National Program For Women In Business And Tech Announces Second Round Of Applications

 Access Latina, a business acceleration platform for Latina-owned firms headquartered in Florida, New York, Massachusetts, Texas, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, launched its second cohort to compete for a chance at more than $100K in capital and resources for latinas to grow their businesses.

Access Latina announced the details for its second round of applications at the Golden Seeds Headquarters in New York City, along with its cross collaboration initiatives with the Stanford Latino Entrepreneur Leaders Program to continue to grow the database of U.S. Latino-owned companies, Meredith Corporation’s Siempre Mujer Magazine as a part of their ‘Projects That Can Change the World’ initiative, and Lili Gil Valletta, creator of Dreamers Ventures and HSN partner to Project American Dreams to select up to three semifinalists to access the fast-track program and be among the twenty semifinalists of HSN’s Project American Dreams.

CNNMoney writer and editor, Octavio Blanco, conducted a question and answer session with the 2016 finalists and one of the winners, New York-based Francesca Kennedy, owner and founder of IX Style and TEDx resident. 

“We are focused on finding ways to fill the gaps Latina business owners face, such as limited access to capital and mentorship. We strive to propel high-growth Latina entrepreneurs and create a network of successful trailblazers. As we’ve seen with our 2016 alumni and their remarkable achievements, latina women represent key engines of economic growth,” says Lucienne Gigante, co-founder of Access Latina, adding that according to the most recent State of Women-Owned Businesses Report by American Express, Latina-owned businesses created over 550,400 jobs and contributed over $97 billion in revenues to the U.S. economy in 2015.

Some of last year’s finalists went on to compete at Project Runway: Fashion Startup a Lifetime Reality TV show, were profiled by Forbes and TIME, and got a chance to launch a line with renowned business woman and designer, Rebecca Minkoff. The finalists in year one together generated over $1.2 million in revenue. 

To participate, the Latina entrepreneurs need to own at least 20% of an early-stage company in the industries of STEAM, social innovation and agriculture. Up to ten finalists and up to five winners are selected by independent judges and will receive: 

A three-day acceleration module “Growth Spark” with global leaders
- The opportunity to present their business to Golden Seeds.
- Access to seed capital in the form of a grant, crowdfunding rounds with Kiva Zip, and/or direct traditional and non-traditional investment.
- Connection to a network of advisors, sponsors, and mentors.
- The opportunity to collaborate with other business owners going through the same journey.
- The opportunity to win a $25k grant

"Research continues to validate that Latinas are an under-tapped force and make successful entrepreneurs. They are achieving innovative endeavors, while actively fueling the economy. This is the reason and passion behind Access Latina, to drive Latina entrepreneurs’ economic potential by opening new channels to capital, resources, and knowledge. Empowering Latina entrepreneurs is good for the economy and has a positive impact in our society,” says Marta Michelle Colon, Co-Founder of Access Latina. 

Access Latina founders are hosting a panel on Latinas Creating Wealth with collaborator Lili Gil Valleta and finalist Victoria Flores, at Latism 2016, a conference held in Orlando Florida on October 21st. 

For more information about Access Latina or to apply to the business acceleration platform please visit www.accesslatina.org. To join the conversation online please use #AccessLatina2017 and follow us @AccessLatina.

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About Access Latina
Access Latina is the the first of its kind platform for Latinas pioneering entrepreneurial growth in the industries of STEAM, Social Innovation and Agriculture. Access Latina believes in the power of Latina entrepreneurs coming together to reach their entrepreneurial and economic potential through capital and resource investment.

About Lucienne Gigante
Lucienne is the Co-Founder of AccessLatina and the Co-Founder of Animus, the largest innovation platform in the Americas to maximize women's economic and personal development around business, mindfulness, empowerment, and entrepreneurship. She is the founder of LuGi, LLC, a strategic positioning firm that creates social responsibility platforms tied to their business models as key differentiators and brand drivers. She has been responsible for the creation of award-winning social corporate responsibility platforms including Women of Success, an accelerator program that resulted in the creation of over 40 new women-owned businesses. Lucienne received recognition from the Commission on Women Issues of the Senate of Puerto Rico and has won more than 30 awards in Puerto Rico and abroad.

About Marta Michelle Colon
Marta Michelle Colón is the Co-Founder of AccessLatina and the Founder of Buena Gente, a platform that drives performance and modifies behavior to promote competitive advantage professionally and individually. She worked in the private sector for more than a decade, specializing on multi-sector program development, leading multi-market change initiatives, and identifying investment opportunities. In the non-profit sector, she has developed hundreds of social innovation programs in low-resource communities, as well as, capital campaigns and funding strategies, raising more than $50 million. She is also a Mentor at the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurs Initiative.

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