2013 was the year of the Latino Entrepreneur! Or as we like to say at the ELLA Leadership Institute: The Year Of Latinos Who Dared To Think BIG!
This week, Forbes Latino contributor Giovanni Rodriguez called 2013 “the year of the Latino entrepreneur,” due in large part to Latino trailblazers’ ability to leverage their social media prowess into real and tangible social and tech impact. Rodriguez writes:
–The Latino tech story stopped being social media and started becoming entrepreneurship. If you followed my coverage here in 2012, chances are you heard about the prowess of Latinos on social channels. It was a story that was interesting to both marketers and Latinos. For the former, it was about new ways to engage new markets. For the latter, it was about self-expression, power, and empowerment. The empowerment has evolved, and the dominant theme today is Latino entrepreneurship. Everywhere you go, it seems, you hear about Latino accelerators, Latino crowdfunding platforms, Latino mentorship networks. There are good reasons — good businessreasons — for this. But if you slept through the year and only woke up today to read the coverage, you’d be surprised to see how much the Latino narrative has changed.
Rodriguez goes on to describe the many ways in which Latinos have made an impact in Silicone Valley and beyond. In fact, Latino entrepreneurs are doing so well that non-Latino tech and start-up incubators have begun to take note of the contributions made by Latino tech innovators and social change agents. “Google for Entrepreneurs stepped up big, with significant support for the newly minted Manos Accelerator (one of the hottest Latino tech launches in 2013),” he explains. ”The Kapor Center for Social Impact showed up with support for several local initiatives as well as early-stage investment in a handful of Latino startups. VC firms like Andreesen Horowitz were conspicuously present at several Latino startup events, signaling mainstream interest in companies serving the manystreams (multicultural marketplaces).”
For our part, the ELLA Leadership Institute has highlighted the many strides made by Latina trailblazers in 2013 via our Latina Spotlight series and, of course, our LATINAS THINK BIG™ conference series.
As the New Year approaches, we’re busy planning several exciting new conferences, webinars and interview in an effort to continue educating, celebrating, and inspiring the Latina trailblazers of 2014!
In the meantime, see how we celebrated Latina thought leaders and entrepreneurs at our 2013 LATINAS THINK BIG LA event:
How will YOU make 2014 the year of the Latino Entrepreneur–part dos?