MileOne honors ladies marketers at networking mixer

Local women leaders and entrepreneurs united together Wednesday night for a special event and mixer held by the MileOne International Business Assistance Center.

The event brought together many women who have served as entrepreneurs around the community and others aspiring to be part of the local business world. The event also featured a guest speaker and an opportunity for the women to network and talk about their experiences, whether good or bad, in the business world.

“The Women’s Entrepreneur Rock Series is a series that we started in 2018 to highlight the female entrepreneur,” Cesar G. Hernandez, program director for MileOne International Business Assistance Center, said.


“We want to provide technical assistance, mentoring, support to the women who own small businesses here in the community, and so we do a six-month series every year since 2018 that provides information on leadership skills, access to capital, basic accounting and understanding business accounting. Just really bringing female entrepreneurs to talk about their journey, to talk about their successes, their failures, what to do and what not to do and really to encourage entrepreneurs to take a chance and getting into the small business world.”

Hernandez says events like celebrating these local women business leaders is essential considering the fact they make up a huge part of the local economy.

“The female entrepreneur is a very important piece and a component of our economy,” Hernandez said. “There are so many female entrepreneurs out there, successful entrepreneurs that give so much value to people who are starting to make a business or just want to learn more about entrepreneurship. This is more important for us as it is an opportunity for us to keep the balance within the economy and to highlight the female entrepreneur and their successes.”

The guest speaker at the event was Laredo Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Gabriela Morales, who spoke about how it feels leading the city’s main business organization. She said she was also honored to be chosen to speak in front of the other local women leaders.

“I am honored to have been chosen as the Kickoff Keynote Speaker for the Women Entrepreneurs Rock Series 2022,” Morales said.
“The engagement we had at the event was an intimate space for us to share our unique stories, help each other in our journey, and foster a community of sisterhood. Empowering women in our communities, must be at the forefront of our social and economic agendas, and we, at the Laredo Chamber of Commerce welcome women entrepreneurs who are seeking a path to success. I am thankful to Cesar at MileOne for inviting me and to the attendees who shared their stories with me.”

Previous speakers for the event have also been women in leadership positions including Kathryn Flachbart, who was the former US consulate to Nuevo Laredo, and Judith Zaffirini, who for decades has served as state senator of Texas State District 21.

Hernandez says showcasing women in leadership positions helps highlight how they can also climb the ranks and get to positions of leadership, which is a quality every entrepreneur must possess. He also said many of the attendees in the past have said they find value in hearing from other women about what led them to success in their careers.

One of those in attendance at the event Wednesday was Yvette Sanchez, who expressed great satisfaction at participating.

“It’s moving, attending events like these,” Sanchez said. “The connections you form with amazing and driven women inspire me to drive forward and continue pursuing my set goals and growing professionally. I’m very proud MileOne supports such events that enable women empowerment, consciously encourages entrepreneurship in our community, and I’m privileged to be a part of such an organization.”

Hernandez said women have told him they enjoy these workshops due to its interactive nature. He said they have also said they enjoy expressing their own views and opinions about what it takes to be a good business leader.

“I think they walked out of here feeling a little bit more empowered as far as what they are doing and a little bit more centered as far as their goals in terms of what they want to do personally as entrepreneurs or as professionals,” Hernandez said . “Overall, we learned that there are so many female entrepreneurs leaders, female community leaders that are out in our community that really move Laredo forward. They are very smart individuals, very talented and dynamic and it is something great to see when you see a room full of women, and they are all supporting each other (and) that’s extremely important to us. We are very blessed to be able to spearhead these types of initiatives.”

Hernandez said he believes more forums like this are needed as these leaders in business are the ones who will help inspire younger women and little girls to aspire to become something greater and start their own businesses.

“We do our very best to highlight these female entrepreneurs and to foster the equal representation in the business sector and networking opportunities at all levels,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez said this event is not the last one MileOne has prepared to showcase the women talent in the community. They have another event planned soon focusing not just on women leaders in business but rather on business leaders in all fields.

According to Hernandez, the business assistance organization is going to host an event May 11 in which MileOne will be hosting small businesses and the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Minority Business Development Agency. Additionally, there will be some local banking institutions present to speak to small business owners about how they might have access to capital.

jorge.vela@lmtonline.com

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