Latinas leading in business 


The Southeast neighborhood is home to many Latinas ready to make big moves, along with many who already have.

According to the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC), the number of Hispanic women entrepreneurs in the United States grew at a faster rate than any other group between 2007 and 2016 — a whopping 137 percent. In 2016, there were 1.9 million Latina-owned U.S. businesses, generating $97  billion in revenue and employing 550,400 people.

Now that is Latina power!

It comes down to basic, yet powerful words: “no te rajes,” which roughly translates to “don’t back down!” Those words mean we will overcome the limitations and stereotypes society has burdened us with. They mean that we are ingrained with the desire to fight for what we want and for what is right — as we always have.

Cory Arcarese, 51, is a leading Latina in this city and a role model to all Latina business dreamers. After her brother passed away from complications of diabetes, her mission became a personal and clear one: To provide the Southeast with easy access to health care. There was a desperate need for a clinic in the city’s most diverse neighborhood, especially since many residents are in need of public transportation and may have other issues that limit their ability to get around.

Cory is the CEO, owner and founder of the Value Care Health Clinic, located at 1050 S. Academy Blvd., and the owner of CArc Business Consulting. The clinic opened in December 2014 and now serves about 4,000 patients, Cory says. Along with professional and friendly staff, three primary care physicians and one psychiatric services physician work at the clinic, which serves all ages. The nicely maintained clinic accepts Medicaid and Medicare and displays uplifting artwork, making it a truly pleasant place to be.
Cory says she is not at all surprised more Latinas than ever are succeeding in business. She believes it’s “a part of our culture to take charge and lead; we do not wait.” One reason: Latinas are passionate, and when we want something, we will do whatever necessary to make it happen. Another reason: Latinas are motivated and see value in hard work. A lot of that stems from how we are raised, since many Latinas take on responsibilities at a young age, like cooking, and caring for siblings or elders. Latinas are used to doing things without having the “proper” knowledge or support.

We figure it out on our own.

But for many daughters of immigrants or uneducated parents, getting ahead requires asking for help where it’s available, since our families may not be able to offer much guidance. Take Cory, a Texas native who has a master’s degree in accounting. Her parents did not go to college. That’s common in Latino families — and likely why so many Latino parents take their kids’ education so seriously.

Latinas must also overcome a misogynistic society, where it can be far more complex for a woman to succeed launching her own business. For example, 99designs’ second annual International Women’s Day Entrepreneurship Survey of over 3,000 entrepreneurs from around the world found men are twice as likely as women to raise at least $100,000. And the 2012 Survey of Business Owners and Self-Employed Persons found Latina-owned businesses generated an average of $54,000 in annual revenue compared to $171,000 for businesses owned by white women and $716,000 for businesses owned by white men.

It’s no wonder Cory feels it’s so important for us women to cultivate a network.

Cory says that women need to be able to call on each other. “Just because I made it through the door,” she says, “I will not just shut the door and walk away. I will hold that door open for others to walk through.”

Cory says she’s willing to help anyone ready to take steps toward their dreams. “Courage,” she says, “does not mean we are not afraid. Courage means we are afraid, but despite our fear, we keep moving forward.”

The Springs looks increasingly like a great place to turn our ideas and dreams into reality. The Southeast has women, like Cory, supporting and encouraging the rest of us to thrive in our communities.

So to my fellow Latinas, or to dreamers of any race or gender, I say, “Si se puede!


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