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Pepperdine Hosts Latina Entrepreneurs Forum

Pepperdine Magazine is the feature magazine for Pepperdine University and its growing community of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends.

Latina business owners and executives came together at the Latina Entrepreneurs Forum hosted by Pepperdine in May at Los Angeles City Hall. The gathering celebrated the rise of today’s Latina entrepreneur–considered the fastest growing segment of business owners in America.

Cosponsored by the Pepperdine Hispanic Alumni Council, City of Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles Small Business Development Center, the event included panel sessions with business leaders and advisors, guest speakers, networking opportunities, and an entrepreneurs mixer at the landmark Tom Bradley Tower.

Participants heard from a variety of speakers about issues such as how to overcome common business hurdles and how to access sources for business growth. Speakers included Hispanic Alumni Council chair Mark Villalovos (MBA ’08) of the Walt Disney Company; Ana Guerrero, chief of staff to the Los Angeles mayor; Vivian Shimoyama, executive director for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses; and Maria Salinas, chair, ProAmerica Bank, and president and founder of Salinas Consulting, LLC.

“I was honored to have been part of an important day about Latina entrepreneurs,” Salinas says. “The forum provided encouragement for Latinas who are thinking about launching a business; practical information and meaningful advice for Latinas who want to grow their business; and stories of reflection from successful Latina entrepreneurs. We need to continue the conversation because through this dialogue we support Latinas in their path to entrepreneurship.”