Meet the 2023 Amigas in Business Pitch Competition Winners
Capital One joined forces with #WeAllGrow to support Latina entrepreneurs through the Amigas in Business Pitch Competition
December 5, 2023
Hispanic-owned businesses are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. business population, yet access to capital and opportunity remain the largest barriers to market entry and success, according to the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative.
To support Latina entrepreneurship, Capital One partnered with #WeAllGrow for the second consecutive year to host Amigas In Business Bootcamps at Capital One Cafes in Austin, Texas, and Phoenix, Ariz., focused on providing meaningful networking opportunities for Latina business owners and helping them gain insider tips on how to grow their businesses. As part of the programming, Capital One Business sponsored the Amigas in Business Pitch Competition and awarded six Latina entrepreneurs with $5,000, $10,000 or $15,000 grants.
“At Capital One, we believe small businesses are the heart of our communities, driving innovation and fueling our local and national economies,” said Rosa Esponda, Senior Business Banker at Capital One. “We are proud to partner with #WeAllGrow in their mission of empowering and uplifting Latina women, especially Latina entrepreneurs who are paving the way and leaving a lasting impact on society.”
Learn more about the finalists and their businesses:
Jenny Quezada, True Athletics – True Athletics is a women-owned and led martial arts facility in the heart of downtown Phoenix, dedicated to empowering the mind and strengthening the body of their members.
“It’s important to me that True Athletics supports our community by creating a space where members know they can be themselves as they develop mentally and physically," says Jenny Quezada, Founder & CEO of True Athletics. "The skill sets that we teach our students will live on through other areas of their life. Things like having respect, not just for other people but for yourself.”
Karla Butvidas, Karla & Co. – Karla and Co. was created in 2017 to give Latinas a way to express their unique culture in a fun and authentic way. Karla's mission is to create high quality clothing at a price point anyone can afford.
“When we started Karla & Co., there was no brand that celebrated our cultura and roots with pride and joy," says Karla Butvidas, Founder & CEO of Karla & Co. "We are so proud of our brand and who it represents – us Latinos!”
Angelee Andorfer-Lopez, Manifest House – Manifest House is on a mission to help women and femmes care for all aspects of themselves unapologetically. They place community at the center because they know that having others share in the journey is priceless.
“I am creating what I wish I had when I was first starting on my healing journey," says Angelee Andorfer-Lopez, Founder & CEO of Manifest House. "As I began to explore holistic healing modalities, I didn’t see people like me in these studios, and that was really what sparked me to start Manifest House.”
Alejandra and Mabel Aguirre, Cadena Collective – Cadena is a love letter to sisters and co-founders Alejandra and Mabel Aguirre’s bicultural experience as first-generation Mexican American women. They are on a mission to elevate the voices and stories of artisans and brands that maintain artisanal techniques alive and to promote storytelling and quality via slow fashion, all while empowering consumers to make conscious purchasing decisions.
“To us, Cadena is more than a marketplace," states Alejandra Aguirre and Mabel Aguirre, Founders & Co-CEOs of Cadena Collective. "What began as a small project to help a friend has quickly turned into a love letter to our bicultural experience. Our experience as Latinas is nuanced, and in Cadena, many have found a sense of community and felt seen in a new way.”
Brianna Gonzales, The Social Chica – The Social Chica’s mission is to empower, inspire, and provide a community for minority women looking to grow professionally and personally. They are a voice and resource for young Latinas, encouraging them to become the highest and best version of themselves.
“I hope to provide resources and networking opportunities for Latina entrepreneurs that haven’t always been available to us," says Brianna Gonzales, Founder & CEO of The Social Chica. "The response has been phenomenal – these entrepreneurs have found a community of peers that they’re comfortable with and can relate to.”
Rebekah Jensen, Sanara – Sanara is plant-based skincare celebrating Indigenous Latin American botanicals created with those with skin sensitivities or conditions in mind. Each product is crafted with careful consideration of their impact on both the planet and the overall well-being of our community.
“More than ever we're consumed with our careers, responsibilities and relationships and it's through this constant state of giving and daily depletion we're reminded that we can't take care of others unless we first take care of ourselves," says Rebekah Jensen, Founder & CEO of Sanara. "Sanara comes from the Spanish word, 'sanará' which means, 'you will heal' and that sentiment rings true to the products we create and the mission we seek.”