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Successful Latinx Entrepreneurs: Challenges and Opportunities (Hispanic Heritage Month)

Part of the University of Pittsburgh’s Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrations

Let’s celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from the business entrepreneurship point of view! “Latinos are 1.7 times more likely to start businesses.” Perhaps helping in that growth, Latino college attainment rates nearly doubled in the last two decades. Businesses with majority Hispanic ownership are estimated to employ 2.7 million Americans and contribute over $700 million to the economy annually (Forbes).

Today, there are 4.65 million Hispanic-owned companies – representing 14% of the 33 million total U.S. businesses. And their growth continues to vastly outpace that of other U.S. businesses. In fact, Hispanic businesses grew 40.2% from 2012 to 2018 – more than twice the 18.8% growth rate of other U.S. firms. Today, about 1 out of every 7 businesses is run by a Hispanic American entrepreneur ( Claritas LLC).


  • Brent Rondon, MPA – Senior Consultant for International Trade, Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence
  • Tony Torres – Professor, EIR, Chairman, Syntheon Inc.


  1. Gabriela Isturiz, started her own technology company, grew it and had a successful exit. She will talk about ideas, challenges and opportunities.
  2. Keyla Cook, started her own food business, “Casa Brasil”, with a Brazilian flavor as the key ingredient and will share her experience.
  3. Pedro Quiroga, started his own manufacturing business in the steel industry, EAFab Inc. and after 15 years in business, he will share business principles to be successful.
  4. Tony Torres, world entrepreneur, has invested in global companies and now owns Syntheon, an environmental friendly, construction materials and packaging company in the U.S., Panama, Peru and Chile.  He is an Entrepreneur-In-Residence at the Innovation Institute, University of Pittsburgh focusing on new startups.
  5. Pablo Ardiles. Violinist who started his own business as a home-based business teaching lessons to moving into a brick and mortar location making it into an academy.


By gathering successful Pittsburgh Latino (a) entrepreneurs on this panel, they will be able to share their experiences, drive, spirit, and what is needed to start and sustain a business in the U.S. By attending this panel, you will leave with the following take-aways:

  1. Inspire Pitt students and the Pittsburgh community at-large of what it takes a business to be successful.
  2. Increase visibility among Pitt/CMU students and the Pittsburgh community at large that it is possible to open, grow and be successful in business being a Latino (a), adjusting to the U.S. culture, speaking with an accent or not but most  importantly, to have the entrepreneurial spirit alive.
  3. Develop contacts with the mixed panel of Latino men and Latina women, in the areas of technology, manufacturing and service businesses.
October 6, 2020
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Webinar – link to be sent to registrants