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¡AVANZANDO JUNTAS! ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM FOR LATINA WOMEN

Creating entrepreneurship and business development opportunities for Latinas in Georgia.

This program designed for Latina women was created in 2014 with the support of The Coca-Cola Foundation, with the purpose of offering women the opportunity to use their experiences, talents, skills, and interests in achieving personal and professional growth in the U.S.

¡Avanzando Juntas! is a comprehensive program that encompasses several components of development and economic empowerment such as: Education, Employment, Microenterprise Development and special training events such as the Annual Latina Entrepreneur Conference.

Most Latina women are more likely to live with scarce economic resources compared to women of other ethnic groups. They sometimes lack the education, experience, and skills, even the self-confidence to pursue economic self-sufficiency. However, the Latina immigrant woman has the immense potential to improve her and her family’s economic situation by becoming an agent of change for her community. This is where ¡Avanzando Juntas! plays an important role in inspiring, empowering, and educating Latinas by providing them with the resources and education they need to achieve economic self-sufficiency.

Program Staff

Mónica Cucalón

Managing Director of Economic Empowerment

MCucalon@thelaa.org

Mabel del Valle

Latina Economic Empowerment Program Manager

MdelValle@thelaa.org

Business entrepreneurship is a generator of prosperity in the United States and Latina women, along with African-American women, are leading this entrepreneurial force. According to the Census, there are 1.5 million Latina-owned businesses with approximately $78.8 billion in sales. Georgia is experiencing the largest growth in the number of Latina women-owned businesses in the U.S. since 2017.

This component of the ¡Avanzando Juntas! program offers you:

  • Two preparatory classes on credit and the considerations and requirements necessary to become an entrepreneur. 
  • Business Incubator, through an 8-week business course, Plan your business
  • Accelerating your business through the ACCIONA Business Center
  • Microloan up to $5,000 to start your business, if qualified. 
  • Business mentoring 
  • Networking 
  • Other resources for Northwest Georgia residents. 

Preparatory talks

To take the 8-week business course you must fulfill the requirement of taking the two preparatory classes or lectures:         

Class 1: Budget and Credit and Class 2: Are you ready to start your business? 

Class 1: Budget and credit: Becoming a successful businesswoman requires effort and discipline, so you must strive to maintain good financial health, including good credit and proper management of family finances.  

Click here for registration and information on dates and times.

Class 2: Are you ready to start your business?

One out of every twelve businesses closes every year, according to the Census. Statistics show that they have not been well informed about what to expect when they decide to start a business, and most of them fail because they do not reach their sales goals or suffer cash flow problems due to the lack of a good business plan.  

Both lectures are offered once a month at various times for your convenience, are in Spanish, in a virtual “online” format, and are free of charge; registration is required. Click here for available dates and times and to complete the registration

Plan your business

In our business incubator, we offer Hispanic women who want to develop a business in Georgia, the opportunity to educate themselves and put that business idea they have always dreamed of into action. This business course, based on a nationally recognized curriculum, where professors, economists, and business experts will provide them with the necessary tools on planning, marketing, digital strategy, finance, operations, incorporations, and licensing. At the end of the course, you will have in your hands the Business Plan and Cash Flow, a navigation map that will help you launch your business to the market.  Plan your business is offered in Spanish, four times a year and we have three different sessions and schedules, both in person and in virtual format. 

It has been demonstrated that women with a higher level of education and information have a greater opportunity for entrepreneurship in various areas of their lives, strengthening their self-confidence.  This will undoubtedly lead to the eradication of poverty and inclusive economic growth where they will be able to experience better management in the control of economic expenses and improve the family’s savings levels.

This area contains talks related to budget and family credit management, personal and professional growth, and motivation.  It also includes English classes (ESL), computer management and use, social network management and digital marketing, among others. 

Credit and Budget:

Learn about how the credit system works in the United States, as well as the benefits and risks of incurring debt. Learn how to create your personal budget and how to control household expenses. Register here to attend the monthly lectures.  This class is also a requirement to enroll in Plan Your Business, an 8-week business course offered 4 times a year. 

 

Toastmasters Club

Toastmasters International is the leading movement to make effective oral communication a worldwide reality. This renowned international club will help you improve your communication, public speaking, and leadership skills in the languages of English and Spanish.  Talks are offered every Thursday from 6:30 pm. – 7:45 p.m. in virtual format through your computer and in person at the Latin American Association.  For more information write to laa.toastmasters@gmail.com 

English Classes

Learning English is critical to your personal and professional growth. Learning English will help you better understand American culture so you can express yourself with greater confidence.  It also gives you the opportunity to expand your network, advance your education and succeed in business.

These classes, taught by teachers experienced in teaching English as a second language, are offered at various levels of English, according to the experience of each participant.  Schedules are available all year round at reasonable prices. For more information click here: https://thelaa.org/esp/clases-de-ingles/

Computer Classes

Having skills to handle a computer and surf the net helps you to stay informed, increases the chances of finding a job, and grow in your career. It is a fundamental part in the management of a company and will allow you to be more productive in your personal life.  You will learn how to use various computer programs such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel at various levels. Also how to navigate the internet and how to use e-mail.  Classes are offered in Spanish at a reasonable cost. For more information click here: https://thelaa.org/esp/clases-de-computacion-en-espanol/

Social media management and digital marketing classes 

As part of your business development, social media and digital marketing play a very important part.  Here you will learn how to create digital marketing strategies and how to manage your brand on social networks: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn to achieve more sales and positioning.  For more information click here: 

Certifications

Latina immigrant women face great challenges in finding employment when they arrive in the United States. Having a certification in an in-demand occupation is a great opportunity to find temporary, full-time jobs, or even to start building a new career.

Click here (https://thelaa.org/career-resources) to access the available certification guide:

  • Substitute teacher
  • Professor
  • Cosmetology
  • Real estate agent
  • Accountant
  • Manicure Specialist (Nail Repair)

We understand the difficulty of navigating the job market in a new country. In this area, we will assist you, free of charge, in the job search process.  Here you will receive various services that will allow you to get the job you are looking for.

  • Resume Day, experts will help you review your Resume. 
  • Job Bank, where you will place your resume so that employers know about you.
  • Job fairs, events every 3 months where you can interact with employers and submit your resume, as well as apply directly to employment opportunities. 
  • Personalized assistance through Good Will, interview techniques, among others. 

For more information about employment click here: https://thelaa.org/esp/servicios-de-empleo/

 

Conferences and Workshops 

Annual Conference for Latina Entrepreneurs

The conference brings together women from all over Georgia and adjacent states for a day of training, motivation, and entertainment where they will gain the tools they need to take bold steps in their personal, emotional, and professional development. 

Save the Date: Saturday, March 27, 2021

Business Summer Camp 

A series of workshops aimed at empowerment, personal growth, and business. These are offered during the months of June and July, in Spanish, and at no cost. Stay tuned to our social networks for future dates. 

Access to capital is one of the barriers faced by women micro-entrepreneurs. The Latin American Association’s Avanzando Juntas! program offers microloans to start or expand your business from $500 to $5000 at a 5% interest rate.

Each application will be considered based on the particular needs of each business.

Basic considerations for the loan application:

  • Credit score of 580+
  • Interest rate offered of 5% per annum
  • Loan terms between 1 to 2 years
  • The loan proceeds must be used to acquire a business or franchise, purchase inventory, new or used equipment, invest in advertising expenses, acquire permits or licenses.
  • Other required documents. 

Orientation for Microloans:

We offer guidance via virtual meetings or in-person on the requirements and steps needed to access a microloan. 

To request an orientation, email Mabel del Valle at mdelvalle@thelaa.org.  

¡Avanzando Juntas! presenta el Micro-Business Summer Camp 2021 “A paso firme” donde las participantes tendrán acceso a estrategias y herramientas claves en el área de: desarrollo de impuestos, ventas, redes sociales y hablar en público. Consultores de negocio te traen herramientas sobre: desarrollo de impuestos, e-commerce, redes sociales efectivas, ventas, y presentación del negocio en público. Cinco talleres delineados para dar pasos firmes en la dirección correcta hacia el éxito de tu negocio.

FechaHoraClaseHost
29 de junio6:30 pm – 8 pm¿Empezando un nuevo negocio? Finanzas con el pie derechoCamille Viera
6 de julio6:30 pm – 8 pmE-commerce, el negocio de clase mundialVeronica Aviles
13 de julio6:30 pm – 8 pmHerramientas para vender más y exitosamenteJorge Correa
20 de julio6:30 pm – 8 pmEl poder de tus palabras y el éxito en tu negocioElisa Olivencia
27 de julio6:30 pm – 8 pmComo comunicar tu marca de manera exitosa en las redes socialesPaula Gallego

  • MARISOLA native of Puerto Rico, makes bar soap from scratch.In the fall 2015, she enrolled in the “Planifica tu Negocio” entrepreneurship course at the LAA and learned things she didn’t know about: market segmentation, a business budget, business plan and marketing with social media. The course, Marisol says, taught her step-by-step what to do and that allowed her to prioritize her expenses.“I changed my concept from beautiful soaps to salutary soaps,” says Marisol, who holds a 40-hour-a-week job to pay her bills.Marisol’s dream is to open a brick-and-mortar store together with her 20-year-old daughter. Together, the mother-daughter duo envisions a wellness venture where clients can get massages and spa-like treatments with their all-natural, homemade goods.“Creating things with my hands makes me happy,” Marisol says. “I’m totally loving making soaps.”Facebook: @humectasoaps Instagram: @humecta_soaps

  • REINAReina Fierro’s flower shop has gone through many ups and downs since she acquired it in 2008. During a period of slow sales about a year ago, Reina, who had studied business administration in her native Venezuela, considered closing the shop.But then a friend told her about the LAA’s “Planifica tu Negocio” course for Latina entrepreneurs. Reina enrolled. The class changed everything for her.She became aware of resources at her disposal, including chambers of commerce, credit counseling agencies and other organizations that help small businesses. She switched to the QuickBooks software to keep track of her sales, inventory and expenses. She got better at managing her time better so she could focus more on social media and email marketing. But, most importantly, Reina concedes, the course made her feel better about herself, giving her the motivation to keep her shop open.“It’s time for me to do things differently,” she says. “I am not afraid to fail anymore.”Check out Reina Fierro’s flower shop at www.flowergardenatl.com

  • DIANAWhen she was studying microbiology in her native Colombia, Diana Loaiza dreamed of working in an environmental lab, protecting the oceans and caring for her natural surroundings.Diana took the LAA’s “Planifica tu Negocio” entrepreneurship course for Latina immigrants and she never looked back. Today she has an online business where she sells hand-crafted jewelry and accessories inspired by indigenous people in Colombia who live in the Putumayo region of the Amazon rainforest and other rural areas.“My target is women who like jewelry that is exclusive and exotic,” says Diana, who is a former model. “They want accessories that nobody else has.”One of the most valuable lessons from the “Planifica tu Negocio” course was how to calculate the value of each of the products she sells. She also learned how to compile and list her inventory. And she defined her target market. Diana spent hours on the Internet doing research to set up her business. She started selling on Etsy and she created her own website.Check out Diana Loaiza’s accessories at www.amazonianspirit.com Facebook: @AmazonianSpirit  Instagram: @amazonianspirit

Learn more about the LAA’s Latina Economic Empowerment Program

This powerful video, filmed and produced by AIBtv, features our program and captures why the program for Latina entrepreneurs is about much more than teaching job skills or updating a resume.

Also, click here to watch video featuring participants who have successfully completed the “Planning Your Business” course and are on their way to making their entrepreneurial dreams a reality.