Katty Ibarra: Helping Women Entrepreneurs
By Mario A. Cortez
When Katty Ibarra launched her marketing and advertising company, she would repeatedly come across a problem many women in the business world have also faced.
“When I would meet with a company’s director to make a deal, they said they wanted to speak with the company’s owner,” Ibarra shared with La Prensa San Diego. “They didn’t understand that I was the owner and when I would tell them that the company was mine they no longer wanted to do business.”
Currently acting as the director of the Women’s’ Business Center of San Diego and Imperial Counties, Ibarra coordinates efforts and resources to help local women interested in becoming entrepreneurs open a business.
A lifelong professional, Ibarra is someone who had to learn how to navigate the world of business as a woman.
Born in Mexico City, she received her bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Universidad del Valle de México and pointed out that her interest in the art of design comes from an young age.
“The colors of products, their packaging, letters and typography have always drawn my attention,” she explained. “And if you go even further, I loved superheroes and the icons on their uniforms drew my attention.”
During her undergrad days, the world of web design developed and Ibarra noticed took notice of the trend. After graduation, she began to work with a professor at her university and later went on to work for one of the biggest marketing agencies in the Spanish-speaking world.
However, after major changes at the company, Ibarra chose to open her very own company at only 21 years old.
“I began to run a marketing and advertising agency and designed flyers but also started to notice how opportunities were different for women,” she recalled.
These differences and inequities can be minimized with enough support, resources and empowerment, she says. With this in mind, Ibarra directs the WBC to launch more women into success in the business world.
“Intelligence and talent are already there, both in women as in men, but I insist that opportunities and resources are not completely equal, and at the center our objective is giving these tools and support that is needed by many women,” she pointed out. “We give them validation, mentoring, and help so that they can undertake their business and change their or their family’s socioeconomic environment.”
During her time managing the WBC, Ibarra has created alliances and connections which also seek to help women entrepreneurs through resources such as one-on-one assessments, training, consulting, and much more.
“We have a partnership with Hera Hub which is an office share space for women in San Diego and has a business incubator and accelerator. We also created a partnership to give consulting to our members for free and providing the same program at a lower cost so that it is more accessible to more women.”
Located inside the Southwestern’ College’s National City Campus, the WBC is located in an ideal complex according to its director, as it is surrounded by organizations that also seek to aid aspiring entrepreneurs.
“We are in the same place as the Small Business Development Center, there is also a government contractor here and there is also someone that handles international commerce to help import and export,” she elaborated.
Having to fight to establish herself in the world of business as a woman, Ibarra says that directing this resource is something very special.
“I love helping women because I feel it is part of my life’s purpose to help other women and creating partnerships so that we can all benefit,” Ibarra stated.