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Emprendedoras Latinas en Indiana offers space to empower Hispanic women entrepreneurs

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It takes a village to help raise a community, and on Thursday night, more than 80 Hispanic women entrepreneurs got together to help each other find success.

According to the U.S. Census, the Hispanic population is growing.

The event Conecta y Crece, which translates to Connect and Grow, was a chance for Hispanic women to empower each other.

“To understand the path of each woman and how to start from zero and grow and support each other,” said Belkis Ramirez, a program specialist at the Marion County Public Health Department.

Ramirez is also a co-host for the Indiana Latino Expo.

The event was held at the Venezuelan restaurant Cumaco Arepa House in Fishers.

It was led by the nonprofit organization Emprendedoras Latinas en Indiana, which focuses on elevating Hispanic women entrepreneurs.

“This is the moment, this is the right moment and we’re here to support each other, to empower each other,” Ramirez said.

Some of the speakers at the event were News 8’s Camila Fernandez, the head consul of the Mexican Consulate in Indianapolis, Maki Teramoto, and the executive director of the Indiana Latino Expo, Gloria Jimenez.

Mayrin Sánchez is the owner of the restaurant. She is also the vice president of Emprendedoras Latinas en Indiana.

“The message is you can do it. Latina, tú puedes. You can do it. The limit is here. It’s not the country. The English is not a limit,” Sánchez said.

Sánchez adds the Fishers community has been supportive, especially during the pandemic.

Event organizers say starting a business as an immigrant has some challenges, such as unfamiliar laws and a need for English language skills.

“Language can be one barrier, but for these women some of them don’t speak English, but still they’re trying and they’re doing their best and they’re connecting and connection is something very important and it’s something that we’re going to provide,” Ramirez said.

“It’s an easy way to know the rules of the road and it’s easy for the woman that doesn’t speak English,” said Virginia Piña, the secretary of Emprendedoras Latinas en Indiana.

The organization Emprendedoras Latinas en Indiana will be hosting several more events this year.