Excerpt from CNBC October 14th, 2021 – Original and complete article here…
How we can address the racial wealth gap
We created this financial institution on the belief that Hispanic small business owners need to have investment, education and financial coaching in order for them to transform their lives, and eventually our effort is to close the wealth gap in Sonoma County, California. People don’t really understand that Sonoma County has gone through a lot in the past few years: several devastating wildfires, then the coronavirus pandemic. Hispanics and Latinos bore the brunt of those crises. We were working in the vineyards and hospitality business, then as essential workers on the frontlines of the pandemic.
We know that access to education and affordable health care is a bridge to close the wealth gap, but entrepreneurship is also a way to close the wealth gap. I want to help close that gap for Hispanic and Latino business owners by providing them capital at the three stages of development, at the launch, growth and scaling stages. In any situation, I want them to know, ‘You’re supported, we got you.’
My biggest inspiration
I’m the product of two ladies that were entrepreneurs. My grandmother on my dad’s side, Maria, was a big influence on me. She raised eight kids in a Mexican barrio in Houston, Texas. She used to make menudo [a traditional Mexican soup] in the mornings, she sewed clothes and she was a midwife. She was an entrepreneur in her community back in the 1940s, and by herself, she was able to provide for her kids. Not only that, but she bought a house for herself and her family after her husband left her. She’s incredible.
On my mother’s side, my grandma, Ramona, also had an entrepreneurial spirit. She used to make handmade pillows, blankets, and she sold them to raise money to send back to low-income people in Mexico and for missionary efforts through her church. Those stories and their spirit really led me to the work that I’m doing now.