7 Networks for Latina Professionals or Entrepreneurs
LinkedIn
Large group of latina women reaching up to the camera

By Lorraine C. Ladish, NBC News

If you are a Latina entrepreneur or professional, you are not alone. The National Women’s Business Council states that Latinas own close to 788,000 businesses in the U.S. One of the best ways to grow as a businesswoman is to network with others who face similar issues and perhaps even share your vision. There are countless business networks out there, and these are just seven that cater specifically to Latinas.

What all these networks have in common is that they are geared towards women, although a couple shared that they may include “a few good men.” They all have a website where you can read more about each of them and sign up if you wish to. They all provide interesting content aimed at entrepreneurs and professional women. The order in which they are listed is absolutely arbitrary, and they are by no means the only Latina business networks that exist today.

1. BeVisible.soy

BeVisible is an online recruiting platform and an online community for Latinas that allows women to connect and collaborate, grow their network, find mentors, interact with peers and find job and educational opportunities.

Latina career women can sign up on their website. There is no fee for the users.

Andrea Guendelman shared with us an anonymous quote from one of their millennial members: “I am drawing on the strength of my community, and am even stronger because of it. Because we are more than a list of accomplishments and professional headshots. We are empowered Latinas ready to take on the world and make ourselves visible.”

2. Hispanic Women in Leadership (HWIL)

HWIL is a nonprofit organization established in Texas in 1989.

HWIL is a service organization committed to promoting the advancement of Hispanics and women in the areas of education, professional interaction, leadership training, mentorship and the perpetuation of Latino culture.

HWIL accepts application requests on their website. There are several membership options, to include volunteers (non paying) and as members.

“In addition to providing College Scholarships, and in line with our strategic plan beginning in 2016, HWIL will begin a Summer Mentorship Program for young ladies in their teens,” said Rita A. Lopez, its president.

3. Suits, Stilettos and Lipstick

The mission of Suits, Stilettos and Lipstick is to create a movement that will empower women to live a healthy, happy, balanced and purposeful life. Their online and live events include conferences, webinars, teleconferences, retreats, workshops, seminars, networking opportunities, coaching, mentoring, and much more. There is a basic (free) and premium (paid) membership. Women may read the advantages of each membership and sign up on the webpage.

“We come in different ages, shapes, shades and sizes. We are SASSY (Smart, Assertive, Strategic, Selfless and Young-at-heart). Whether you are looking for self-improvement tools, social or business connections or career and business development, SSL is here for you,” said Elizabeth King.

4. LatinasinBusiness.us

The goal of LatinasinBusiness.us is to bring together a community of bloggers, writers, vloggers, communicators, and business owners advocating to support, enrich and empower Latinas in business and the workplace.

Click here to read the full article on NBC News.

The Ultimate Job Search Checklist
LinkedIn
Latina woman working from home with laptop and smartphone in her hand

Job searches can be overwhelming and sometimes it is difficult to know exactly where to start. Resume Worded has put together a step-by-step checklist to help you stay organized and task-oriented. 

Here are the things you’ll need to think about when job searching:

Your Resume/CV
These introductory documents are what help you get an interview. A strong resume/CV gets past initial filters/screens and makes a strong impression on hiring managers. Make sure you understand what type of document (resume, academic CV, federal resume) to use for the job you are applying to. Create impact on your document through strong content and a clean, easy to skim format. Lastly, always have another set of eyes look at this document to help you edit for errors.

Your Online Presence
When you are job searching, you should assume people are looking you up online. It might be a good idea to make all of your personal Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, SnapChat accounts private. One account that should have a public present though is LinkedIn. Take some time to update it and optimize it with keywords for your intended career path/sector.

Finding a Job Online
Cast a wide net when searching for jobs online. General websites like Indeed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor can be helpful; however, you will also want to utilize niche job boards related to your field. Science Careers and Nature Careers often have relevant job postings. You might also want to check some professional associations connected to you field.

Applying for A Job Online
Your resume/CV and cover letter are your first introduction with an online application, so they need to be near perfect. Make sure you focus on quality not quantity and tailor each document for the relevant posting.

Getting an Introduction/Referral
A huge part of job searching is networking. Don’t hesitate to be in touch with your contacts and ask for resume referrals when appropriate. Informational interviews are a great way to learn more about a career path and a company, so start reaching out now and having these conversations. People who actively network tend to shave time off their total job search, so in the end it does pay off!

Interviewing
The key to interviewing well is in the preparation. Learn about the employer and your interviewers. Know what type of interview you might anticipate. Then, practice as much as you can! Rehearse or write out your answers to typical interview questions. Think about interview questions you have struggled with in the past. And last, but not least make sure you have prepared thoughtful questions for each interviewer.

Source: NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education

Jennifer Lopez Steps Out in Hometown of the Bronx to Support Latina-Owned Small Businesses
LinkedIn
Jennifer Lopez posing in Bronx bookstore smiling

By Rachel DeSantis, People

Jennifer Lopez is still giving back to the block that raised her.

The star made an appearance in New York City to support Latina small business owners in her hometown of the Bronx of Sunday, which comes as the first part of a new philanthropy push for Lopez.

The Hustlers actress, 52, stopped by indie bookstore The Lit. Bar alongside Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon and Isabella Guzman, the administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, and announced a new partnership with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses meant to help elevate and support Latina entrepreneurs.

While there, the trio spoke with the store’s founder Noelle Santos and other Latina business owners about growing their businesses and how they’ve navigated the pandemic, just in time for National Hispanic Heritage Month, which kicks off this week.

Lopez’s new partnership with Goldman Sachs will work to recruit more Latina entrepreneurs to 10,000 Small Businesses, a program that offers support and opportunities to help owners grow their companies and create new jobs.

It’s the first initiative for the “On the Floor” singer under an upcoming philanthropy push called Limitless Labs.

Photos and video published by TMZ show that Lopez — who made a surprise appearance at the MTV VMAs hours later as a presenter — was accompanied to the event by boyfriend Ben Affleck, with whom she recently rekindled her romance nearly 18 years after they called off their engagement.

Click here to read the full article on People.

The Naked Truth About Virtual Conferences
LinkedIn
finger pressing on Virtual Event key on keyboard

By Mona Lisa Faris

Over the last year, we’ve found many new and creative ways to network in every sphere. Office meetings are often held through conference lines and Zoom calls, and you’ve probably never sent more emails in your life than you have during the stay-at-home order.

But, one of the biggest changes that came to the professional world was how we would conduct our yearly conferences. Organizations have had to learn how to bring together hundreds upon thousands of people in one space in a way that is accessible for all without too many technical difficulties. While there have been many amazing features to moving conferences to an online platform, the way in which they are conducted are far from perfect.

Here at DiversityComm, we’ve had the opportunity to attend many of last year’s virtual conferences. Here are some pros of what we’ve learned that works – and the cons of what doesn’t.

Pros:

  • Availability: Without the confines of a physical space or the need to travel to a set location, a digital platform allows anyone to be in attendance without ever leaving their homes. Speakers and attendees alike who would not have been able to participate due the physical barriers of the conference space are now readily available to connect, share and grow with individuals they may have otherwise never met.
  • Special Features: Digital contact cards, company video presentations and recorded panels are just a few of the many features online platforms have made available. The annoyance of repeating your pitch, running out of business cards or having to decide between two panels at the same time has become a thing of the past. Even if you can’t attend a virtual event due to other commitments, many of the conferences allow you to watch and re-watch content for up to thirty days after the live event has ended, further increasing audience attendance. This kind of online platform also makes it easier for individuals with varying disabilities to access closed captions, audio adjustments and proper seating in a space where those services may have been more difficult to facilitate.
  • Affordability: Without the need of a physical conference space and its in-tandem travel fees, some of the biggest conferences in the business are now much more affordable than they were in-person. Businesses are able to save on the logistics of shipping cost, booth setup and travel, and send as many attendees as they would like to the conference at no additional cost.
  • Preparedness: From the interviewing process to presentations, digital platforms make it easier to be prepared for any issue that may come your way. Instead of worrying about printing enough resumes or forgetting paperwork, these files can be uploaded ahead of time for easy access, organization and viewing. Pre-recorded videos and quick computer accessibility during the conference also allows attendees and presenters alike to be more prepared to properly answer questions and have all the necessary information at their fingertips.

Cons:

  • Communication: The elimination of face-to-face interaction and an almost full dependence on written communication make it difficult to gauge how your conversations are going. Without the cues that come from body language or voice inflection, it’s harder to tell if you’re speaking to an interested recruiter or business client just based on emotionless words written in a chat box. The ability to miscommunicate is also much easier. Comments that were meant to be simple and understood can now be easily taken as rude or uninterested if misinterpreted by the listening party.
  • Overcrowding: The digital platform allows for more attendees to engage in critical information and resources, but it also means that you can be easily drowned out or forgotten. This has become such a problem that some individuals require you to have an appointment to speak with them. Having the constraints of a time slot or not having an appointment at all can prevent valuable connections from being fully explored. On the flip side, Massive virtual crowds can also mean talking to more individuals than you expected. Impromptu sales pitches to larger groups, or even the incorrect group, can leave both sides with little to gain besides missed opportunities to connect with the proper people.
  • Technical Difficulties: It may be a given, but especially with a platform that is so new and virtually unexplored, technical difficulties are common. Audio issues, visual issues, glitching, internet problems and crashing websites are just a few of the issues that were little to irrelevant in the physical conference space. Though tech support is available at many of these events to fix these bugs as soon as possible, the unavailability of resources can lead to missed opportunities, especially for individuals who depend on accessible technology to fully participate.
  • Difficult to Gauge the Takeaway: Similar to how it can be difficult to gauge the mood of a conversation online, it can be just as difficult to see if there was a takeaway from your conference. Event sponsors are not as visually prevalent in a digital space as they are in a physical setting, causing many of them to see little direct return on their services. Plus, without feedback from decision makers, you yourself can feel lost and unaccomplished in a space where you once felt the opposite.

For a second opinion on everything virtual conferences, check out what some of our partners had to say about attending these special events:

“Nothing will ever replace the bonds made interacting one-on-one at events or feeling the collective passion of a crowded conference ballroom. And yet, the unique shared experience of virtual programming throughout the pandemic has taught us how valuable technology can be to make experiences more equitable.  Since everyone, from the C-Suite to the intern, were home working in sweatpants, the virtual meeting world was far more democratized than real world events have ever been before.  But cutting out travel expenses, speaking fees, logistics planning, etc., attendees from anywhere, from the widest array of backgrounds, with any abilities (both financial and physical) could directly interact with others everywhere. I hope to see virtual attendance options remain at all future conferences and events since we’ve never made it easier for those with disabilities, those with financial restrictions, and those who may benefit more from personal space and privacy to thrive in meetings that may have previously been difficult, if not impossible, to attend before.”

  • Jonathan Lovitz, small business inclusion and policy leader / special advisor to NGLCC

“A virtual career fair, with non-person contact, is the next best thing to in-person recruitment outreach”.

  • Scot Evans, NCUA

“Like many event producers, we had to pivot our popular live Small Business Expos quickly to online Virtual Events.  Though our Virtual Events have been wildly successful, there is nothing like that feeling of meeting face-to-face with people, networking and building new business relationships in person.  At this point, over a year later, I think there is a huge pent up energy for our attendees to get back to our in-person events.  We are human, we need in-person social interaction.  With virtual events, there is a wall between you and the other person.  I think everyone is excited to break through that wall and finally meet face-to-face again!”

  • Zachary Lezberg, Founder & CEO, Small Business Expo

“The one big lesson AISES learned in executing our 2020 National Conference is to keep it simple when moving from an in-person event to a virtual setting. Our conference was successful, but we could have shortened the length of the event, reduced the number of sessions, and incorporated more breaks. Overall, the participants were happy with the cultural components that characterize AISES such as the talking circle, morning blessing, and ceremonial blessings. The 2021 AISES National Conference will be in-person and we plan to stream limited content for those who are only able to attend virtually.”

    Mona Lisa Faris headshot
    Mona Lisa Faris, Author and Publisher DiversityComm, Inc.
  • Katherine Cristiano, AISES Senior Director of Special Events
  • “By hosting the VIB Conference virtually last year we had more participation from smaller veteran-owned businesses that may have never attended due to cost or time. While attendees were still able to connect with corporations or government agencies through a virtual business matchmaking platform nothing will truly beat face-to-face meetings. As things begin to open, I think the future for events is blending the in-person with a virtual element so we can continue to cultivate the smaller veteran-owned businesses”

  • Rebecca Aguilera-Gardiner, CEO of VIB Network          

“Virtual career fairs have become the norm as a hiring strategy for many companies. As a large organization with thousands of job opportunities, virtual career fairs give us the opportunity to meet and learn more about perspective employees. These job fairs are different from the in-person experience, so come prepared and do your research in order to make a lasting impression on a recruiter or employer. Those who can adapt will have a great advantage.”

  • Kamille Morgan of Leidos

As the pandemic continues to show signs of coming to an end, it appears that conferences may be implementing more of a hybrid system where in-person and online attendance are both available. As we continue to grow in this digital space and learn from the mistakes and triumphs of this past year, hopefully we will see a positive change in this new conference world.

Why Do You Want This Job?
LinkedIn
Smiling girl wearing headphones using laptop, working online

One of the most common interview questions is some version of “why do you want this job?” or “why do you want to work here?”

How you answer that question can be a significant factor in whether you get the job because the employer wants to know if you will add value and be a good fit for their organization. They want to know why you like the position and why you like their company. So how should you prepare to answer that question?

Sometimes it helps to think of the flip side of this question. Ask yourself, “Why would this company want to hire me?” In other words, think more about what you have to offer, and how you could make an impact rather than why getting the job would benefit you. There are 3 factors that most employers are looking for in your answers. They want to know: (1) that your experience and skills qualify you to do the job; (2) that you have researched their organization and are enthusiastic about its product, service or goals; and (3) that you align with the company’s values.

Match Your Skills with the Position

If you have previous work or volunteer experience that is a good fit for the company or position, be ready to discuss that as well as why you enjoy the type of work the company does. If your skills match up well, you can shine when you are asked why you want this job.

If your work skills don’t necessarily match perfectly, maybe your soft skills do. Does the person in this position communicate with the public? If that is something you enjoy, you can focus on that aspect of the position and share your experience. Do you enjoy problem solving at work? Again, if it fits, describe how you’ve solved problems on the job or with a group before.

Express Your Interest and Enthusiasm for the Company

Before you landed the interview, you did your homework and checked out the company culture, right? Learning about the organization you’re interviewing with is key, but this includes more than just knowing what the organization does. You’ll also want to know about its leadership, culture, employees, stakeholders and competitors. By being well informed, you’ll make a good impression on an interviewer. You will also learn whether the organization is a good match for you.

When you make it to the interview, share what caught your eye about either the company or the position. Maybe the position is a good fit or the company’s mission is something you can support.

Think About Your Career Goals

Are you applying for an entry-level position in a field you’re really interested in? Are you making a career change, or do you want to apply the skills you’ve gained to a new type of position? While you don’t want to sound like you’ll only stay in this position for a short time, you can discuss where you see yourself in the future and how the knowledge you can gain from this position can help you get there. This is also a great time to discuss why you picked this company. Asking about growth opportunities and career development show you’re interested in investing in the employer for a longer time.

Source: Ticket to Work

Meet The Founders Behind The Latina Power Shirts You’ve Been Eyeing
LinkedIn
Lifestyle brand JZD is an independently owned Latina e-retail brand with more than 40K followers on Instagram that include celebrities

By ANGELA BONILLA,  Refinery 9

Lifestyle brand JZD is an independently owned Latina e-retail brand with more than 40K followers on Instagram that include celebrities like Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, Diane Guerrero, and Jessica Marie Garcia from Netflix’s In My Block.

You may have seen the online retailer’s vibrant designs on your friends’ sherbet-colored tumblers and T-shirts printed with slogans like “Vacunada” and “No pasa nada.” Run by spouses Veronica and Jennifer Zeano, this line has become a source of covetable goods as well as a community for its socially conscious customers, many of whom love the Latinx pride and cultura the line espouses. Ever since its launch five years ago, JZD has steadily been attracting a fan base since its launch five years ago.

“Instagram is such a huge part of the business because that’s where we can talk to customers, meet new customers, and really develop this relationship with our customers where they’re our friends,” says Jennifer. “They feel like we know each other and we can hang out and talk.”

The customer response was overwhelming. “I realized that this is what we’re supposed to be doing, and we quickly shifted into this Latina empowerment brand where every product that we were thinking of, creating, and putting out into the world was with that goal and mission,” Jennifer tells Refinery29.

After the shirt, Jennifer and Veronica decided to start their own website, in which their now-iconic Latina Power shirt has become a best-seller. The pair finds inspiration for their wares from their own lives and communities — even the models who appear on the site used are usually their friends. “We make sure the models wearing our clothes are Latina, and really just want to make sure it’s with people that believe in the same mission and have values that align with ours,” says Jennifer. They also draw inspiration from their border town of Brownsville, Texas, which is across the U.S.-Mexico border from Matamoros.

Click here to read the full article on Refinery 9.

HACRSymposium21
LinkedIn
Join us at #HACRSymposium21 Sept. 13-14 for data-backed DE&I education and networking with the nation’s most influential corporate leaders committed to Hispanic inclusion.

Join us at #HACRSymposium21 Sept. 13-14 for data-backed DE&I education led by corporate executives and industry experts—for all corporate employees. You’ll connect with the nation’s most influential leaders committed to Hispanic equity and explore the state of Hispanic corporate inclusion with the latest research from the 2021 HACR Corporate Inclusion Index.

Sign up for the virtual experience: https://www.hacrevents.org/2021-hacr-sym

Is Job Hopping Good for Your Career
LinkedIn
professional woman holding up fingers crossed

By Ron Kness

In today’s workplace, 64 percent of employees favor changing jobs several times throughout their career, and when narrowed down to just millennials, that percentage jumps to 75 percent.

For the most part, long gone is employee loyalty when a person spent their entire working life with the same company…many times in the same job! Today’s frequent change of employment is known as job hopping.

But even with a high percentage of people favoring job hopping (defined as spending two years or less in a position) it is good for your career?

 

PROS OF JOB HOPPING

The answer is it can be, and people cite many reasons they chose to change jobs often. Reasons cited include:

  • Getting out of a negative work situation
  • Increasing salary
  • Positioning for a better promotion
  • Learning new skills
  • Keeping competitive in a changing work environment
  • Challenging self to move outside a comfort zone
  • Increasing professional network
  • Preventing boredom

CONS OF JOB HOPPING

However, there are also a few reasons why it is not a good thing to job hop:

  • Hiring managers may not want to take a chance on you if you have a track record of moving every two years or less; five job changes in the last ten years on your resume will raise a red flag.
  • It can weaken your resume if you have many different work experiences in a short period of time.
  • Your resume shows a wide breadth of skills, but not much depth.
  • Starting over with each new job, learning new processes and procedures specific to that company may be exciting with the first few job moves, but it gets old after a few times.
  • Uncertainty of future employment
  • Hitting a salary plateau

SALARY INCREASES HIT A WALL EVENTUALLY

If your job hopping just to increase your salary, eventually you can wind up with nowhere else to go. Moving very quickly up the salary ladder means that you will hit a plateau at some point. The challenge is to avoid being overpriced for the market. So, if you could be missing the skills, education or experience necessary for your next move in order to get the expected salary.

If you move too fast, you won’t have a long-term track record of results. With experts saying it takes at least six months for a newly-hired individual to become productive at their job, moving every two years or less does not leave much time to show what a person can do over time. You may excel in the short-term, but make sure you’re thinking about your long-term track record.

TRACK RECORD IS IMPORTANT

Because hiring, onboarding and training employees is expensive, companies are reluctant to hire someone that has a track record of changing jobs every two years or less. While it can be desirable to change jobs, it should be done for the right reasons and at the right point in one’s career. In the long run, too much job hopping can negatively affect your career instead of enhancing it.

Source: ClearanceJobs

NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises Forms Hispanic Streaming Division, Promoting Romina Rosado To Lead It
LinkedIn
Kate del Castillo in Season 2 of Telemundo's "La Reina del Sur," which streams on Peacock.

By Dade Hayes Deadline

NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises has formed a new Hispanic Streaming business division, which will look to spur growth of Latinos on Peacock and across other Telemundo and NBCU platforms.

The new division will be responsible for developing a content slate with more than 50 projects, the first of which will arrive in 2022. Telemundo’s Romina Rosado has been promoted to EVP and GM of Hispanic streaming and will lead the new business unit. She will report to Beau Ferrari, chairman of NBCU Telemundo Enterprises.

Longtime linear rival Univision has been making moves in streaming, bulking up free, ad-supported service PrendeTV and laying groundwork for a subscription tier. Telemundo, by contrast, has not pursued a stand-alone service but instead emerged as a key supplier to Peacock, delivering thousands of hours of programming. Last month, NBCU parent Comcast said Peacock had reached 54 million sign-ups and 20 million monthly active users. It has both a free, basic tier and a $5-a-month Premium level.

“The NBCUniversal Telemundo Hispanic Streaming division immediately unifies and amplifies our unmatched resources and reach to our audience across the company, accelerating our presence on Peacock and the entire NBCU streaming portfolio,” Ferrari said in the official announcement. “Romina is an experienced media executive with a clear vision and knowledge for developing relevant content for the Latino and general market that will serve our company-wide approach to programming for the Hispanic streaming audience.”

In her new role, Rosado will lead cross-company efforts and collaborate with Peacock’s leadership in the development of the service’s Latino content. She will also collaborate with the recently created Telemundo Streaming Studios to develop and produce original content based on Peacock’s content strategy for Hispanics. Like NBCU overall, Telemundo is supplementing its roster of linear hits, like La Reina del Sur, with originals. It has high hopes for the fall of 2022, when it has exclusive Spanish-language rights to the World Cup.

One in four Americans under 35 is Hispanic, Rosado pointed out, “and they are voracious content consumers across languages and across platforms.” Using a company coinage, she described the target audience as “200-percenters” — viewers who are 100% Hispanic but also 100% American. “I look forward to partnering with Peacock and creators across the industry to tell stories that connect and represent this dynamic and vibrant community,” she said.

Click here to read the full article on Deadline.

U.S. markets regulator approves Nasdaq proposal to require corporate board diversity
LinkedIn
Diverse Equality Gender Innovation Management Concept

By Jessica Dinapoli

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved a proposal from stock exchange operator Nasdaq Inc (NDAQ.O) that requires its listed companies to have diverse boards, or explain why they do not.

The proposal requires that companies have two diverse directors, including one who identifies as female and another as an underrepresented minority or LGBTQ+, or explain why they do not. Companies also have to publicly disclose the diversity of their boards.

“These rules will allow investors to gain a better understanding of Nasdaq-listed companies’ approach to board diversity,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler in a prepared statement.

Nasdaq said it is looking “forward to working with our companies to implement this new listing rule and set a new standard for corporate governance.”Women and minorities have been underrepresented in the top ranks of companies, leading to a recent reckoning on racial and gender diversity in Corporate America. According to data from Equilar, boards in the Russell 3000 are halfway to gender parity. In the Russell 1000, 18.4% of directors are under-represented minorities.

Investor efforts to scrutinize diversity on boards have also been stymied by a lack of disclosure, with many companies not detailing the gender and race or ethnicity of directors.

Republican lawmakers and some companies criticized Nasdaq’s proposal and urged the SEC to reject it, saying it would interfere with boards’ responsibilities to shareholders and could impose new costs on companies.

Advocates for people with disabilities had pushed both Nasdaq and the SEC to include disability in the proposal, but were “rebuffed,” said Ted Kennedy Jr, chairman of the American Association of People With Disabilities (AAPD), in an interview with Reuters.

Nasdaq said in a comment letter that companies could consider and disclose additional diverse attributes such as disability or veteran status. But those attributes would not meet the requirements for a female or person who identifies as an under-represented minority or LGBTQ+.

Read the original article posted on Reuters.

Mexican-born entrepreneur launches software platform to help small restaurants increase online order and delivery services
LinkedIn
Daniel Hernandez, entrepreneur and founder of The Apptopus. Photo Courtesy of Daniel Hernandez.

By Jensen Toussaint, Al Dia

Entrepreneurship was a path that Daniel Hernandez saw for himself starting at a very young age. As a middle school student, he used to sell candy to his classmates for $0.25, embarking on a venture that would plant the seeds to his career destination today.

Whether it was selling candy, having a paper route or later working at a restaurant, Hernandez envisioned ways he could both make money and also help his community along the way.

“Ever since I was in middle school, I always knew that I was going to be starting a business,” Hernandez said in an interview with AL DÍA.

Fast forward just over a decade later, and Hernandez is a successful entrepreneur who operates with the targeted goal of helping small business owners.

Most recently, he launched The Apptopus, a startup virtual management platform that brings online orders, delivery services and prepaid phone order processes in a simple and efficient manner to help small business owners and restaurateurs maintain services and increase revenue.

The endeavor was heavily influenced by Hernandez’s personal experiences and journey.

From Mexico to Santa Cruz
Hernandez was born and raised in Mexico, before being brought to the United States when he was seven years old, settling in Santa Cruz, California.

His family held previous ties to the Bay and nearby areas, as his grandfather was one of the contracted braceros from Mexico, who worked in agricultural labor all over California during the 1940s and 1950s.

Both of Hernandez’s parents are small business owners. His mother started a house cleaning service, which at one point expanded to 40 residences and offices. Hernandez, along with his father and younger brother, would often help out.

However, while the housing cleaning business brought about success, her passion was in another area.

“My mom has always had a gift for making food,” said Hernandez, especially praising her Oaxacan dishes.

“She always had a dream about opening a restaurant and being able to get a lot of people into her restaurant and feed them, so that they can enjoy her food,” he added.

Oftentimes, Hernandez would accompany his mother to events where she’d set up booths and make food for people to buy. Experiencing that made Hernandez also fall in love with cooking, later opening the door to his entry into the restaurant business.

Eventually, Hernandez’s mother decided to sell her house cleaning business to follow her dream of opening a restaurant.

Pandemic Problems
Hernandez’s mother officially opened the doors to her own restaurant in early 2020, with her son’s help.

However, just weeks after her grand opening, the COVID-19 pandemic started making waves across the globe.

“That really kind of almost took her out because she couldn’t even get any people into the restaurant. She was struggling … [and] it was a brand new location, too,” said Hernandez.

With takeout and delivery as the only options during the onset of the pandemic, Hernandez’s mother had to adjust.

Initially, Hernandez advised her to utilize third-party delivery companies, such as DoorDash, Uber Eats or GrubHub to help increase revenue. However, it proved challenging.

Hernandez noted how these companies would often upload the wrong menu, not include the restaurant’s contact number and provide very little instruction in how to set everything up properly.

“It wasn’t a very good process,” said Hernandez.

So, he decided to step in and help out.

“I learned that she was not the only one facing these problems,” he said. “A lot of restaurants out there are also facing the same issues.”

While the third-party delivery companies were generating a lot of orders, restaurants were losing revenue as a result of commission fees, erroneous charges and other deductions.

He recalled one time his mother was charged $250 in erroneous fees alone, while only making about $1,000 in total for the week.

While working to help his mother work through those challenges, Hernandez started getting requests from other Latino restaurant owners in the community.

“All of a sudden, I kept getting calls and I think in a matter of like 30 days, I ended up getting 20 restaurants that needed this help,” said Hernandez.

After getting overwhelmed with having to do all the various tasks on his own, Hernandez began to form a team of individuals with strengths in different areas who could help him provide the necessary help to the restaurant owners.

“I managed to get a couple other people to help me build a software so that we could … manage everything from a consolidated dashboard,” he said.

“That made it a lot easier to be able to onboard restaurants onto our software and then pull and send data over these platforms, so that we can manage their restaurants and configure them in a way that would make them not lose money,” Hernandez added.

Click here to read the full article on Al Dia.

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Upcoming Events

  1. USHCC 2021 National Conference
    September 26, 2021 - September 28, 2021
  2. HACU’s 35th Annual Conference
    October 30, 2021 - November 1, 2021
  3. LULAC 2021 National Women’s Conference
    November 12, 2021 - November 13, 2021
  4. CSUN Conference
    March 13, 2022 - March 18, 2022