Mexican-born entrepreneur launches software platform to help small restaurants increase online order and delivery services

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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.

These Latina Businesses Are Changing How LA Shops — Online And IRL
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Latina Business Hija de tu Madre, a clothing, accessories and jewelry brand founded by Patty Delgado.

By Eva Recinos, LA ist

It’s easy to feel cynical about companies pushing identity for profit — witness major retailers stamping feminist mottos on everything from t-shirts and tote bags to baby onesies and barware — but some local brands are the genuine article. They’re not jumping on any bandwagon. They’re Latina-owned lifestyle businesses, creating and selling items to their communities. “We’re at a time where people are craving independently made wares, handmade wares and cultural goods,” says Noelle Reyes, co-founder of Highland Park boutique Mi Vida.

As online shopping decimates mega malls and forces old school retailers to rethink their strategies, independent brands are stepping up, using social media and community connections to make their mark. These businesses represent only a few of the city’s budding entrepreneurs but they’re making an impact — both online and in the real world.

Social Media Stars
Leah Guerrero has been making holistic skincare products — facial masks, face and body creams, hydrosols — since 2013. Two years ago, using knowledge and ingredients she gleaned from her trips to the mercados of Mexico City, she founded Brujita Skincare out of her home. She began selling her wares at Molcajete Dominguero, a now-monthly Latinx pop-up market in Boyle Heights. Her target audience? People looking for affordable vegan and cruelty-free products.

As the crowds grew, so did her social media following. Guerrero started sending products to friends and influencers. That “ricocheted into all of these people finding out about Brujita through Instagram,” she says.

To keep up with demand, she currently produces “thousands of units a month” at a rented studio in downtown Los Angeles. In April, Brujita launched a Green Collection in collaboration with Hotel Figueroa. Guests who order the Self-Care Package through mid-September get a one-night stay and a sleek toiletry bag containing four of the brand’s products.

With more than 19,000 followers, Brujita’s Instagram account features the requisite product photos, GIFs and behind-the-scenes peaks at new products. Guerrero engages with customers via DM and shares info on the account about the ingredients in each product. “With the engagement comes trust, and trust in my community means a whole lot to me,” she says.

Brujita has built a community that Guerrero wants to continue nurturing, particularly Latinx and LGBTQ+ groups. The brand’s current studio, in downtown Los Angeles, serves as a safe space for the LGBT community, with many “friends coming in and out and doing their creative work,” Guerrero says. Brujita is meant to be stylish, accessible and inclusive, a counterpoint to mainstream skincare brands built on Western ideals of beauty. Guerrero says a more formal physical location for Brujita Skincare is in the works.

Brick By Brick
For other Los Angeles brands, the IRL business came before the social media one. Reyes and her cousin, Danelle Hughes, opened Mi Vida in 2008, two years before Instagram debuted. The Highland Park shop sells clothes, housewares and art. It also functions as a gallery and a community hub, hosting poetry readings, yoga classes and meditation workshops.

“If you were a business that was a brick and mortar when social media came on, it’s almost like you automatically had to take on this new career,” Reyes says.

She began using photography to promote her products and it became a creative outlet. Instagram is also a way for her to scout and connect with new artists, some of whom have been featured in the store. Although Reyes has noticed more customers visiting Mi Vida after discovering it online, the connection also works the other way. For her, social media is a tool to supplement her store’s presence in a neighborhood where the founders have been working hard for years.

Conversations about gentrification in Boyle Heights are heated, and Mi Vida’s owners are aware of the controversy. “We hear all the time how great it is to have a space like ours on this street,” Reyes says. “That is something we don’t take lightly. We work very hard every day to continue to be a positive light in our community and offer products that bring a positive vibe.”

Click here to read the full article on LA ist.

Meet The 27-Year-Old Latinx Entrepreneur Who Is Now Worth $220 Million
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aniella Pierson. who just turned 27, used word-of-mouth and referral marketing to build The Newsette into a profitable newsletter and marketing agency business. Now she's one of the richest self made women in the U.S. PHOTO COURTESY OF DANIELLA PIERSON

Daniella Pierson, who founded women-focused newsletter company The Newsette when she was 19, is now one of the wealthiest women of color in the U.S. and, at age 27, is younger than just about any self-made female entrepreneur with a nine figure fortune.

Daniella Pierson, who founded women-focused newsletter company The Newsette when she was 19, is now one of the wealthiest women of color in the U.S. and, at age 27, is younger than just about any self-made female entrepreneur with a nine figure fortune.

A Latinx founder, Pierson built The Newsette from nothing to $40 million in revenues and profits of at least $10 million last year, she says. Two weeks ago she sold a small stake in The Newsette to an investor in a transaction that values the company at $200 million. It’s the first outside money she’s taken (besides a $15,000 loan from her parents, which she repaid), and she remains the company’s majority shareholder.

She is also a cofounder and co-CEO of less-than-year-old mental health startup Wondermind with singer and actress Selena Gomez and Mandy Teefey (CEO of Kicked to the Curb Productions and Gomez’s mother). Her stake in that company, combined with cash and other investments she’s made, puts Pierson’s net worth at $220 million, Forbes estimates. (Update: on August 11, Wondermind announced on Instagram that it raised $5 million at a $100 million valuation led by investor Serena Williams’ Serena Ventures.)

Read Full Story on Forbes

A Latina’s manifesto ‘For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts’
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Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodríguez examines how powerful forces such as racism and colorism affect women — like they did to her — and what readers can do about them in here manifesto

By Raul A. Reyes, NBC News

Latina author Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodríguez is familiar with low expectations, the judgment of strangers and colorism — even among her own community.

In fifth grade, fellow Latino classmates mocked her dark skin, calling her “India” in a reference to Indigenous people. She recalls her high school counselor discouraging her from taking advanced classes.

As a graduate student, she was rejected from the campus writing center because of poor English skills — and then turned away from the English as a Second Language (ESL) center because her English skills were too advanced. A cashier at a store once casually asked if she had ever shot anyone.

Now Mojica Rodríguez is out with a book, “For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts,” that breaks down the experiences that have shaped her life. Subtitled, “A Love Letter To Women of Color,” the book examines how powerful forces can affect women like her — and explains what readers can do about it.

“My goal was to democratize knowledge,” said Mojica Rodríguez, 36, the founder of Latina Rebels, an online platform with more than 350,000 followers. “I wanted to share what I learned at college and graduate school with everyone; this information shouldn’t be so inaccessible, so women of color can see what we are up against in our daily lives.”

“For Brown Girls” is part memoir, part manifesto. Publishers Weekly called it “an inspiring and well-informed call to action.”

Mojica Rodríguez hopes that her book will help Latinas thrive in spaces that were not designed for them.

Born in Nicaragua and raised in Miami in an Evangelical Christian household, she holds a master’s degree in divinity from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. “Access to information changed my life,” she said. “For years, I was so angry, and I didn’t know where it was coming from. Once I figured it out, I moved through the world with a lot more grace.”

Click here to read the full article on NBC News.

Latino Businessman Empowers Communities Of Color
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Latino Businessman Empowers Communities Of Color

By Birmingham Times

Hispanic businessman George Burciaga enjoys serving on the board of directors of Chicago United, an organization seeking to empower entrepreneurs from Chicago’s communities of color.

“As a member of the board of directors, I can make a change by supporting other Latinos, other African Americans, and other business leaders of color,” said Burciaga, who also serves as the organization’s treasurer.

“Chicago United allows me to assist them. It is my responsibility to help others.”

He knows that his role allows him to give back to the community some of what he received while growing up in a poor home in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood.

Chicago United promotes and encourages entrepreneurs of color to join its board of directors, said Burciaga. “I am a Latino who is not only a member of the board of directors but the treasurer. … They recognize the importance of empowering Latinos, African Americans, Asians, and other minorities.”

The 45-year-old businessman won a “Business Leaders of Color” award in 2017. Chicago United grants these awards annually. Receiving it was an honor that boosted his career, Burciaga said.

“Chicago United is taking an empowering position showcasing and highlighting business leaders of color. We are making sure that they … are recognized and more visible so that they have better chances to grow,” said Burciaga.

These entrepreneurs create jobs that help support their communities, he said.

The boost Burciaga received from the award led him to launch Ignite Cities, a consulting company designed to support mayors across the country with critical issues facing cities today. Burciaga is Ignite Cities’ CEO and managing partner.

“I’m working directly with the mayors of Los Angeles, Denver, Houston, Atlanta, Miami, among other great mayors. I provide them with new technology that gives all vulnerable communities of color the ability to compete. It also empowers them,” said Burciaga, who sold his software company, Elevate DIGITAL, to the CIVIQ corporation in 2016.

Burciaga hopes that with his input, the communities of color he serves can “receive funds to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic, or broadband to connect students.”

“From being poor in Pilsen and needing help, I grew up to a place where I can give back [some of] what I have received and help the city, the community, the mayors, and Chicago United,” Burciaga said.

Click here to read the full article on Birmingham Times.

Should Your Company Invest in Supplier Diversity Programs? The Answer is Yes.
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young female entrepreneur with arms folded smiling, blurred business background

By Yvette Montoya

When we consider the state of the United States in 2022 both socially and economically, it’s clear that our demographic is shifting and that Americans believe that social responsibility is more important than ever.

Companies that want to stay relevant in this economy need to prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs and initiatives. A 2017 Cone Communications CSR study stated that 87 percent of consumers would purchase a product that aligned with their own values, and 76 percent would boycott a brand if it supported an issue that went against their beliefs. So, it’s a good time for companies to evaluate what their corporate social responsibility (CSR) looks like and where it needs improvement.

There are four types of corporate social responsibility: Environmental, philanthropic, ethical and economic responsibility– and supplier diversity programs have the potential to achieve all four categories. In a world that’s increasingly looking to employers to create stability and treat employees fairly, supplier diversity programs not only give companies a competitive edge but also make them more likely to maintain high standards of ethics. Implementing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) positions businesses to create a positive experience for employees, vendors and the community at large.

Here are three reasons why every company should take supplier diversity programs seriously:

  1. You Get to Be a Leader in Social Responsibility

Companies that choose to focus intentionally on investing in Black and Latinx, women-owned, and LGBTQ+ businesses build trust with their customer base and inspire other business leaders to examine their own company practices. When we create transparency related to how products are sourced and/or hiring and management practices, we put our money where our mouth is, and so will your customers. According to Cone Communications, three out of five Americans believe that companies should spearhead social and environmental change. And eighty-seven percent of Americans said they’d buy a product because a company advocated for an issue they care about.

Although there may be some challenges in finding minority-owned vendors that comply with a buyer’s procurement requirements, there are two solutions to this. One being creating mentoring and training programs for diverse suppliers to help them meet the standards of the certification process. The other is to partner with relevant councils and chambers of commerce that provide these support systems. When value is created through tangible solutions, everyone wins.

  1. Investing in DEI will Foster Innovation and Sales

Treating DEI like an option or something that isn’t deserving of attention means that customers will see that you’re not taking your CSR seriously. Corporate social responsibility initiatives can be the best public relations — as well as marketing — tool. Gen Z and Millennials are experts at spotting inauthenticity. A company that positions authentically with real company-wide efforts and accountability will be viewed favorably in the eyes of consumers, investors and regulators. Honest initiatives attract opportunities and employees that match an organization’s convictions.

CSR initiatives can also improve employee engagement and satisfaction — key measures that drive retention. Finally, corporate social responsibility initiatives by nature force business leaders to examine practices related to how they hire and manage employees, source products or components and deliver value to customers. All of these things create happy employees and customers, which lead to innovation, sales and a good reputation.

  1. You Get to Make an Impact on Structural Inequality in America

Supplier diversity programs are a catalyst for true social impact because thriving small businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy. Strong local businesses create jobs and higher wages, which put money back into the community and drive economic growth. Another plus of supplier diversity is the impact it will have on the company at large and the economy overall. Supplier diversity promotes healthy competition by increasing the pool of possible suppliers. This can lead to potentially lower costs and a better product quality. Not only that, bringing in people from different backgrounds or from backgrounds that reflect the community your company serves can result in better marketing, unique solutions to old problems, as well as innovative ways to meet your customer’s needs.

With midterm elections underway, it’s a good idea for businesses to be on the right side of key issues, including racial and gender equality and environmental sustainability. This gives corporations the opportunity to work collaboratively with businesses in a way that combats racial discrimination, all while empowering the public, creating economic opportunity and enhancing their business.

Yvette Montoya is a Los Angeles native and journalist who is equal parts content creator and writer. She covers everything from issues of spirituality and politics to beauty and entertainment. Her journalistic work has been featured on Refinery29, Teen Vogue, ArtBound, HipLatina, Mitu, and she’s a regular contributor for POPSUGAR.

20 Latina Business Influencers to Follow Today
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collage of multiple latina influencers

Originally posted on Hispanic Executive

There are countless Latina influencers out there who have cultivated passionate followings on social media, but it takes a special type of influencer to build both a brand and a business.

And here at Hispanic Executive, we love nothing better than celebrating entrepreneurship.

Meet the Latina business influencers who are transforming their communities—and the world itself.

 

 

 

Retail

1. Ada V. Rojas, CEO and Founder, Vecina Couture

Ada V. Rojas is a mission-driven entrepreneur: all of her business efforts have reflected her desire to celebrate her Dominican American heritage and uplift other ambitious women. Her latest endeavor is Vecina Couture, a luxury loungewear line that’s been spotlighted by Oprah DailyEssenceRefinery29, and other top outlets.

2. Paola Alberdi, Founder and Creative Director, Blank Itinerary

Paola Alberdi knows fashion. She’s worked with the likes of Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Coach, and Dolce & Gabbana, not to mention lifestyle and beauty brands like Sephora and Givenchy Beauty.

Today, the Mexican American serves as founder and creative director of Blank Itinerary, a bilingual fashion and lifestyle platform that’s earned Alberdi recognition from ForbesVogue México, and Harper’s Bazaar.

3. Julie Sariñana, Founder, Color Dept.

Julie Sariñana created clean nail care company Color Dept. to be a one-stop shop for nail art aficionados “who love to be different.” All Color Dept. products feature bold, vibrant colors and are made with wheat, potato, manioc, and corn rather than chemicals and plastics.

In addition to her work with Color Dept., Sariñana runs a popular fashion blog called Sincerely Jules.

4. Julissa Prado, Founder and CEO, Rizos Curls

Afro-Mexican Julissa Prado spent years fighting her curly hair. She was never happy with how it looked, and she never found any hair products that helped.

In the years since then, she’s not only embraced her hair but created a clean, high-quality line of products designed for all curl types. Prado and Rizos Curls have been featured in People en EspañolPopSugar, and Forbes.

5. Cyndi Ramirez, Founder and CEO, Chillhouse

A serial entrepreneur with a background in fashion, marketing, lifestyle branding, and hospitality, Cyndi Ramirez has been featured by Refinery29Martha Stewart Magazine, theSkimm, and Hispanic Executive.

Her latest venture, Chillhouse, is a “multi-point retail concept” that has revolutionized the spa world. Chillhouse offers a wellness-focused self-care experience that includes a workspace, nail art studio, and massage boutique—a true getaway for those in need of deep relaxation.

5. Camila Coelho, CEO and Founder, Camila Coelho Collection

Beauty and fashion influencer Camila Coelho has not one but two businesses: her eponymous clean clothing line Camila Coelho Collection and a clean beauty brand called Elaluz. Her entrepreneurial spirit has earned her features in both Elle and Forbes.

The Brazilian American is also passionate about destigmatizing neurological disorders—she’s been battling epilepsy since the age of nine.

6. Irma Martinez, Founder and Creative Director, Trendy Inc.

A true icon in the fashion world, Ima Martinez has worked with celebrities like Sofia Vergara, Ricky Martin, Shakira, and Enrique Iglesias, to name but a few. Her company, Trendy Inc., specializes in lifestyle services for the production and entertainment industries. Martinez also offers advisory and coaching services as well as courses on the business of personal shopping and styling.

Read more about her career in Hispanic ExecutivePeople en Español, the Miami New Times, and Poder magazine.

Consulting

1. Eva Hughes, Founder and CEO, Adira Consulting

Eva Hughes was a huge name in the luxury and media spaces—she served as editor-in-chief of VogueMéxico y Latinoamérica and as CEO of Condé Nast México y Latinoamérica—before she struck out on her own in January 2018. Her company, Adira Consulting, offers brand strategy advice to clients that primarily come from the luxury sector. She also offers group and individual coaching services.

As noted in her Hispanic Executive feature, Adira is Hebrew for “strong, noble, powerful.”

2. Victoria Jenn Rodriguez, Founder, Dare to Leap Academy

Victoria Jenn Rodriguez is a business coach and serial entrepreneur who left her high-powered career in the corporate world to start a company of her own.

Her newest business is called the Dare to Leap Academy: it’s an online learning platform where Rodriguez teaches other women how to leave corporate America behind to follow their passions—without giving up their financial stability. Learn more about her in her Hispanic Executive story.

Fitness and Health

1. Michelle Lewin, Founder, One0One

Venezuelan American Michelle Lewin is one of the biggest names in the fitness world: she is a model, bodybuilder, and cover star for magazines like OxygenPlayboy, and Muscle & Fitness Hers.

Lewin is also an entrepreneur. She sells health supplements, clothing, and gym accessories and equipment through her website and has her own personal training app.

Continue on to Hispanic Executive to view the full list.

Work From Home Strategies
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Latina woman sitting at desk working At Home With Laptop Computer

By Danielle Jackola

Remote work has become increasingly popular, and while many companies utilized it as a temporary solution during the pandemic, others have realized the endless benefits of maintaining a remote workforce. Working remotely doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing work from your home; it represents the freedom to work from a variety of locations, including on the road while you travel, from a coffee shop or somewhere that inspires you.

Whether you are considering remote work or need some strategies for keeping sane while working remotely, here are some tried and true work-from-home tips to set you up for success.

The Power of Routine

Creating and maintaining a routine will help you work efficiently and effectively. If starting your day without a cup of coffee in hand sounds like torture, set a timer on your coffee maker, so it’s ready to go. Consider the steps you need to be prepared and focused as an employee. This includes choosing a bedtime and wake-up time that supports your schedule and sleep requirements. Allow extra time for things like feeding pets, getting kids off to school or checking personal emails.

Allowing yourself adequate time to complete and shift from one task to another before you sit down for work will let you start your workday energized, focused and ready to thrive in your role. Think about the time you saved by not commuting to an office and use it to your advantage.

Maintain your Rituals

Daily rituals are an effective tool for creating balance in your personal and professional life, but they also allow you to transition in and out of work smoothly. When you wrap up your workday, tidy your workspace, shut everything down and if you’re able to, separate from your job so you can shift your energy to your personal life. Taking a walk after work to get fresh air and exercise is the perfect way to use the adjustment time to your advantage. If you live with others, define roles in your house so everyone knows what to expect and how they can contribute to fostering a low-stress environment.

Dress for Success

While the idea of working from bed in pajamas is tempting, consider the impact on your sleep cycle and your body’s ability to recognize the signals that it’s time for rest. Your bed should be a sacred space for rest. When you start your day, select attire that aligns with your job and projects confidence. As a professional, leggings and the college sweatshirt you have quite literally worn to pieces aren’t the best options. You shouldn’t be looking for places to hide when a last-minute video conference pops up. If you’re not comfortable on-screen, you need to reconsider your attire.

Dedicate a Workspace

Design a space that allows you to be organized and productive. Even with space limitations, you can choose a spot that fosters both creativity and concentration and supports you in bringing your A-game every day. Give yourself the gift of a dedicated workspace that will enable you to focus on work.

Connectivity is Crucial

Test your internet and cell phone connections throughout your home. It’s critical to perform your job as well remotely as you would in-house at your company. If your signals are weak, find ways to improve them, like asking your cell provider for a signal booster or increasing the speed of your internet service.

Gather Supplies

Consider the type of work you do and what you need to perform your position effectively. Do you need a second computer screen, specialized software, do you maintain paper files, or do you need a dedicated printer? Your role will help you determine the tools you need to be successful. Ask your employer if they provide these tools or if they are the responsibility of their employees.

Stay Connected

Maintain contact with your colleagues and communicate your preferences for communication throughout the day. Do you prefer to receive texts, emails or a phone call when something urgent arises? Does your team utilize weekly or even daily meetings to keep everyone connected and up-to-speed?

Take Breaks

The secret to maintaining sanity while working remotely? Schedule time for lunch and mini breaks, so you give your brain a break. You’ll come back refreshed and ready to crush your goals for the day.

Reflect and Adjust

Periodically consider what is and isn’t working in your remote work environment. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge if something isn’t serving you and then determine the steps you can take to adjust your situation. By allowing yourself the ability to be flexible, you can make changes along the way that keep you thriving as a remote employee.

Inspired by Family and Driven by an Entrepreneurial Spirit, Here’s How This Latina Baker Is Forging Her Own Path
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Inspired by Family and Driven by an Entrepreneurial Spirit, Here's How This Latina Baker Is Forging Her Own Path

BIRENE SAN SEGUNDO, Pop Sugar

Ten years ago, Danira Cancinos was a busy single mom of three who dreaded going to work every day at an arcade. During her 9-to-5, all she could think of was her dream job: baking. “I would just think of new things I wanted to add to my menu, my orders, new classes. It was all I wanted to do,” she said. Today, that side hustle is now her full-time career.

Danira’s passion for baking started when, as a child, she watched her aunt Irma and her cousins whip up the most creative cakes and cupcakes. She insisted she could have never gotten to where she is today without the support of her family — or her “backbone,” as she calls them — never doubting her drive or her love for baking. Her family helped watch her kids while she was building her business, and her grandmother set the stage for how she approaches her work ethic and cultivates her ambition.

“My grandma was a hard worker,” Danira said. “She was super independent. She owned her own little shop where she would sell drinks and candy, and she worked until she was 90.” Danira also said the other women in her family, like her mom and aunts, take after their grandmother as well. “That has been such a great influence on me. I have big shoes to fill in,” she said.

An introvert with a tendency to worry, Danira said the hardest part of taking the leap to become a business owner and chase her baking dreams was putting herself out there and believing that she could achieve it. She decided to read, listen, and learn from other entrepreneurs who had found success. “Surrounding myself with people who had gone before me, who were killing it as entrepreneurs, was crucial,” she said. These people gave her the inspiration she needed, even though they were total strangers.

It is this same inspiration that drives Danira to want to spark the entrepreneurial spirit in others. “I want to be able to help other people believe in themselves and reach for more,” she said. So through her company, Dani’s Dulce Confections, Danira not only teaches her students to bake a perfect cake pop but also gives tips and advice on how to grow their baking businesses.

Click here to read the full article on Pop Sugar.

A Guide To Rebuilding Your Small Business For Latino Entrepreneurs
LinkedIn
Latina business woman professional in a suit standing looking confident with arms crossed

by CNBC

The Covid-19 crisis has hit Latino small businesses particularly hard, including not being able to access PPP funding at a similar rate to other business owners. And many individual proprietors or small, family-owned businesses may feel the impact of Covid more directly, as the pandemic has disproportionately impacted the Latino community.

If you’re a Latino entrepreneur or small business owner, know that you’re not alone, and that there are tools, funding, and mentorship available to help you succeed through this crisis. Below, we’ve compiled a list of some essential tools that can help Latino small business owners rebuild and thrive.

Social media & digital tools

Using social media to your maximum advantage is a cost-effective way to market your business, strengthen customer relationships, and sell through new channels. Social media is an indispensable tool to help level the playing field and grow your business during good and challenging times.

Business accelerators

Start-up accelerators can help early-stage entrepreneurs find training, mentorship, resources, and potential funding for their new ventures. Some are focused exclusively on Latino-owned start-ups, and can be found in metro areas throughout the United States.

Networking & business support groups

The Latino small business community enjoys support at the local and national level from a variety of organizations that help Hispanic business owners find the resources they need to succeed.

A good starting point: Most major cities have a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce that can help you access local support, and some heavily Latino-populated cities, such as Miami, have many other networking groups.

Read the full article at CNBC.

Valuable Resources & Services for Hispanic Entrepreneurs and Businesses Owners
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woman standing outside shop holding open sign

The Hispanic American community is deeply rooted in the history of the United States and are an integral part of the rich fabric of our nation. True to their mission of creating the conditions for economic growth and opportunity — for all Americans — the Commerce Department works every day to support and invest in the Hispanic business community to create jobs and promote economic growth.

Over our nation’s history, the Hispanic American community in general, and the Hispanic American business community in particular, has provided invaluable contributions that have enriched America’s economy and overall society. With the number of Hispanic Americans increasing as a share of the United States’ overall population, the country can look forward to even more contributions from this vital community.

Many Commerce Department agencies offer a wide range of services to help U.S.-based companies, entrepreneurs, innovators and minority and women-owned businesses compete and be successful while strengthening the United States’ role as a global leader.

Below are a list of services and resources ranging from demographic data, grant opportunities, assistance with exporting as well as valuable resources for Hispanic American innovators, entrepreneurs and minority-owned businesses.

  • The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is the only federal agency solely dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of minority business enterprises. Hispanic and other minority-owned firms seeking to penetrate new markets — domestic & global —can access business experts at a MBDA Business Center where they can seek guidance, information on funding and access other resources. The Centers are in areas with the largest concentration of minority populations and the largest number of minority businesses.
  • The U.S. Census Bureau conducts various economic and business surveys and produces valuable data for the Hispanic community and minority-owned businesses including detailed statistics that are essential to help small businesses succeed and grow. The U.S Census Bureau also offers the Census Business Builder (CBB), a suite of services that provide selected demographic and economic data from the Census Bureau tailored to specific types of users in a simple to access and use format. In particular, they offer the Small Business Edition for small business owners who need key data for their business plan or to better understand their potential market.
  • The Economic Development Administration (EDA) provides economic development assistance programs to help communities build back better. With $3 billion in funding from the American Rescue Plan, EDA will implement a series of six programs, collectively called Investing in America’s Communities, to equitably invest in and help communities across the country build back better. Through the Indigenous Communities program, EDA is allocating $100 million in American Rescue Plan funding specifically for Indigenous communities, which were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
  • The International Trade Administration (ITA) provides resources and customized services for businesses and minority-owned businesses currently participating in exporting and services to businesses and minority-owned businesses that are new to exporting that include online resources in planning an export strategy, choosing the best markets for your product and evaluating potential foreign business partners in advance.
  • The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) offers a hub for resources and information for inventors, entrepreneurs, and small and minority-owned businesses. Through this hub, they offer access to a variety of products and services including how to protect your idea or product, how to search existing patents and trademarks and how to apply for a patent or trademark.
  • NOAA’s José E. Serrano Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions (EPP/MSI) supports the training and graduation of students in NOAA mission disciplines at minority serving institutions. The EPP/MSI Undergraduate Scholarship Program supports students directly through awards to successful applicants who attend MSIs. Cooperative Science Centers funded by the program and led by MSIs support post-secondary students and increase education and research capacity at MSIs in NOAA mission fields. NOAA also provides a small business hub, with the goal of creating an environment for optimal participation by small businesses, small disadvantaged businesses, HUBZone, Veteran Owned SB and SDVOSB and woman-owned businesses in NOAA contract awards.
  • The National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) is directing $268 million to HBCUs, Hispanic-Serving Institutions and other minority-serving organizations through the Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program The grants can be used for purchasing broadband internet access service and eligible equipment, or to hire and train information technology personnel.
  • Commerce Grants and Funding Opportunities: This site offers a one-stop shop to search for all open grant opportunities at all Commerce bureaus. In addition, various Commerce agencies offer grant and Federal contracting opportunities, including resources for contractors through the Office of Small and Disadvantage Business Utilization (OSDBU).

Additional government tools and resources for businesses, entrepreneurs and minority and women-owned businesses can also be found at www.sba.gov.

Source: Commerce.gov

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