Powering Latino Business in the Santa Maria Valley

Sergio Zepeda and Guillermo Chavez of Women’s Economic Ventures

A recent visit to the Santa Maria Business Development Center (MIYB Spaces), a hot bed of resources for small business owners on the Central Coast, led to a dynamic encounter with folks hungry for knowledge. In a room full of a dozen plus Latino entrepreneurs and small business owners, I found myself faced with another exciting opportunity to directly engage with a rising sector of the United States.

It shouldn’t come as no surprise that Hispanic business owners are a continual force and relevant piece of our Nation’s economic makeup. The U.S. Hispanic market makes up the 7th largest economy in the world, 3rd fastest growing economy in the world, and produces over $2 trillion dollars in gross domestic product. (Source: Lee Vann, Captura Group)

In Santa Maria, Latinos make up 73% of the population. One organization providing tremendous resources in the form of marketing and business plan advice, is Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV). Look closely and you’ll find Sergio Zepeda and Guillermo Chavez (pictured above), two of the Valley’s more prominent entrepreneurial leaders, pulling up their sleeves and spending valuable time helping Santa Maria’s Latino business sector thrive both in-culture and in-language.

Looking to start an economic blaze? Look no further.

In just a few minutes into my most recent visit with Chavez and Zepeda, it was easy to see why Latinos make up one of the fastest growing entrepreneurial segments in the U.S. The passion and desire for knowledge was tangible. The ideas were flowing and we found ourselves in the midst of one the great entrepreneurial awakenings of our time. From social media marketing to investor tips, we spent an hour deep diving into the keys to growing a vibrant business or launching a new venture.

We shared several resources built for the entrepreneur and took the time to encourage our audience on what it takes to take their business to the next level. One of the exciting highlights of my visit, was the opportunity to talk about investor relations and growth capital. One of the real opportunities available for those looking for a real problem to tackle, is that of education. The need and hunger for tangible business advice within the Hispanic business community is real. Knowledge is power. This is something that both Chavez and Zepeda have embraced and are looking to tackle head on.

I’ll wrap up this brief post with an invitation to the Central Coast to visit my friends at the Santa Maria Business Development Center. You’ll find yourself immersed with a contagious spark to explore what’s possible.




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Jose Huitron

Jose Huitron

Believer. Venture builder. Investor in people and ideas.

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