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SBDC Success Story: PRESENTE Pittsburgh Media

Maria Manautou Matos

Pittsburgh News Available in Spanish Too

Maria Manautou Matos is from Puerto Rico and arrived in Pittsburgh as an undergraduate student at Carnegie Mellon University. A few years after graduating with a Communication Design degree, she pursued a master’s degree in Multimedia at Duquesne University. At CMU, she was part of the board of the Latino student organization. Throughout the years working in the marketing communications industry, she noticed a gap in the media available to Latinos in Pittsburgh. There was no main source to keep the community informed about issues happening in the region or to keep the Pittsburgh community aware of the emerging Latino population. There was also a lack of a bilingual English/Spanish publication in Pittsburgh. Maria began to go around sharing her idea with others and gradually the idea was making sense.

Maria recognized that she needed assistance on steps to open a business, business seminars, and the need to talk to a management consultant about her idea. She approached the Pitt SBDC and attended webinars and consulting sessions.

After working on her business plan and having a more solid idea, she launched the business and started to write news stories about events, the community, and more in a bilingual online format. Maria has been able to increase her audience from zero to over 10,000 visitors in the publication’s most visited month, and continues to grow. She has also partnered with other media organizations to report stories and has worked with nonprofits to promote their programs and campaigns. She has also taken the steps for the business to be certified as minority/woman-owned business.

Overall, she is pleased with her business and her ability to support the Latino community of Pittsburgh. Maria has praised the Pitt SBDC for helping her with the information and tools necessary to move her idea forward. As a result, she has invested over $5,000 in her own business, has applied for and received $15,000 in grants, and plans to engage in event partnerships, organization collaborations, and adding staff to make a broader impact in Pittsburgh. Recently, PRESENTE Pittsburgh Latino Magazine received the Outstanding Digital Award – Bronze in the “Most Improved Website” category given by the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP). Maria was also named a top 100 Latino leader in the state by the PA Latino Convention.

“Thanks to the Pitt SBDC for your guidance and support while launching and developing my business.”

Maria Manautou, Owner, PRESENTE Pittsburgh Media LLC