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Black and Latinx & Hispanic Business Owners Needed an Online Space to Thrive: Meta Elevate was the missing piece

Friday, November 18, 2022

When I first started out in my career as a young blogger in Houston, I was looking for other Latinx business owners like me. I wanted to build our own community of entrepreneurs here in my hometown. I not only wanted to make business connections, but also build a strong, cultural community.

It was super early in my career, three to four years into building my brand and I was hungry to learn the skills I needed. But because there weren’t a lot of resources in my city back then, I knew that if I really wanted to do this, I had to travel outside of Houston. 

So I did. I attended conferences in Miami and LA, where I met with brands from all over the country. There I also learned about influencer marketing and other opportunities to expand my network. I also gained that confidence I needed to. At the end of the day, I needed to believe in myself and just go for it.

While at these conferences, I thought to myself, “Why isn’t this in Houston? How can I bring this to my city?” I quickly realized that if I wanted to bring this level of community back to my city, I needed to do it myself.

But of course, I couldn’t do it by myself. This effort needed people to support each other. It needed to be driven by the community and it needed people to show up to make this happen—and to make it successful.

I took things one step at a time and slowly built the Spoiled Latina Summit. We started out with 75 and it has grown to over 350 women who show up every year. The Spoiled Latina Summit is all about giving recognition and mentorship to amazing women in Houston and beyond who are in the Black and Latinx community. It was my honor to create a stage for these women to tell their stories and to nurture a space for community, for representation that was lacking in our city.

I’ve grown to realize something so valuable. Brands that come out to the Spoiled Latina Summit aren’t just brands that happen to reach out to me. They’re brands that spent over a decade cultivating relationships with Brand Managers, PR Professionals, and everyone in between. They had to see my growth to recognize and support me and I was going to use that to elevate others.  

So, when creating Spoiled Latina Summit and beyond, I strive to create a hub where people could network and meet. I wanted to see my community connect, build, and exchange capital so that, ultimately, everyone levels up and elevates. I wanted the brands who we all supported to come out and meet us, to support us, to meet the consumers and connect with our culture. 

I’m still in awe of how many women come year after year to participate in the Summit and other events throughout the year.  Through these spaces, other women have inspired me and have helped to shape who I am too. With community, we rise together.  Along the way, this professional community in Houston I helped grow has become such a big part of my life and I’m so lucky to now call some of these colleagues great friends. 

In 2015, while celebrating my blog anniversary I was surprised by Mayor Pro-Tem Ed Gonzalez (who is now Harris County Sheriff) with a city proclamation making July 9th, Yvonne Guidry Day in Houston. After I was awarded my own day in the city, I got inspired and knew that I would use “Spoiled Latina Day” to make a change and impact my community. I finally had the chance to bring major brands to Houston, to connect with its core consumer and I took it as an opportunity to elevate my community and the people around me to achieve their own personal dreams.

Over the years, as I’ve built a strong Latinx brand and cultivated a community of Latinx business owners, I’ve learned that businesses can only thrive with community. Bringing people together culturally allows us to make things happen together. In Houston, we have so many amazing Black, Latinx, and Hispanic women doing big things that should be elevated and recognized. I realized that elevating these businesses was a matter of connecting everyone and creating spaces for them and their brands to thrive. With the growing online presence of Latinx brands, making these community-driven spaces virtual is more important than ever.

I use Facebook on the daily to raise awareness for blog posts, to share ideas, and even to vent. It’s been a place for me to connect with my community and my family. On top of all the resources that Meta provides, there is now a platform for entrepreneurs to build connections and accelerate the economic success of Black and Latinx communities.  

Meta Elevate offers free digital marketing, educational training, and one-on-one mentoring. And the best thing about it is that it takes what I was already doing with the community organically and levels it up to online spaces. Meta Elevate aims to elevate the next generation of innovators through impactful connections.

My business as a blogger started in the early days of Meta on Facebook, and now Meta Elevate has only helped me continue to grow as a brand which has been vital to me building my brand into a nationally recognized Latinx brand.  

There’s also something called the Meta Elevate Scholarship which awards scholarships to 100,000 Black learners working toward Meta Blueprint certifications: which include Community Manager and Digital Marketing Associate certifications.

This is why platforms like the Meta Elevate business hub are so important. Latinx and Black businesses needed a place online where we could connect the dots and help one another thrive. Meta Elevate is committed to supporting the Black and Latinx communities through their entrepreneurial journey.

But what’s most important is Meta Elevate’s mission. Meta Elevate believes in empowering Black and Latinx small business owners by giving them the tools and resources they need to level up to elevate the next. The resources they are providing shows their commitment to elevating our communities and I’m really proud to be a part of it. 

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