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The LAA’s signature program for Latina entrepreneurs is launching in Northwest Georgia in spring 2021. The LAA is bringing together community organizations in Dalton and its surroundings in order to make business and education resources available to Latinas who want to start their own business.

The program supports entrepreneurs at the various stages of the business life cycle and creates a pathway to success for Latinas.


The LAA has partnered with several organizations in Northwest Georgia to ensure that Latinas can tap into existing resources and succeed as business owners. We are grateful for the support of our partners.


The Program

The core of the ¡Avanzando Juntas! program in northwest Georgia is the LAA’s eight-week course for aspiring Latina entrepreneurs. The course, offered in Spanish, is free. At the end of the 40-hour course, participants present a detailed business plan that includes three-year projections for a business they’d like to open.

In addition to this course, ¡Avanzando Juntas! offers one-on-one expert coaching to develop financial statements; workshops on digital marketing; access of up to $5,000 in microloans for eligible participants; and the annual ¡Avanzando Juntas! Latina Conference that brings together up to 600 Latina entrepreneurs for a day of motivational talks, workshops and sharing of success stories.

LAA program participants will have access to a new incubator and to the Dalton Innovation Accelerator in downtown Dalton. Participants will also work with faculty and student mentors from Dalton State College and have access to a variety of technical courses and certifications offered by the GNTC.

The goal is to create a seamless ecosystem so that these Latina entrepreneurs have the support they need to succeed as their businesses grow. ACE in Northwest Georgia will offer loans of $10,000 and above to qualified applicants.

Josibell Sivira

Dalton resident Josibell Sivira completed the LAA’s entrepreneurship program and now runs a successful insurance business.

Register for Classes this Spring

The LAA’s 40-hour entrepreneurship program will be offered in Dalton starting in April 2020. Before participants can enroll in the program, they must take two mandatory classes: “Presupuesto y crédito” and “¿Estás lista para iniciar tu negocio?” Dates and registration links below.

Mandatory classes

  • Presupuesto y crédito

March 16 10am-12pm and 6-8pm

April 13 10am-12pm and 6-8pm

  • ¿Estás lista para iniciar tu negocio?

March 18 10am-12pm and 6-8pm

April 15 10am-12pm and 6-8pm

Click HERE for registration

  • “Planifica tu negocio” eight-week program

April 21 10am to 12pm and 6pm to 8pm

April 24 10am to 6pm

Upon completing “Planifica tu negocio,” the entrepreneurs will have access to mentoring, classes and the incubator or the accelerator, depending on their needs.

Latina Empowerment
Conference in Spring 2021


The LAA’s Latina empowerment program hosts an annual conference for Latina entrepreneurs. This year the virtual conference, titled the 6th Latina Empowerment Conference: Resilience and Prosperity, will be held on Wednesday, March 31. Registration is free for all participants.



Why Northwest Georgia

Northwest Georgia is the perfect platform for growth for the LAA’s entrepreneurship program. Known as the carpet capital of the world, Dalton’s economy is dominated by large multinational companies. Yet small business development that nurtures the local economy is lagging. The LAA’s entrepreneurship program can help fill this void and further ignite the region’s deeply rooted entrepreneurial spirit. Over the past year, the pandemic has adversely affected many community businesses. However, we have seen how some entrepreneurs have swiftly adapted their business model in response to the crisis.

LAA Launched ¡Avanzando Juntas! in 2015

The LAA created its Latina entrepreneurship program in 2015, funded by a grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation. Nearly 1,500 Latinas in Georgia have taken the LAA’s eight-week entrepreneurship course, and about 3,500 more have benefited from other classes and benefits of the program. The Coca-Cola Foundation is supporting the program’s reach to Northwest Georgia.

Program Staff

Mónica Cucalón

Managing Director of Economic Empowerment

Mabel del Valle

Latina Economic Empowerment Program Manager


For more information about the program in Northwest Georgia, contact Mabel del Valle at or 404-477-2571.


Celebrating 5 years of empowering Latino women in Georgia.

The annual Latina Empowerment Conference is a day-long event that brings together over 800 Latinas from metro Atlanta and beyond for a one-of-a-kind experience. This event is designed to inspired and empower them to become change agents in their own lives and communities.

The event features motivational speakers, workshops led by Latina trailblazers, educational resources, networking opportunities, and a marketplace that provides exhibitors an opportunity to reach this important market, one of the most rapidly growing groups in the economy.

In 2019, top sponsors were the Rotary Club of Buckhead, Comcast, NCR, Katherine B. Weeks, Macy’s, SunTrust, Fifth Third Bank, Kuck Baxter Immigration, CareSource, Amerigroup, UPS, Cruz & Associates,  Castan & Lecca, WePartner and Cricket Wireless.

  • The event is in Spanish ONLY
  • Registration is mandatory
  • Breakfast and lunch included
  • Admission is FREE*
  • To obtain $3 parking, click here **

*The conference is free or charge but participants must register in advance before May 8th, 2020 to reserve their place.

**Please be aware that Advanced Sales for parking will cut off at midnight the night before the event. Anyone who does not use this link will have to pay the prevailing rate at the gate.

To volunteer, please contact us to

Learn more

Margarita Pasos, Motivational Speaker

Margarita is well known for her international career of over 20 years, as an expert in sales and in the psychology of success. She is a motivational speaker and corporate coach of the Fortune 500, Brian Tracy’s leader & partner for the Hispanic market, and has a TED talk with almost 4 million views.
Pasos is a face-to-face and virtual corporate trainer, business lecturer, writer, producer, television presenter, keynote speaker and powerful motivator.
Margarita’s career began 20 years ago with the successful experience as director of sales training at Shaklee International, training sales teams in Puerto Rico, Canada, England and more than 40 states in the United States.
In addition to the specialized trainings Margarita has received with Brian Tracy, she has also been trained with great masters who are experts in sales, leadership and successful psychology such as:
• Tony Robbins
• Les Brown
• John Maxwell
• Nick Vujicic
• Brendon Burchard
• Jim Rohn
• Grant Cardone
• Lisa Sasevich
• Sharleen Johnson
• John Asher
Margarita is an empathetic and affectionate speaker with a great sense of humor, who is able to connect with her audience and inspire them with over 2,000 impactful stories she has made throughout her career.

Mariela Romero

Mariela Romero is Univision Communications Regional Community Empowerment Director. She implements the corporate responsibility platforms of the company under the Social Corporate Responsibility property “Contigo”. Romero also develops content for special programs and is the anchor, writer and producer of regional news magazine Conexión Fin de Semana in Philadelphia, Atlanta and North Carolina.
Romero has interviewed former President and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jimmy Carter, Civil Rights leader and Presidential Medal of Freedom Award, Reverend C.T. Vivian and American labor leader Dolores Huerta among other distinguished public figures. Mariela has received 23 Emmy Awards from the Academy of Television Arts – South East region. The Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce named her one of the most influential Latinos in the state and The Latin American Association recognized her with the prestigious Olga C. de Goizueta award in 2019.
Romero is an Emeritus board member of the Community Foundation of Northeast Georgia, and serves on the boards of the Hispanic Organization Promoting Education, The American Heart Association – Metro Atlanta, The Boys Scouts of America – Metro Atlanta, The New Media Education Foundation of Georgia, Corners Outreach and was the first Latina to serve as President of the League of Women Voters of Gwinnett County. In 2020 Mariela Romero joined the board of the National Juvenile Defender Center in Washington D.C.
Mariela Romero holds a degree in Journalism from Universidad Católica Argentina as well as a degree in Social Communications from Universidad de Belgrano. She also studied TV Broadcasting and Production at Buenos Aires “Centro de Estudios de la Comunicación”. Prior to joining Univision, she worked for CNN en español radio and Georgia Public Broadcasting. She is a native of Caracas, Venezuela.


This inspiring conference includes motivational speakers, workshops on various business and employment topics, as well as opportunities to establish professional and business contacts. At the Expo, more than 100 exhibitors and companies from the community will be offering their products and services.

7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. Registration and breakfast

9 a.m. – 10 a.m. Keynote Speaker: Margarita Pasos

10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Workshops 1

11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Workshops 2 / Expo

12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.  Lunch / Expo

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Workshops 3

2:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. Closing

*subject to change without prior notice

Become a sponsor of the 5th Annual Latina Empowerment Conference. We offer different levels for corporate sponsorships:

$ 2,500 Inspire

$ 5,000 Empower

$ 10,000 Achieve

$ 25,000 Presenting sponsor

For more information about sponsorships, contact Andrew Englund at, call 404.638.1820 or click here to see the sponsorship packages.

To register as a sponsor, click here

The 5th Annual Latina Empowerment Conference will have an expo of more than 100 exhibitors that include corporations, small businesses, nonprofit organizations and micro-businesses created by women graduates of the ¡Avanzando Juntas! program, “Mujeres y Negocios” course offered by the Latin American Association.

More than 800 Latinas will attend the conference and will be looking for companies and organizations that offer services and products.

This is an opportunity to present your products or services, establish business contacts, and meet influential Latinos.

The options available for exhibitors are:

Corporate Level $ 250

Nonprofit Level $ 75

For more information about exhibitors booths, contact Andrew Englund at, call 404.638.1820 or click here to see the sponsorship packages.

To become an exhibitor, please click here


Q: What is the cost of attending the conference?
Admission is free but prior registration is required. Breakfast and light lunch will be provided at no cost.

Q: What is the conference schedule?
This event is from 7:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Q. I have a commitment the same day as the conference, but I really want to go. Can I arrive late?
If you are not able to attend from 7:30 a.m., which is recommended for you not to lose any of the resources that will be offered, we can receive you before 12:00 p.m. After that time the entrance will be closed. We urge you to arrive on time.

Q: Where is the conference going to take place? How can I get there?
Gwinnett Infinite Center at 6400 Sugarloaf Pkwy, Duluth GA 30097
Click here for address map

Q: Is there parking space available?
Yes, the space has enough parking available for attendees.

Q: Will there be transportation options, such as buses?
No. You are responsible for transportation to attend the event. We suggest you think of carpool with friends or family. You can also use services like Uber or Lyft.

Q: Can I bring food?
No, the Gwinnett Infinite Center does not allow you to bring food. The Latin American Association will provide free, light breakfast and lunch. You can also find vending machines.

Q: Should I bring something with me?
We recommend bringing a light sweater in case you feel cold, notebook to take notes, your business cards and lots of energy to make the most of your day. You do not need to bring identification. The center reserves the right to review what you enter for security of the place.

Q: Can I bring my children?
Children under 18 are not allowed. We want this day to be special for you. We do not have childcare for this event..

Q: Can I bring my daughter?
Your daughter is welcome to the conference if she is over 18 years old. Just be sure to register her before the conference.

Q: Can men attend this conference?
As much as we love our men, we would rather have a space just for women. This will be a day and space dedicated to women.

Q: How should I dress for the Conference?
We suggest casual business attire with comfortable shoes.

Q: Can I be a workshop presenter?
If you are interested in sharing your knowledge with the participants, you can contact Mabel del Valle

Q: Can I volunteer at the Conference?
Of course! Please email

Q: Will the workshops that will be presented during the conference be the same as the classes offered at the Association?
No, the programs for the Conference are completely different from regular classes. It will be a day of workshops and new conferences in tune with the current reality in the industry for micro entrepreneurs.

Q: I want to be part of the ¡Avanzando Juntas! program at the Latin American Association. What should I do to register?
You are more than welcome to the program. ¡Avanzando Juntas! offers three service areas: Women and Education, Women and Employment and Women and Businesses where the course is offered: Plan your business offered 4 times a year. During the conference, look for the Latin American Association table and you can register there or click the following link to register 

Are they going to give information on how to get a job?
Yes, we will have resources that will guide you on the Latin American Association’s online employment bank.

Q: I have unanswered questions. Who can I contact?
Sponsorships and exhibitors: Andrew Englund: or at 314-956-5647
Program “¡Avanzando Juntas!”: Mabel del Valle


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