America’s Business Trailblazers – The Impact of Hispanic Business Women

Throughout the year, the USHCC has the honor of paying tribute to America’s Hispanic entrepreneurs for their outstanding economic achievements and contributions. The most profound stories emanate from the nation’s fastest growing business community, with all evidence indicating the arrival of a new age: the age of the Hispanic business woman.

Carmen Castillo is the American Dream incarnate; she is the embodiment of all the qualities that people in the world of business marvel about. When we say 40% of America’s largest businesses were started by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant, we’re talking about Carmen. Ms. Castillo is a Spanish immigrant who left her native home, the island of Mallorca, and made it to America in order to do just that: make it in America.

20 years later, thanks to an immeasurable degree of hard work and steely resolve, Ms. Castillo is now the first Hispanic woman to become the Founder and CEO of a $1.3 billion U.S. company. In addition to championing minority-owned businesses through her work at SDI International, Carmen also serves on a panel at the United Nations, engaging in real-world discussions regarding the challenges and opportunities that exist for business diversity across the globe. Through her life, words, and deeds, Carmen demonstrates an unwavering commitment to diversity, helping businesses of all sizes prosper, and advancing the aspirations of Hispanics on all fronts.

Business and government leaders now understand that women are at the forefront of our nation’s economic recovery, and acknowledge the vital role they play in bringing America’s best days forward. Women from across the country are breaking outdated stereotypes and are setting new standards of performance in major industries, including finance, media, technology, and government.

Words fall short when expressing, in full measure, the indispensable value of America’s Hispanic women. Fortunately however, the numbers speak for themselves:

– Women-owned businesses employ 7.5 million American workers.

– The total economic impact of these businesses exceeds $3 trillion.

– If women-owned businesses were their own country, they would have the fifth-largest GDP in the world, surpassing global economic powers such as France, the United Kingdom and Italy.

Over the past decade, there has been a nearly 200% increase in Latina-owned business, a sign of enormous growth by any measure, especially when compared to the 55% increase made by their non-Hispanic female counterparts. Moreover, studies show that Latina business owners have a start-up rate of six times the national average. Incredible numbers on behalf of incredible women.

At the “Women in Business and Leadership Luncheon,” the USHCC will celebrate those who have reached the highest echelons in their fields and are making outstanding contributions to the business community. The Excellence in Leadership Award pays tribute to an extraordinary woman who has committed her professional career and personal life to both entrepreneurship and philanthropy. In previous years, the USHCC recognized these achievements with its Ultimate Latina Award, honoring iconic journalist and Spanish-language talk show host, Cristina Saralegui, seven-time Grammy-Award winning artist, Gloria Estefan, and co-owner of the Colorado Rockies Major League Baseball franchise, Linda Alvarado.

This year, confirmed convention speakers include Giselle Fernández, Emmy Award-winning journalist and managing editor of Creative World Talent Management, and Tsi-Tsi-Ki Félix, Emmy Award-winning television personality, host and news anchor. Also in attendance, will be Nina G. Vaca, chairman emeritus of the USHCC and President & CEO of Pinnacle Technical Resources.

To register of this year’s convention, please visit

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