that we need to function. The rest is found through medical, local, and national grants that we must apply for on a yearly basis.

Does being Hispanic/Latina have any influence on your business?
Yes. I am very proud of my Hispanic heritage. Strong, hard-working, and intelligent Hispanic women have paved the way for me to be able to be successful in my business. Seeing my mother jump into her business the way that she did, also gave me the confidence to start my own business.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to drive ahead?
When medical professionals were turning us away, I knew that my purpose was to advocate for my daughter and her rights. My desire to provide for my daughter was what kept me going, and knowing that I can help other families who are just as confused as I was, keeps me going. It’s so important to know everything that you can so that you don’t get taken advantage of; It’s my passion to educate people to prevent that from happening.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
The world of healthcare is overwhelming and sometimes that has intimidated my business. Especially being a woman, a Latina, and a single mother of a disabled child, it has been a constant struggle to keep my head above water. Everyday that we succeed, it gets that much easier.

If you could change one thing about your business. What would it be?
I would change how we are funded. If we could receive unlimited funding, we could help out so many people figure out how Medicaid can help them. The goal is to help the highest amount of people that we possibly can and more funding would help us to do that.

What was your childhood ambition?
When I was growing up, I always wanted to be a mother. The day my daughter was born was the happiest day of my life. I wanted to love a child the way that my mother loves me. She set such a great example for me to be successful and confident. She is my biggest support system and I knew I could give that to someone else: my child.

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire.
I really admire Julia Hartz, the founder of EventBrite. She inspires me because she left her career in television to create a business that provides a service to people that she really felt was needed. It takes courage to leave what you already know how to do for something else that you truly believe in. 

Selena Quintanilla is inspirational because not only was she Hispanic, she was also a woman who dominated in the Tejano music industry. This was completely unheard of and she was beloved on the American and Mexican music charts even after her death. What makes her a great role model was that she was very family oriented; she did music because she loved it and because her family loved it. She then launched a fashion line to further expand her creativity and her brand. Selena was a lovely Latina businesswoman that I think we all could learn from. 

Nely Galan is one of the bravest women I’ve ever heard of. After running a TV station, the company was suddenly sold and she was unexpectedly out of a job. She began her own production company and eventually became the first Latina to become the President of a television network in the U.S.: Telemundo. She is a great example of picking yourself up from a very low point and turning that experience into a lesson. She has leveraged her experience in the media to become a widely successful businesswoman.

For business meetings, which do you prefer: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
I think that breakfast meetings are the best. It’s the beginning of the workday and everyone is still focused and committed to getting the job done. Being a mother, I know how much food helps everyone to get, or remain focused. A good meeting can really set a great tone for the success of the rest of your day.

What sacrifices in your personal life did you have to make in order to become successful in your business?
In order for me to accomplish my dream of helping people navigate through Medicaid, I had to become a public figure and use my daughter as the biggest example of how Medicaid can be almost impossible to figure out on your own. Even though we gave up some personal privacy, it was worth it to know that I am making a huge difference in the lives of many Medicaid recipients.

What is your favorite quote?
“Success is only meaningful and enjoyable if it feels like your own.” – Michelle Obama

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
No. Being unconventional in business is the best thing to do. We are asking the questions that no one else thinks to ask, which means we get the answers no one knew they needed. We think outside of the box to accomplish our goals.

Biggest mistake made?
My biggest mistake was not starting Medicaid Advisory Group sooner.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
I do consider myself an innovator because most business owners, especially in healthcare, are in it for the money. I created my business on the idea that I could help a lot of people get through this necessary part of life. Focusing on the emotional Return on Investment (ROI) rather than the fiscal ROI is business innovation. I’m helping people get through what they have to get through in order to receive care and live their best lives.

About the Company 
MedicaidAdvisory Group provides guidance and representation for those who are struggling to understand the Medicaid system. We are the patients’ advocates throughout the entire process and we just make everything a lot easier on the families. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Chennai Pharma Entrepreneur Braved Odds To Sell Meds In Latin America

When C.C. Paarthipan, a first-gen pharma entrepreneur, listed his tiny Chennai company, Caplin Point Labs–with revenues of less than $1 million–it was oversubscribed 117 times.

He raised about $900,000 in the 1994 IPO and deployed it in a formulations plant in Pondicherry. But in just a few years the company got mired in quality-control issues; consignments were rejected, and it became a penny stock

Read full article

Phoenix Is Rapidly Becoming a Top Ecosystem for Hispanic Entrepreneurs

According to the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 2015 DATOS report there are more than three million Hispanic-owned firms in the U.S. with an aggregate revenue of $517.4 billion and Hispanic female firms are growing at a rate of 88 percent.

In Arizona, the number of Hispanic-owned businesses grew 70 percent from 2007 to 2012 with the majority of businesses being female-owned, according to the report.

Read full article

Saturday, February 20, 2016

“Having a passion, a belief can make us work harder.”

Christine Sylvia Schweininger is the Central Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s new president.

She was born and raised in the Bay Area; graduated from James Lick High School in San José; and, moved to Modesto as a young adult. Schweininger attended San Joaquín Delta College and majored in Communications.

Read full article

America is missing out on a $1.4 trillion Latino business opportunity

That's the finding of a recent report by the Stanford Graduate School of Business that surveyed roughly 1,800 businesses owned by Latinos.

Latino entrepreneurs are extremely active. Latinos opened 86% of all the new businesses created in the U.S. between 2007 and 2012, according to Remy Arteaga, the lead researcher. But they lagged non-Latino businesses in how much revenue they brought in -- $155,806 in 2012 versus $573,209, according to the most recent U.S. Census data.

Read full article

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Miller Lite Tap the Future® Returns To Reward Entrepreneurs Up To $200,000

CHICAGO, Feb. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Miller Lite Tap the Future returns for the 4th year to find entrepreneurs who are ready to compete for a $200,000 grand prize including the opportunity to pitch their business plan live in front of Daymond John of ABC's "Shark Tank."

The competition kicks off February 11 and entrepreneurs can submit applications to be entered into the three-phase contest:

From February 11 to April 8, entrepreneurs 21 and older can apply by submitting business information through MLTaptheFuture.com 

30 semi-finalists will be selected to compete in live pitch events in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Miami during the month of July. Daymond John and a panel of experts will select one business in each city to win $20,000 and advance to the national finals.

Six national finalists will present before a panel of judges in Chicago this September, where one team will win the $200,000 grand prize.

"Miller Lite Tap the Future can open doors for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to take their business to the next level and are willing to put in the work to do so," said Daymond John. "I encourage entrepreneurs who are ready to get down to business and work hard to not pass up this opportunity."

Miller Lite Tap the Future has awarded more than $1 million in funding over the last three years. Thousands enter each year, with one business crowned the top winner. The most recent grand prize winner is Brian Hill, founder of Edovo, a business that provides a self-driven educational and vocational platform to correctional institutions across the country.

"Miller Lite Tap the Future not only provides the financial insights necessary to help grow businesses, but it also puts entrepreneurs in front of people who are well respected and know what it takes to succeed," said Steve Canal, MillerCoors community affairs. "Miller Lite's commitment to help entrepreneurs succeed is inspired by Frederick Miller, who created the original light beer by following his passion, staying true to himself and his vision and against all odds, not giving up."

Miller Lite Tap the Future recently received a national endorsement from the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC). MillerCoors has a strong history in supporting Hispanic businesses and has previously been recognized by the USHCC for its continuing support of Hispanic business owners.

"The USHCC is thrilled to support MillerCoors—a longstanding partner of our association—as they host their national business competition, Tap the Future, for the fourth year. Again and again, MillerCoors has recognized the critical importance of supporting small and minority-owned businesses in America," said U.S Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Javier Palomarez. "We are proud to support MillerCoors as they empower entrepreneurs across America to pursue new and innovative business ideas."

For official rules and information, visit www.MLTaptheFuture.com.

About MillerCoors
Through its diverse collection of storied breweries, MillerCoors brings American beer drinkers an unmatched selection of the highest quality beers steeped in centuries of brewing heritage.  Miller Brewing Company and Coors Brewing Company offer domestic favorites such as Coors Light, Miller Lite, Miller High Life and Coors Banquet.  Tenth and Blake Beer Company, our craft and import division, offers beers such as Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy from sixth-generation Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company and Blue Moon Belgian White from modern craft pioneer Blue Moon Brewing Company, which celebrates its 20th Anniversary this year. Tenth and Blake also operates Crispin Cider Company, an artisanal maker of pear and apple ciders using fresh-pressed American juice, and imports world-renowned beers such as Italy's Peroni Nastro Azzurro, the Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell and the Netherlands' Grolsch.  MillerCoors also offers pioneering new brands such as the Redd's Apple and Redd's Wicked Apple franchises and Smith & Forge Hard Cider.  MillerCoors seeks to become America's best beer company through an uncompromising promise of quality, a keen focus on innovation and a deep commitment to sustainability. MillerCoors is a joint venture of SABMiller plc and Molson Coors Brewing Company. Learn more at MillerCoors.com, at facebook.com/MillerCoors or on Twitter through @MillerCoors.

SOURCE MillerCoors

Web Site: http://www.MLTaptheFuture.com

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Top 50 NYC startups to watch in 2016

In 2015, New York City made a name for itself in tech. Startups blossomed among the city’s legacy industries, drawing a steady flow of VC money into growing industries like real estate tech, ad-tech, food-tech and fintech.

But what does 2016 have in store? We have carefully selected 50 young companies (all less than five years old) that we believe will make a big splash over the next 12 months:

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“Why Not Me?” A Latina Entrepreneur’s Journey From Michoacán To Los Angeles

“I used to visit my grandmother every year in Michoacán,” said Rosalía Hertz, owner of World Empanadas in Los Angeles, “but now I haven’t been back for over 30 years.”

“After my grandmother passed away, I just couldn’t bear to go back,” she said. “The last time I was there I saw that the streets I once knew had changed. There remained only a shadow of the childhood glimmer I once knew.”

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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Nuestra Comunidad: Venezuelan entrepreneur shares secrets of success

For business owner Miguel Castillo, the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta were more than just a celebration of athletic achievement and global unity, they represented a key turning point in Georgia’s history.

“After the Olympics, Georgia’s population and economic development exploded, because people from other states began moving here. In 2000 I had four jobs at the same time,” explained Castillo.

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This Chilean Startup Wants To Change The Way Latin America Shops For Food

I meet Santiago-based economist and entrepreneur Jose Manuel Moller on the eve of a huge real estate move that will see him relocate, not just his offices, but two burgeoning start ups, an entire factory and also a hang out space for like-minded folk in the nearly-hipster-but-not-quite area of Recoleta, on the outskirts of Santiago in Chile. Moller’s ties to the area go beyond business, they’re personal.

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

The NYC Venture Capital Year in Review: 2015

Today, we take a look at the state of venture capital and angel funding during 2015, both in New York and nationally. Analyzing some publicly available data from our friends at CrunchBase, we break down the aggregate statistics for all funding deals by stage of funding (Angel/Seed, Series A, Series B, and Series C+, as well as venture non-specified rounds < $10M).

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What I've Learned: Growing Latino Businesses When Banks Won't

Sean Salas is the CEO and Co-Founder of Camino Financial, a credit marketplace helping under-banked small businesses access capital with a focus on servicing the fast growing Hispanic business segment. Sean has worked in private equity, investment banking and throughout his career has structured over $1.2 billion in debt financings.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Report: Hispanic entrepreneurship could mean $1.4 trillion boost to U.S. economy

The number of Latino-owned businesses have grown nearly nearly 50 times faster than non-Latino owned businesses, yet Latino businesses lag far behind in revenue compared to those owned by non-Latinos. The result is a $1.4 trillion opportunity for the U.S. economy, according to a new report from the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative.

On Wednesday, the organization gathered founders and CEOs of Mastec, Liberty Power, Senzari, Nearpod, Rokk3r Labs and Endeavor Miami to discuss the findings and what is ahead for its new national project that aims to provide industry research and education programs for accelerating Latino entrepreneurs.

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Can Mexico Give Startups An Edge To Capture The U.S. Hispanic Market?

I recently had the pleasure to present the Camino Financial story to the Ambassadors and Consuls of Mexico at their XXVII Annual Reunion in Mexico City.  The takeaway was simple: the U.S. hosts the LARGEST untapped Hispanic market in the world and it’s up for grabs right now.  The buying power of Hispanic consumers is approximately $1.3 trillion, making its economy larger than all but 15 countries (source: Selig Center for Economic Growth).  Meanwhile, Hispanic-owned businesses significantly contribute to the U.S. economy with over $661 billion in gross sales (source: Geoscape).  And with all the innovation occurring in the U.S., very few startups are focused on delivering value to the rapidly growing Hispanic community.  A recent survey from AngelList counted 89,405 U.S.-based startups: of these, only 15 focused on delivering services to the Hispanic market.  Here lies a GIGANTIC opportunity…

While I fundamentally believe 80%+ of what is required to capture any American market resides here in the U.S., we shouldn’t let this blindside us from exploring resources and influences across the border.  This is especially true when looking for a marketing or operational edge to capture the U.S. Hispanic market.  Below are 3 ways startups can leverage Mexico to build a Hispanic edge:

Design Complementary Products for Both the U.S. and Mexico
Designing a product or service that works in the U.S. and Mexico presents both an immense growth opportunity and a big challenge.  While this is clearly a challenge, we have seen many products become widely accepted across borders, such as tacos, tequila, and Vicente Fernandez (not joking).  But delivering transnational products goes way beyond tacos and entertainment, it can be as sophisticated as creating microfinance products and Ed Tech solutions (e.g. Camino Financial in 5 Years).

Mexico is a Center of Influence for Paisanos
After my discussion with Mexican officials, I was quickly approached with requests to visit several local consulates in the U.S. (Mexico has 50 consulates in the U.S.) to speak to Paisanos (first generation immigrants) looking for capital.  These invitations further exemplify the power of influence that resides in Mexico, as well as an opportunity to penetrate the U.S. Hispanic market.  It sounds far-fetched, but it’s true. This can be a huge capture opportunity for savvy startups focused on the U.S. Hispanic market.

Resources & Talent
Now, many Hispanics in the U.S. may not find relevance in, or may be detracted from, “Hispanic oriented” products.  However, Mexico has much more to offer than just serving as a center of influence for a certain number of Hispanics in the U.S.: it offers resources in the form of raw materials and talent.  While in Mexico, I met with two call center providers to help service my Spanish speaking customers in the U.S.  First, I was blown away by the level of management sophistication, technology, and access to motivated talent.  Second, I was intrigued by the opportunity of saving 50 cents on the dollar.  While I do not believe the ultimate cost solution for startups or BIG corporations is to outsource work to countries with a lower cost of labor, I do believe businesses should allocate finite resources in certain areas to maximize the customer experience.  In the case of catering to Spanish speaking customers, Mexico offers a huge opportunity to deliver a seamless telesales and customer service experience.
Now more than ever, it is imperative that entrepreneurs and business owners open their eyes and look across the border, as this may be the key to unlocking untapped value among Hispanics in the U.S. and beyond.

Source: Alfredo Lopez

First Down Funding Connects Clearly With Spanish and Latin American Business Owners

WASHINGTON, DC , Jan 25, 2016 (Marketwired via COMTEX) -- First Down Funding has quickly established itself as one of North America's premier alternative lenders for small and medium-sized businesses, with an adaptive model and wide range of merchant services designed to assist businesses at all stages -- from those just being founded to the well-established that are seeking to expand. In addition to reliability, stellar financial advice and excellent customer service, First Down Funding (FDF) has also been known for their flexibility, often able to get clients approved and funded within 24 hours. Now, in accordance with their mission to provide financial assistance to business owner in need, First Down Funding has announced the creation of their Latin American Sales Division for the U.S. and Canada featuring agents and executives fully fluent in Spanish.

With their numerous years of industry experience, the lending experts at First Down Funding are all too familiar with the challenges small and medium-sized business owners regularly face. For new business owners, acquiring the initial start-up capital is of course one of the largest. Banks often freeze out promising entrepreneurs by demanding the type of security and collateral that no individual founding a new business will have, or else will offer loans with outlandish interest rates. Existing business owners are also faced with similar hurdles. Ironically, they will often find it difficult to obtain loans to implement the very improvements necessary to achieve the kind of profitability banks and other traditional lenders require before offering a manageable loan. With all these challenges, the last thing an aspiring business owner needs is difficulty in securing a loan due to a language barrier. Having already addressed the financial aspects by approving 85% of applicants for one of their fast, affordable and flexible loans, First Down Funding is now ensuring that Spanish speaking entrepreneurs can just as easily take advantage of their vital services.

The United States was recently shown to have 41 million native Spanish speakers and 11.6 million bilingual individuals -- which is the second largest population of Spanish speakers in the world second only to Mexico. While its numbers are certainly lower than the U.S., Canada has also been shown to have quite a large number of Spanish speakers. With the considerable size of this demographic, it was clear to First Down Funding that to give every entrepreneur an equal chance, it was necessary to institute a Latin American division. So far, the response has been overwhelming as Spanish/Latin American clients have finally found a reputable lender than not only provides fast and affordable loans with personalized service but also ensures ease of communication in their preferred language. One such client enthusiastically stated: "Working with First Down Funding is an incredible experience. They are currently helping out my tenants as I own several shopping centers across the East Coast. Speaking Spanish has always been a problem as the language barrier can create difficulties, but with First Down Funding, they found a way to make it work!" Another Spanish speaking client, currently the owner of four Outback Steakhouse restaurants, expressed similar sentiments: "Every hurdle I have [been] faced with in the past was no issue at all...I have traveled my entire life and finally have found the right mix of financial help with First Down Funding."

First Down Funding is a Washington DC/Maryland based company specializing in structuring and approving cash advances for small to medium-sized businesses. With affordable rates, transparent fees, fixed payment schedules and a fast and simple process that allows 30 second applications and funding within 24 hours, they allow business owners throughout the US and Canada receive the funding they need when they need it. The experts at First Down Funding also provide valuable financial advice and give each client the attention necessary to create a personalized solution.

SOURCE: First Down Funding

Sunday, January 24, 2016

5 tips for launching your startup in Latin America

My business partner and I looked at each other quizzically as we listened to the pitch from LinkedIn’s Dublin-based Latin America sales-rep. The sales-rep was clearly from the region, but her go-to-market strategy seemed prepped, cooked and served in sauces with a distinct North American flavor.

We asked, “Can we try the platform before we buy?”, to which we were told, “no.” “Can we negotiate a discounted rate to account for the assorted taxes that increase our costs?”, “No”. 

Read full article

Monday, December 28, 2015

Elaine del Valle > www.delvalleproductions.com

Elaine del Valle, Actress, Producer, Director and Writer, Interviewed by Laura Rosado

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
I had a strong desire to pursue my passion seriously and the notion that I could achieve my goals.

What inspired you to start your business?
I started Del Valle Productions after writing a pilot. It was over 16 years ago. I wanted to shoot it and I wanted the protections and benefits that were offered by a corporate status.

How did you finance it?
I filed the corporation documents myself. The fees were minimal. I used my savings accrued from working as a commercial actress to fund my projects.

Does being Hispanic/Latina have any influence on your business?
I find being Latina has more and more of an impact on my business as time goes by. I didn’t begin my journey with a mission to create Latino work and represent the culture, my mission was more personal…but as a Latina I found that representing myself became symbolic of my culture and gender.  My industry quickly told me the need for Latina leadership…I used all of my strengths to find a niche. For me that was the understanding of my own culture, my industry and the Spanish language. 

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to drive ahead?
I remember where I came from and how far I have come. I remember that every opportunity is a gift and that no matter what the outcome— a learning experience exists within every scenario. Your critics might make you upset, but once you get over that, you can look at their critiques more objectively and that ends up helping your process, much more than hurting it. I use rejection as incentive to better myself.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
Each part of my business has its own challenges.
When it comes to casting and production the biggest challenge is getting through the door, getting new clients to use my casting and or production services. I find it easy to maintain clients because I pride myself on delivering the best experience at competitive prices.
With production, the biggest challenge was handed to me when a producer I teamed with failed to meet their responsibilities…It set me back many months in revenue as I felt that I had to compensate for their failure—I would not let the Del Valle Productions name be associated with failure to compensate its independent contractors in a timely manner. I learned lots from that experience—perhaps most that I need to control the finances and hiring when it comes to production.

If you could change one thing about your business. What would it be?
There’s nothing I could think to change that I am not actively working toward.

What was your childhood ambition?
My childhood ambition was to be a lawyer. I wanted to be defending the right side, making an impact on my community.

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire.
Oprah Winfrey because she built an empire, is an absolute female FORCE and continues to help others to grow.
My husband, Al Eskanazy because I watched him grow his business and always do what was right for the company and its employees. He leads with pragmatism, kindness and intelligence. He writes everything down, keeping a diary of every conversation so his recollection of meetings and the fulfillment of specific goals is impeccable.
Elisabeth Kleinhans, the owner of 59E59 Theaters because late in life she fell in love with theater and decided to dedicate her life to helping stage plays be off Broadway. 59E59 Theaters is the best 501c3 theater company I have known…it does so much for playwrights and artists.

For business meetings, which do you prefer: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
It’s not the time of day that matters to me, but rather the place. I prefer to meet at my Private Arts Club in Manhattan. It's a beautiful private arts club (with membership offered to people in the arts and entertainment industry) housed within a Manhattan townhouse. The club has a fantastic ambiance, mission, staff, owner and chef. It's comfortable, hospitable, relaxed, quiet and impressive. I find it a conducive environment to building long lasting relationships.

What sacrifices in your personal life did you have to make in order to become successful in your business? 
For me, the biggest sacrifice is time with my family…I am always working. I love my work and so I don’t suffer from it but my family does. I try to pick up the phone every time my daughter calls but I find I am always in the middle of something and can’t focus on her needs as much as I would like to. I was never the Mom who coddles. I feel it has made my daughter self sufficient and shown her that she too can accomplish anything within her vision. She is now a college graduate who owns her own business.
All of my prep is done from my home office but when I am on site during a production or casting, I am the first one in and the last one out…my husband understands that but is happy when the production is complete. I make sure not to fill my calendars in the days that follow that, so I can make more time for my family and home responsibilities as a wife and homemaker.  When I give myself the day off, I say “Today I am Mrs.”. It is a life that I enjoy and appreciate.

What is your favorite quote?
It’s from Margaret Thatcher “Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it's a day you've had everything to do and you've done it.”

Is it difficult to be unconventional? 
I have never thought of myself as conventional or unconventional. I grew up as a Latina in Brownsville Brooklyn. I never fit in, ANYWHERE. My mother was one of 11 children, they were each unique, yet similar, and acted as a very strong UNIT. As a result of that, I am able to adapt to any setting and feel comfortable and strong in my own skin. I have learned that I can trust my gut, and adapt without losing myself. I know my presence is strong.

Biggest mistake made?
Too many to mention. Personal and professional. One of the biggest was never finishing college. I didn’t know enough to believe in myself. Where I was raised graduating High School was a big deal and so my bar was set too low. I work hard to raise the bar for myself, my family and community now. There is no limit to what we can accomplish.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
No. My colleagues treat me as if I am an innovator, but I feel that I am an example of a regular person working to meet their own potential. I hope that when people look at my accomplishments they see them as possible and probable and that they, too, can accomplish their dreams. One foot in front of another. Begin and never stop…no matter where you get, you are further along than where you started.

About the Company: 
Del Valle Productions Inc. is a full service, bilingual film production and casting company that offers services from concept to delivery. Our mission is to infuse entertainment with Female and/or Latino driven truths, insights and perspective, through original programming and its use of talent in front of and behind the camera.
We cast and or produce commercials, theater, print, voice over, web series, live events and film.


Twitter @brownsvillebred
Instagram @delvalleproductions
Facebook @Del Valle Productions and Casting

Female Founders Fund Eyes Second Fund to Boost N.Y. Startups

About two years ago, Anu Duggal launched her seed investment firm, Female Founders Fund, to tap into what looked like an emerging trend in New York: The maturing crop of startups in the city began spawning new companies, in a virtuous cycle reminiscent of Silicon Valley. Many of the new founders were women.

Female Founders Fund, or F Cubed, backed several of these entrepreneurs with its first $5.8 million fund.

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Monday, December 21, 2015

What Mobile Platform Entrepreneur Will Happily App Themselves to $100,000 As Winner of The Appsbar Small Business App Challenge?

BOCA RATON, Fla., Dec. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- There's still time to register to win $100,000 in the Small Business App Challenge by visiting www.appbusinesschallenge.com.

Appsbar, the easy-to-use app building platform, has $100,000 waiting for the grand prize winner of its Small Business App Challenge.  But hurry as contest ends Dec. 31 2015.

Designed to inspire small business owners and operators to bring their products and services to mobile platforms, the contest was launched in May of 2015.

"Our mission is to empower small business and level the playing field for mobile app development," said CEO and Founder Scott Hirsch. "This opportunity to earn $100,000 reinforces our commitment to that cause." Appsbar, which has over 1.5 million users and still growing, is bent on making 2016 a banner year for small businesses in the mobile space."

Launched in 2011, Appsbar expanded  the mobile marketing category for small and medium-size businesses by allowing development and distribution of mobile apps for free using the dynamic app building template at appsbar.com.

The service was a boon for users previously locked out of the mobile space because of budget constraints and lack of technical ability. Independent artists, local mom-and-pop stores, and parents looking to consolidate soccer schedules have benefitted from Appsbar's app building tool.

The Small Business App Challenge encourages owners and operators to enter the mobile space.  

Customizable apps are developed with Appsbar's free and easy-to-use app builder, allowing the user to upload photos and videos of products and services for a custom app shareable with anyone.  

Apps can be built using any mobile platform, including Android, iPhone, and Windows phones.

Appsbar's user-base has grown internationally and in 2015 surpassed 1.5 million subscribers making it one of the most popular app building platforms in the world. In 2013 Appsbar added mobile capabilities to its offerings, allowing users to create, edit, and publish apps directly from a smartphone or tablet, making it 

the only app building platform with mobile build out capabilities.The addition of a mobile version is another innovation by the Deerfield Beach, FL firm which has been 

awarded 14 patents by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for mobile application development systems, the most recent coming this month for a specialized app development platform.

For information on Appsbar's innovative, easy-to-use app building platform, visit appsbar.com.

SOURCE Appsbar

Web Site: http://www.appbusinesschallenge.com

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Ride-sharing apps are booming in Latin America — and competition is stiff

Uber has changed her life, says graphic designer Olga Lucia Rodriguez.

Since the ride-sharing application became available in Bogota, Colombia, two years ago, she and her three female employees no longer fear for their lives when taking a cab home after a late night at work in this crime-ridden and traffic-clogged Andean capital. Instead, they order up an Uber ride on their smart phones and breathe a bit easier.

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New Commerce Department Data Shows that Minority Entrepreneurship is Growing

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Commerce today released the final results of the U.S. Census Bureau's 2012 Survey of Business Owners (SBO), which found that business ownership in our nation is mirroring our increasingly diverse population.  Minority-owned firms in the U.S. rose from 5.8 million in 2007 to 8.0 million in 2012, and employed 7.2 million people in 2012. While the number of minority-owned businesses increased by 2.2 million, the number of non-minority- owned businesses declined by 1.1 million, from 20.1 million in 2007 to 18.9 million in 2012

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Saturday, December 12, 2015

The 11 Biggest Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make With Digital Marketing

The success of digital marketing depends on various factors. It requires understanding your marketing history, knowing what's being said about your brand, and meeting the needs of your consumers. With so many different factors coming into play to realize digital marketing success, entrepreneurs easily can make mistakes that may hinder early growth in a company.

Here are some of the biggest mistakes.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Small Business Saturday: Dining With La Guelaguetza: Supporting Our Local Businesses

The smell of cinnamon perfumed the air around us as a carafe of café de olla appeared on the table. Café de olla is a coffee that is traditionally prepared in earthen clay pots with cinnamon and piloncillo. The first sip was ecstasy. Eyes wide open. Soon after came the smell of handmade tortillas being prepared some twenty feet from where we sat. One thing was immediately clear: in the noisome, maddening city of Los Angeles, where dreams are big, these small things had summoned cool Mexican vistas in our minds.

American culture is fascinated with all things BIG. Big cars, big buildings, big ideas, big business, big data, and big macs; but when the noise settles into quietude, you find that it is often the small things that deliver the most consistent value. There is no better example of this than small business. Small businesses are the engine driving the American economy. 

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Friday, December 4, 2015

Hispanic Entrepreneurship Could Mean $1.4 Trillion Boost to U.S.

Laura Jimenez knew she was worth more than she was making, so she started her own business to prove it.

The Texas native opened Rockville, Maryland-based FireClean, an emergency cleaning and restoration service, in 1996 at the age of 27 after doing similar jobs for others. Jimenez took pride in the quality of her work and thought becoming her own boss would strengthen her family’s finances and allow more time with the children.

Employers “were not paying me what I was supposed to get paid,” Jimenez said. Even though the work is difficult and the hours long -- her current crew of six is on-call nights and weekends -- Jimenez says, “I love what I do.”

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Guillermo Perales Named 2015 Entrepreneur Of The Year

Guillermo Perales is no stranger to franchising or winning awards. The eighth largest franchisee, and largest Hispanic franchisee, in the country has been recognized no less than four times by Latino Leaders Magazine's annual "101 List," which identifies the most influential Latinos in the U.S. He's received the Entrepreneur of the Year from Asociacion de Empresarios Mexicanos, and earned numerous other awards and accolades over the past two decades. Now he can add the IFA's 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year award to his list.

Perales, president and CEO of Sun Holdings, Inc., is a multi-unit franchisee who operates 280 Burger King Restaurants, 100 Popeye's, 68 Arby's restaurants, 36 Cici's Pizza, 24 Golden Corral restaurants, 15 Krispy Kreme, 89 T-Mobile locations, as well 10 restaurants in various airports, employing thousands and routinely giving back to his community.

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Sunday, November 29, 2015

It’s not all tech: 5 industries with strongest entrepreneurial growth potential

Technology, healthcare, education services, creative industries and food/beverage are entrepreneurial industries that play to Miami’s strengths and appear to have the strongest growth potential in the local innovation economy, a new report by Endeavor Miami finds.

Endeavor Miami, a nonprofit organization that selects, supports and accelerates high-impact entrepreneurs, produced a report in order to get a better reading on where Miami’s entrepreneurial economy may be headed.

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Top Latino Entrepreneurs Recount Trials and Triumphs of Starting Up in the U.S.

Edwin Matos co-founded drug-safety consulting company BioPoint in 2011, but his dreams of becoming a successful business owner began long before that, when he was the young son of immigrants growing up in the Bronx.

Matos's father, who hails from a family of cattle ranchers in Cuba, fled the island nation in 1967. After making the treacherous journey to the U.S. on a raft, he met Matos's mother, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic. The two started a chain of butcher shops in the Bronx.

Their efforts inspired their son, who worked in the family business throughout his youth, to pursue his own dreams of entrepreneurship.

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Monday, November 23, 2015

Latino entrepreneurs have the drive, but are blocked from accessing the tools to succeed

“When you say the word 'Latino,' what’s the synonym that comes to mind?”

Sol Trujillo asks this question, then pauses for a second. A brightness creeps into his voice as he simply states, “My answer is ‘entrepreneur.’”

Trujillo, a highly successful Latino businessman who helped develop the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative (SLEI), is a passionate advocate for Latino owned businesses, seeing them as an opportunity of economic growth.

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