Latino Trade Network kicks off as new resource for business owners

Last summer, six entrepreneurs came together to figure out how to better help each other and others like them.

Amner Martinez, Yeymi Tobar, Jaime Leiva, Rocio Hermosillo Tarin, Chris Noth, Kenji Nakata decided that one way to do this would be to create a new networking resource for Latino businesses, business owners and entrepreneurs. They named it the Latino Trade Network.

After the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce hosted the Black and Brown Business Summit last April, Martinez approached the chamber to join in the effort. He agreed to help sponsor and organize the launch event.

“It’s time for us to come together in this direction and start sharing resources, sharing knowledge that will help everyone grow even more and also become a place where we can be a little more influential in different areas. “, co-founder Jaime Leiva mentioned.

He said he believes the Latin American business community can be empowered by sharing resources and experiences, including new businesses and established businesses.

Tom Florian, director of membership and growth at the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce, added that he was eager to see another look.

“Mentoring is a key element as we continue to build the network and the connections between these could be new entrepreneurs, small businesses that have just opened and having a network designed to provide mentors immediately for help them grow and succeed,” says Florian.

Leiva and the other co-founders plan for the launch introductory event to be followed by monthly or quarterly meetings to continue to build relationships within Latin American communities, business communities and where they overlap. He said he hasn’t seen many ongoing networking opportunities for Latin American business owners.

“Currently the options are very limited. I don’t see anything on that scale where people can meet. I know that in the past groups [and] different organizations have organized events for Latino networking. But more recently those really don’t exist,” he said, noting that COVID-19 has stalled some efforts.

He also thanked the Chamber for making this event possible. Florian said the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce has been committed to being intentional and inclusive when providing opportunities for business owners.

The free happy hour, networking and business development evening will be held at one of the Leiva Family restaurants from 4-6pm: La Cuscatleca South 2580 Fleur Drive, Suite 101, Des Moines, IA 50321.

Registration is free and open on the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce website, but Florian said walk-ins can also participate.

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