Meet 11 Entrepreneurs This Hispanic Heritage Month

Diversity and hard work is what makes America great – so what better time to celebrate these qualities than Hispanic Heritage Month? We’ve been inspired by these wise words from Hispanic entrepreneurs.

Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration

SBA EVENT AT GODDARD VISITOR CENTER – Aug. 1, 2014 Small Business Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet addresses dignitaries and guests at the visitor center at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland for an event with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Senator Ben Cardin to announce the results of the 2013 Small Business Federal Procurement Scorecard. The annual Scorecard is an assessment tool that measures how well federal agencies reach their small business and socio-economic prime contracting and subcontracting goals and reports agency-specific progress.

“I began understanding that the ideal of America that I was learning about in school wasn’t taking place in my community. I wondered how I could be a disciple of change in that regard.”

Martha de la Torre, President and CEO of El Clasificado

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“What I love the most about our business is creating a marketplace for the grassroots Latino community where goods and services can be bought and sold in a culturally welcoming environment as well as where jobs can be created within our Latino communities as commerce grows.”

Cynthia Rubio, President and CEO of Radiant RFID

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“I think that being a minority changes the way you perceive yourself and the way you think others perceive you. I felt for a long time that I needed to prove myself; but then again, I’m also competitive by nature. In the end I think it is up to the individual; each one of us can decide what we are willing to work for to achieve what we want.”

Edrizio de la Cruz, Co-Founder of Regalii

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“I feel many immigrants are heroes, because they are caring for more than themselves, but for an entire lifeline of families left behind in Latin America.”

Matias de Tezanos, Internet Entrepreneur

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“My parents always put books in front of us, telling us how important it was to ‘learn how to learn’. That has been the differentiator in my life in school as well as with the companies that I have started.”

Tanya Menendez, Co-Founder and CMO of Maker’s Row

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“We’ve seen over 1.5 million products get produced through our site, and wanted to showcase the amazing innovation, ingenuity and diversity of designers across the United States. We are standing at the forefront of a massive movement that a couple years ago, there were only whispers to be heard. Entrepreneurship, American manufacturing and consumer transparency have collided into the perfect storm.”

Roberto Torres, Founder of Black and Denim

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“When we first calculated how much it would take for us to produce our garments, people said that we needed to go overseas… [But] When I was growing up, the notion that we could purchase American goods was that they were built to last. They were a bit more expensive, but it was American.”

Related Reading:  6 Things Recent Grads Need to Know to Become Manufacturing Entrepreneurs

Rodolfo Ramirez, Executive Creative Director of Pocket Square Clothing

“The goal within the next few years is to develop a full clothing collection and eventually open up a flagship brick-and-mortar, since our vision for the brand has always been to become a style destination for talented gentlemen who care about the way they look.” -Rodolfo Ramirez

Luz Rivas, Founder and Executive Director of DIY Girls

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“You’re never going to have everything you need in place to get started, but think about what you do have.”

Roy Campos, Founder and Owner of Justin Paul Handbags

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“There’s no cutting corners to reach perfection, a simple truth.”

Nicole Melendez, Founder of Nicole Melendez

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“Sometimes it has been a challenge to change [people’s] perception or avoid being stereotyped. Still, I can’t say that facing those challenges has had a negative impact on me or the way I carry myself. I concentrate on the task or job at hand and always give my 120% which leaves very little time for me to be insecure or upset about people that suffer from ignorance.”

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