12/08/2011 by Naibe Reynoso & Gloria De Leon
Latina entrepreneurs find mentorship and inspiration at Adelante
California’s economy continues to struggle, but many believe the state’s burgeoning Latino population can help turn the state around and improve both the economic climate and governance challenges the state faces.
On Saturday, December 3, a major event was held in Santa Monica to give Latina women the tools to help make change.
Hundreds of women came out for the Coca-Cola Adelante Latina Empowerment Tour, which focuses on informing, mentoring, and inspiring Latinas.
Nely Galan is a media mogul and creator of the Adelante Tour, in association with Count me in for Women’s Economic Independence. She says Latina business owners are the fastest growing segment of small businesses in the country.
“There are woman taking two or three jobs, starting businesses, whatever it takes. We are being resilient,” said Galan. Also, “demand from politicians that they support our values."
“Starting a business may be a good alternative to unemployment,” said Nell Merlino, founder and president of Count Me In.
Attendees learned how to grow their business, reach their potential, and find their voice.
One attendee said she would love to see government help new entrepreneurs succeed. “Having information more readily available is what the state could do to help people like me and all the women here.”
Women were also able to share their dreams and business plans and get input from experts. Most importantly, said Galan, they were encouraged to pay it forward.
Naibe Reynoso is a freelance reporter in the Los Angeles region.
Gloria De Leon is a freelance photojournalist in the Los Angeles region.