OCEANSIDE — The Latinos Emprendedores Conference presented a full day of business advice from top Latino business professionals at MiraCosta College on Oct. 26.
Experts in finance, online business, and personal marketing shared their knowhow in Spanish and addressed overcoming cultural norms that present barriers to business success.
“This event will provide a wealth of information for the Latino business community,” David Nydegger, president and CEO of Oceanside chamber of commerce, said.
“The timing is perfect to bring together entrepreneurs and experts to learn from each other and help drive our local economy,” Dr. Francisco Rodriguez, president at MiraCosta College, said.
Ramon Toledo, CEO of BuscaCorp, was among the keynote speakers. He advised business entrepreneurs to find a niche market within their field to serve and pursue their vision with persistence and patience.
His advice comes from his own business success with Busca Corp. The company can boast being the leading digital media service provider for the Spanish speaking world.
Busca Corp. began in Baja California with services posted in Spanish. When the company added English content to its site its subscribership exploded.
“It was the first bilingual cross border site,” Toledo said. “Nobody was even thinking about e-commerce in Baja.”
The company startup took about six years to raise capital, recruit talented employees, and build an online presence. Once the company’s reputation was established expanding into other business ventures came quicker.
Toledo formed a partnership with San Diego Union Tribune San Diego Red. There it added English content to the all-Spanish site and included coverage of Baja arts, food and culture. Adding English and an updated topic focus expanded the market.
“I saw second generation Hispanics looking for content,” Toledo said. “They wanted English-based content.”
Toledo continues to find business opportunities with online sites and is expanding his sites to television opportunities.
Another notable speaker was Sonia Farace, business planning manager at Sony Electronic. Farace leads Sony’s business planning for VAIO Customer Service in Latin America. She created an innovative, non-traditional technical support process for VAIO computers through social media.
Farace said Hispanic business professionals need to develop personal branding and an online presence, and companies must leverage technology and develop websites that provide customers with specific product information to stay competitive.
Farace said the digital divide is closing for Hispanic business owners, especially with younger business professionals growing up in a digital age.
A lineup of speakers shared proven business tips throughout the day.
During the conference lunch was provided on site and allowed those who attended to have one on one time with speakers.
The conference was organized by the Hispanic Chamber of E-Commerce and the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce. Tayde Aburto, founder of the Hispanic Chamber of E-Commerce and event organizer, said the conference is the first in a series of events Hispanic Chamber of E-Commerce plans to hold in San Diego County.
“It’s the proof that the Hispanic Chamber of E-Commerce is a results-driven organization that supports small businesses,” Aburto said.
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