Overheard on Text: Social Media Irony & Fatigue

Overheard on Text: Social Media Irony & Fatigue

As colleagues from different generations (x and millennial), Marci Alboher and Duncan Magidson have been leading talks and workshops sharing their insights about working across generations. As they plan, they usually text furiously, sharing ideas and reflections....

Using Intergenerational Connection to Empower Entrepreneurs New to the U.S.

Venprendedoras, a Miami-based nonprofit, connects older and younger Hispanic immigrant women to help get their businesses off the ground and grow

By Sarah McKinney Gibson | Apr 30, 2024

A group of female entrepreneurs at an event hosted by Venprendedoras

Mariela Briceño is the founder and executive director of Venprendedoras, one of 10 awardees of the CoGen Challenge to Advance Economic Opportunity. Watch for interviews with all 10 of these innovators bringing older and younger people together to open doors to economic opportunity for all.

What is Venprendedoras and what life events brought you to do this work?

Venprendedoras is a Miami-based nonprofit that empowers Hispanic immigrant woman entrepreneurs of all ages by providing them with the visibility, connections and support they need to thrive.

Getting Pitch-Ready is a bilingual, intergenerational program of Venprendedoras that provides participants with the necessary skills, networks and confidence to successfully pitch and secure funding for their ventures. The program brings together the skills, enthusiasm and self-esteem of younger entrepreneurs and the experience, resilience and guidance of older ones.

My journey as an immigrant from Venezuela to the U.S.A., striving to make a living as an entrepreneur after a divorce while supporting two young children (one is on the autism spectrum), inspired me to create this organization. I wanted to provide other women in similar situations with the support and resources I know I would have benefited from. 

What problem are you trying to solve? 

According to the ninth annual State of Latino Entrepreneurship report, Latino-owned businesses contribute more than $800 billion to the U.S. economy. However, key financial challenges remain for the community, particularly for women, who receive the lowest loan approval rates (39%) from both local and national banks. We’re trying to change that. 

The majority of our community are first-generation Latina immigrants, aged 18 to 70, with a preponderance of women between 35 and 55. They have lived in the US for one to 15 years and they primarily operate in non-technology sectors with annual revenues under $100,000. A lack of fluency and language barriers make it difficult for them to develop their businesses.

How do youngers and olders solve the problem together? Can you share an example? 

Michelle Sthefany (29) and Naima Mustafa (51) met at one of our workshops. Michelle supports women who want to improve their public speaking skills. Naima is a lawyer who is developing an essence and candle business. Both were trying to scale their business, but facing similar challenges. 

Although Naima is bilingual, she did not feel confident enough to pitch her business in English. Thanks to Michelle’s support, she found her voice. Michelle has learned about the legal and financial aspects of her business from Naima’s extensive experience. The two have developed a friendship and are both continuing in the Getting Pitch Ready program with a goal of getting more funding for their projects.

You can watch them talk about their experience working together on TikTok or Instagram

Why is bringing generations together important for the work you’re doing? 

Intergenerational collaboration enriches perspectives and solutions. It breaks stereotypes and expands our understanding of generational dynamics. Thanks to the CoGen Challenge, we realized that when we unite young and older entrepreneurs with intentionality, we can obtain better results in solving challenges and problems, as well as on the path to economic progress.

What would be your advice to someone who is looking to cogenerate? 

Find a common ground and work from there. Our common ground is being immigrant entrepreneurs who face similar challenges and share similar experiences. From there, the age difference blurs, and we value the unique contributions of each generation.

What’s one of your superpowers as a leader/innovator?  

I have turned my ability to speak English into a superpower, conquering my fear and expanding my reach and impact. Getting Pitch Ready teaches the importance of bilingualism, making clear it is a superpower for our community’s empowerment.