Online business programs help Latina business owners in the Valley

Local businesses got some help from the Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation with the Womanpreneur and Latinapreneur programs.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Angels of Grace Foster Family Agency is at work, even during the pandemic, to help kids in need.

"Life is still happening. We're still rescuing children out of abuse and neglect 24 hours a day, along with Child Protective Services. We're doing what we're called to do with excellence and following all CDC guidelines," said Lisa Casarez-Austin, founder of Angels of Grace Family Foster Agency.

This year Casarez-Austin got some help to run her business from the Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation with the Womanpreneur and Latinapreneur programs, which went online when the pandemic hit.

Dora Westerlund with the foundation said the courses are in English and Spanish and are much needed.

"So this class and this course could not be so much help in today's situation because we had these women having their businesses with what do I do and how do I do this? It was so necessary for them," Westerlund said.

Two-hundred and sixty-nine women went through the programs to establish a marketing strategy focused on social media. Ten women received $5,000 each, including Casarez-Austin.

The Eva Longoria Foundation also reached out and partnered with the Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation to help woman-owned businesses.

"We have women from Colombia, Mexico, Colorado, Nevada. We have from all over the place so our Latinapreneur and Womanpreneur have become an international program," Westerlund said.

Fifty-nine more Latina entrepreneurs just completed the course and received grants and incentives.

More programs are planned for 2021.

As for Casarez-Austin, she was able to use her grant money for the business to buy much-needed supplies like diapers and hygiene items for children.

"We learned a lot of new things during the pandemic. We've been able to learn how to survive and to thrive and to do it in excellence," Casarez said.
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