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Women’s History Month Highlights Latina Entrepreneurs’ Impact on the U.S. Business Scene

Created: 26 March, 2010
Updated: 26 July, 2022
5 min read

The National Women’s History Project brings the contributions of Latinas to the forefront of public discourse

By Lucía Matthews and Alice Gomez

Over the years Latina entrepreneurs have made a strong impact on the U.S. business scene. The Hispanic population is the largest and fastest growing minority group. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Hispanic population was 46.9 million in 2008, a 3.2 percent increase from 2007, meaning almost one in six American is of Hispanic descent. The large Hispanic influence has resulted in an economy robust with innovative Latina entrepreneurs. This month is Women’s History Month and various individuals, organizations and institutions are putting forth efforts towards recognizing the importance of female societal contributions.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the National Women’s History Project (NWHP), which serves as a catalyst for promoting women as leaders and influential societal forces. The focus for this year’s theme is ‘Writing Women Back into History’. Mainstream historical accounts have largely undermined female contributions in society. The accomplishments of minorities tend to also receive a diminished role in typical historical reports. Therefore, Latinas face a double discrimination.

To honor the theme the NWHP has developed a nation-wide program highlighting outstanding women and their achievements. The organization places an emphasis on featuring positive role models and the importance of women from all backgrounds.

According to the NWHP, when the effort began in the eighties less than 3% of the content of teacher training textbooks mentioned the contributions of women and when included, women were usually written in as mere footnotes. Women were deprived of female role models. Today the web contains millions of citations professing the accomplishments of women and Latinas specifically.

Accrediting women for the work they have done opens doors for other women to follow their lead. Lisa Garcia-Ruiz, founder of The Grant Hunter, a consulting service that helps its clients seek funding sources, was motivated by the accomplishments of others.

“I have been inspired by other strong women entrepreneurs who have been able to create a business that allows them to make a difference, make money and have time for their families as well,” Ruiz said.

For Latinas culture is an important influence in business endeavors and thus should be celebrated as playing a part in their success. Lilian de la Torre-Jiménez, Publisher of Bodas USA La Revista, the first Spanish-language bridal magazine in the U.S., notes the significance her Hispanic heritage has on her business.

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“Being Hispanic is the foundation and the heart of my business” Torre-Jiménez said. “Our motto says it all: Tu Boda, Tu Cultura, Tu Idioma (Your Wedding, Your Culture, Your Language).” With that same approach of catering to Latinas with a culturally appropriate multimedia platform, the publisher is launching her third magazine, Mujer Empresaria, the first Spanish-language digital magazine for the U.S. Latina Entrepreneur in mid-2010.

Culture-infused Latina companies are able to speak to the ever-growing Hispanic population. Mainstream companies devise heavily budgeted plans to reach this lucrative demographic but oftentimes fall short of communicating with cultural relevancy. Latina entrepreneurs such as Molly Robbins, founder of fashion brands Palomita and Chucho, understands the nuances of her Latino culture.

“The Latino culture embraces a ‘love for life’ in a compassionate and passionate way. We love our music, colors, food, family and friends,” Robbins said.  Her clothing line embraces this culture. “I wanted to create brands that truly resonated with the Latino community.”

Latina entrepreneurs have found alternative solutions to breaking down the barriers to success for minority business owners. Networking online through organizations such as the Hispanic Chamber of E-Commerce provides access to knowledge and resources that help promote Latina business.

“The Hispanic Chamber of E-Commerce has given online Hispanic-focused businesses a forum to come together and promote their product or services in a professional manner,” Martha Alburquerque, developer of Lela Luxe, an online magazine dedicated to the latest fashion, art, design and entertainment. “Stumbling upon the organization has inspired me to continue my efforts, despite being a minority in the world of blogging.”

Another important aspect attributing to the success of Latina business is their competencies in communicating in multicultural environments. The U.S. is an increasingly diverse playground for business transactions. Creator of networking focused company Opening Latino Doors LLC, Lourdes Sampera Tsukada, articulates the importance of multicultural understandings.

“When one is doing business or interacting with small business owners from another culture, communication styles vary,” Sampera Tsukada said. “We are no longer doing business with the same culture and the same generations – we are doing business with many different cultures, generations, and forms of communications. The awareness of these key components is the key to future continued success!”

Women will have an increasingly prominent role in U.S. business. As the U.S. Hispanic population continues to grow much of this transformation will be made by Latinas. The contributions of Latina entrepreneurs should be recognized to encourage the entrepreneurial pursuits of younger generations. The result of such efforts will have a positive impact on the future of the U.S. business world.

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Lucía Matthews is a freelance writer and director of DiálogoPR a Hispanic public relations firm. Alice Gomez is a public relations counselor at DiálogoPR and a published writer who has contributed numerous feature, news and technical articles.

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