Los Angeles, Mar 20 (EFE).- U.S. Hispanic women have lost their fear of the business world and are, more and more, the ones who are seeking financial independence via owning their own firms.
According to figures compiled by the Center for Women’s Business Research, from 1997 to 2004 the number of businesses owned by Hispanic women in the United States increased by 64 percent and the income generated by those companies grew by more than 62 percent to $44.4 billion.
“The women feel more comfortable managing their own businesses instead of working for others, and thus they have time to attend to their families,” said Theresa Ynzunza, the national president and cofounder of the National Latina Business Women Association.
“But many women who start a business don’t have the knowledge of how to do it and need a push, they need incentives,” she added.
To raise the business knowledge level of its members or of women who are planning to start their own business, the NLBWA offers two business training programs: Emerging Latina and Latin Financial.
The first is an intensive program for those who want to learn how to start a new business or how to achieve growth in an existing company.
It consists of four-hour classes once a week for eight weeks and an eight-hour session devoted to providing instruction in how to carry out a strategic business plan.
The content of the courses, which are taught by experts, includes instruction on how to craft a business plan, identifying and differentiating oneself from the competition, marketing and sales strategies, licenses and permits, and personal and business finances.
“Often, new businesswomen want to live right from the start off the businesses finances, which is not very convenient. They have to learn how to separate” their personal and business financial activities, Ynzunza said.
The program is interactive and asks the participants to commit themselves to it for three months.
Latina Financial is a program of financial education designed to help businesswomen obtain financial independence.
The program is offered once a month and lasts for six months. It covers financial matters and some aspects of investing in the stock market and other financial markets.
Those who sign up for the program must make a commitment to stick with it for at least six months.
Both programs have attracted not only women but men as well, and men constitute some of the members of the organization.
In addition, the organization offers courses on leadership development, provides opportunities to receive direct advice from businesspeople with experience and offers people the chance to socialize and make contact with professionals and local, national and international businesspeople.
The NLBWA was founded in Los Angeles by 11 businesswomen and professionals in July 2004 and little by little it has been expanding itself to become a national entity.
In December 2007, it merged the headquarters in Atlanta with the five already-existing branches in Southern California.
The board of directors of the association is working to add new associations in Texas, Florida, Utah and Chicago.
California, Texas, Florida, New York, Arizona, Illinois, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Mexico and Colorado are the 10 states where there are the most businesses owned by Latinas, according to the figures of the 2002 Women’s Policy Center.
“The aim is to add two new chapters each year,” said Ynzunza, who was inspired by other entrepreneurs – both female and male – to promote and supprt the development of the most rapidly growing business sector in the United States: that of Hispanic women.
Ynzunza added that there had been a change in the growth of business property among the first generation of immigrants who speak little Engligh, and that is the reason that the women’s association is preparing to launch a Web site in Spanish. EFE
ESource: FE News Services (U.S.) Inc.