Local program aiming to help women expand their businesses

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Women across Central California and the world have joined a free program hosted by the Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation with hopes of kick-starting or expanding their business on a digital platform.

"As of today, we have 320 women that have participated in the program," says Sandra Vidrio.

The eight-week "Latinapreneur and Womanpreneur program" launched in May 2020.

The goal -- to help business owners with marketing, financial literacy and other development fundamentals.

Vidrio says they initially planned for in-person classes but with the pandemic, going virtual was necessary but proved to be a huge success, reaching beyond Central California.

"Being able to connect with women in Mexico, Peru, and Colombia," she said.

At the end of each session, there is a Business Pitch Competition, and on Friday, six of the 10 winners received a $2,500 check.

Jasmin Guzman is one of them. She says the program was is also a way to connect with others.

"It was so inspiring to see their stores," she said. "You see the logo and the product, but how did they come out about it and the struggles they've endured."

She launched Let's Roll Fresno with her boyfriend back in 2019.

The program helped her take her business to the next level and says being a young Latina business owner is powerful and should be normalized.

"I want to put it out there for future generations," she said. "Your voice matters, who you are matters, representation matters, so don't be afraid to speak up."

CEO of the foundation, Dora Wanderlund, says supporting business owners is what they're all about.

"I am so thrilled to be able to help them out and to continue helping more women around the world," she said.

The next free session will start at the end of September.
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