WeXchange 2013 - The First Latin American and Caribbean Forum for Women Entrepreneurs

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Networking + Mentoring + Pitching

The First Latin American and Caribbean Forum for Women Entrepreneurs Established by

Multilateral Investment Fund Member of the IDB Group

Supported by

The content of this publication was generated from WeXchange: The First Latin American and Caribbean Forum for Women Entrepreneurs held December 11-12, 2013, in Miami, Florida. It was prepared by the Early Stage Equity Group and the Knowledge and Strategic Communications Unit of the Multilateral Investment Fund, member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Inter-American Development Bank, its Board of Directors, or the countries they represent.


The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) of the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB) works to support economic growth and poverty reduction in Latin America and the Caribbean through the promotion of investment and private sector development. As part of its program, the MIF seeks to support entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises by creating a favorable ecosystem for early stage financing through angel investing, seed and venture capital, and entrepreneurship. For more information, visit www.fomin.org.

Multilateral Investment Fund Member of the IDB Group

Ellas² is a platform whose

NXTP Labs is an

mission is to increase the number of female founders in technology. Since its founding in 2009, Ellas² has offered content, community, exposure opportunities and events to a new generation of female founders in Spanish-speaking communities who want to make an impact in the world starting up innovative and global projects with high growth potential. For more information, visit: www.ellas2.org.

acceleration program with an early-stage fund. The program focuses on Spanish-speaking technology startups that are pursuing global or regional opportunities. NXTP Labs provides seed funding, consulting services, handson advice, training and, most importantly, access to a topnotch network of mentors across Latin America, the United States and Europe. For more information, visit: www.nxtplabs.com.


Miami, Florida,



2 DAYS ďƒš 140










#WeXchange WexchangeCommunity


ďƒ WHAT IS WeXchange? WeXchange is the first ever regional forum for women entrepreneurs from Latin America and the Caribbean who are seeking early stage financing. It was established by the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) of the Inter-American Development Bank, in collaboration with NXTP Labs and Ellas2. The first WeXchange was held in Miami, Florida, USA from December 11-12, 2013 at The LAB Miami and the Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus, and brought together female entrepreneurs, investors, and mentors from Latin America, the Caribbean, the United States, and Europe. Over the course of two days, speakers talked about the challenges and opportunities that women in Latin America often face in the entrepreneurial world, and what it takes to overcome them. Six businesswomen, pre-selected through an online process, presented their pitches to a panel of judges. The first prize of the Pitch Competition went to a Mexican start-up that lets customers find lastminute hotel rooms using their smartphones. The event also featured successful women entrepreneurs as role models for the region. Participants left Miami feeling empowered, inspired, proud to have been part of the first WeXchange conference, and eager to participate in future gatherings.

Being an entrepreneur is a journey, and you have started traveling. Don’t forget to take three things with you: focus, perseverance and passion. 5


CONTENTS 1/ ELLAS CONECTAN LIVE @The LAB Miami.................................8 2/ Opening Reception ......................................................................10 3/ PERSONAL BRANDING 2.0 WORKSHOP................................. 12 4/ Welcome.................................................................................................14 5/ Do´s and Don’ts of Finding Funding.........................18 6/ Speed Dating.......................................................................................20 7/ Pitch Competition.........................................................................22 8/ Mentoring............................................................................................24 9/ Keynote Address: Think BIG..................................................25 10/ A Win-Win for All: Investing in Women....................28 11/ Celebrating Second Chances............................................30 12/ A Leap of Faith: from Executive to Entrepreneur.............................................................................33 13/ Unlocking the Potential of Women Entrepreneurs..................................................................................34 14/ Women and Entrepreneurship in Latin America and the Caribbean................................ 36 15/ Challenges Ahead........................................................................39 16/ Awards Ceremony........................................................................ 40 17/ Supporters.......................................................................................... 44 7

1/ ELLAS CONECTAN LIVE @The LAB Miami Forty women entrepreneurs and investors met for the first time at The LAB Miami to get to know one another through interactive ice-breakers. As they networked, they shared their business ideas and the challenges they were facing.

Foto de grupo hoy en #EllasConectan Live Miami. Mucho talento!! #WeXchange #emprendedoras #latam @fominbid @NXTPLabs

@marta_cruz: Arrancamos! #WeXchange las 6 finalistas a pleno @fotter @DineroTaxi @lastroom @greentizen @dentidesk @montseonline @LupitaAngelR: @PitchBullcom presente en #WeXchange Miami! Aquí en la sesión de networking de Ellas Conectan Live @thelabmiami @Ellas2: Gracias a @thelabmiami y @BorisHirmasMDC por el apoyo a #EllasConectan Live Miami. Venue, compañía y entorno inmejorable! #WeXchange 8

@Ellas2: Arrancando #EllasConectan Live en @thelabmiami con las 6 finalistas de #WeXchange acercando sus historias http://t.co/gkZvXlhN2f @MiamiTechOrg: LIVE ACTIVITY from the #WeXchange event happening at @thelabmiami. http://t.co/LzxSmqPBCC @BorisHirmasMDC #InnovateMIA @aleuy24: Emprendedoras de toda Iberoamérica en #EllasConectan #WeXchange @MsEmprendedoras @Ellas2 @fominbid


2/ OPENING RECEPTION Later that night, WeXchange opened with a cocktail reception at the Freedom Tower. Susana Garcia-Robles, MIF Principal Investment Officer, remarked that all present were witnessing history in the making by taking part in the region’s first pitch conference for women entrepreneurs. She stressed the importance of strengthening the network for women entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean. Marta Cruz of NXTP Labs, Patricia Araque of Ellas², and Joe Peña of Miami Dade College also made remarks.

@pabloruiz55: At #WeXchange welcome cocktail party! @moni_pina: Thank you @MDCollege for helping us make history at #WeXchange @LupitaAngelR: Cocktail de bienvenida en #WeXchange Miami! @fominbid @Ellas2 @NXTPLabs @Trangho9: We’re making history tonight at Latin America’s 1st pitch conference for women entrepreneurs.



3/ PERSONAL BRANDING 2.0 WORKSHOP Patricia Araque of Ellas² held a workshop on successful branding for women entrepreneurs. She shared the following Eight Laws of Personal Branding for women seeking to establish themselves as entrepreneurs:

1. Be authentic.

A brand has to be built with consideration of what makes you flow and shine as a professional woman. Do not lie to yourself, be you and be true. Authenticity will make your brand stronger.

2. Be coherent.

Before you start to promote your personal brand, you need to start an introspection process. What are my values? How can I align them with my professional goals?

3. Specialization.

Build your brand by considering what your expertise area is and how you can help others to achieve their goals using this know-how.

4. Exposure.

If you are not visible, you are invisible. You need to show others what you do as much as you can.

5. Differentiation.

When you promote yourself, people need to perceive how you are different.

6. Usefulness.

Make yourself a resource for others.

7. Conversation.

Generate and curate useful content and use tools that allow you to interact with others. Choose the tools by considering where you will be able to find 1) your customers, 2) your investors, 3) your partners, collaborators and team, and 4) industry influencers.

8. Be persistent.

Building a brand is about time, effort and a lot of following up. Do not give up, be as self-confident as you can and keep trying!


Her other tips included:

 LinkedIn and AngelList are a must if you are looking for investment. Also, you should consider building a blog or a personal website. Having a “base camp” that lets you control the results that Google shows about you is the best way to get a strong personal brand.  Networking is an important task for you as an entrepreneur. Go to events (both online and offline), and put energy into taking care of your professional network.

@LupitaAngelR: “La marca personal no es algo que tienes, es algo que dejas.” Patricia Araque @Ellas2 #WeXchange @patriciaaraque: Las personas que me inspiran: emprendedoras en #WeXchange Miami 2013. Mi último post http://t.co/JRYUzQ4CC4


4/ Welcome Susana Garcia-Robles of the MIF opened the morning by welcoming the participants and giving a brief overview of the MIF’s work in early stage equity, serving both as an investor and as a catalyst for improving the ecosystem for entrepreneurs in the region. The idea for WeXchange started at the MIF, while brainstorming on how to better serve the needs of women entrepreneurs in the region. MIF staff began by contacting key actors of the ecosystem and friends who had a role in building entrepreneurial ecosystems in the region, and those contacts led to other referrals and conversations. After many consultations with women entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, and others in the industry, a clear focus for MIF intervention emerged: women entrepreneurs’ need to strengthen and expand their networks, and the lack of women role models for other women seeking to start and grow companies. WeXchange was then born out of the idea of bringing together members from different entrepreneurial communities around two objectives: highlighting women entrepreneurs and giving them access to mentors, investors, role models and other successful entrepreneurs. After the MIF team knew what the venture was going to be, it reached out to its networks. Having played a key role in building the venture capital industry in Latin America and the Caribbean for over 17 years, both as an anchor investor and as a founder of some of the region’s most innovative programs to strengthen entrepreneurial ecosystems, the MIF was ready to take on the challenge, and had the international network to make it happen. It reached out and asked NXTP Labs and Ellas2 to be co-organizers of the event and to help shape the concept of WeXchange.

 14

Susana ended her welcoming session by pointing out the reason a CERTIFICATE TO FAIL was given to all the participants: In Latin America and the Caribbean, failure is “the scarlet letter that you bear on your forehead,” she said. She stressed that this risk averse culture has to change and that everyone should be allowed to fail, even many times, until getting it right. Changing mindsets is the key, according to Susana. Finally she reminded participants that they should remember that bad moments will pass and that nothing lasts forever, so they should step up and make it happen!

Patricia Araque of Ellas2 followed, commenting on the potential that women in the region have for building things and changing the world. They also have the potential to make the region more equal than it is currently. She thanked the MIF for having made the risky but important bet, not only to organize the conference, but also to support venture capital work in Latin America. According to her, investors came to WeXchange because they believed in the talent of women to change whatever needs to be changed to succeed in their ventures. “This is the moment for women entrepreneurs in the region, a region full of opportunities. There are many aspects that separate us but also many things that unite us. When we focus on what unites us, it turns us into something greater and it makes us more competitive and it allows us to do things with more strength,” she said. Marta Cruz of NXTP Labs closed the Welcoming Session, sharing her belief that investors and others who have already established themselves in the field have a responsibility to play a role in improving the ecosystem for women entrepreneurs, and suggested that in order to mark this historic day, December 12th should be celebrated as Latin American Women Entrepreneurs’ Day. She then shared her story of how she started out by working in her mother’s business, and how over the years she had failed in several entrepreneurial ventures, yet always persisted. Her advice to the entrepreneurs present was: Do projects that break barriers; projects that help people; and projects that can become regional. In her career, she said, she has seen hundreds of projects and has observed that the most successful ones share the following ingredients:

1. To have focus so that you can see the road you need to take. 2. To be persistent. 3. To be consistent with the objective that you are looking for.

4. To have passion and move forward.



@OpenTalent2013: “Se puede liderar un negocio y se pueden hacer cosas que impacten en la sociedad” @marta_ cruz de @NXTPLabs #WeXchange. @marta_cruz “las redes te sirven para acompañarte en la montaña rusa de la vida de la mujer emprendedora”! #WeXchange @RoblesSusanaro: #WeXchange you are allowed to fail and venture again!!! http://t.co/Ygl9zL5CXs

@SallyBuberman: Tengo mi certificado de “derecho para fracasar”! Yeay!!! No más excusas para no hacer algo! #WeXchange @Atortajada: #WeXchange don’t forget to take 3 things with you: focus, perseverance & passion! @CynthiaHellen: #WeXchange conference empowers Latin American women entrepreneurs. http://t.co/ I9jULWv8D2 by @Knightfdn #latam 17

5/ Do´s and Don’ts of Finding Funding Bedy Yang, a Venture Partner at 500 Startups, offered a few insights to women entrepreneurs about successfully seeking funding. The “secret sauce,” she believes, is a do-it-yourself recipe that each entrepreneur has to figure out on her own. Each person should think about what she can do with the problems she wants to solve, she advised. She encouraged entrepreneurs to figure out what their motto is and the reasons they do what they do. The key for her is making sure that all entrepreneurs have access to markets, to knowledge, and to financial and human capital. She also reminded the audience that raising money is a long-term process. Ultimately, as she put it, “we are responsible for the vision we are putting forward.” Bedy offered the following tips on how to seek funding:

1. Know Your Audience.

This means knowing what motivates your investors. Their first priority is an exit, and secondly they do not want to miss a good deal.

2. Build Your Network.

Connect with mentors and build bridges to connect with other entrepreneurs and networks. Know what your expertise and skills are and build them up.

3. Focus on the “-TION”.


Figure out what creates traction, make things friction-less, take action and do all this with good communication.

@fominbid: Networks can’t be developed via email only. Crazy ideas come from random encounters @bedy at #WeXchange @Ellas2: “You have to believe to make it real” @bedy #WeXchange #emprendedoras @SallyBuberman: At #WeXchange Bedy Young shows why the 3rd wave of growth is the best time to invest http://t.co/HL9nFSghGw @catalinaescobar: Investors care about traction, low friction, action, communication: Bedy Yang #WeXchange @InnpulsaCol @NodoKa_co

@Ellas2: Tips para encontrar funding: 1) Conoce a tu audiencia 2) Construye tu red 3) Comunica tu tracción @bedy en #WeXchange @NXTPLabs: Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from a powerful network @bedy #WeXchange #Miami @bedy: know who you are pitching #WeXchange @fominbid @NXTPLabs: The keypoint is to build bridges in order to count with strong ecosystems @bedy #WeXchange #Miami

"It doesn't matter if you are a woman, what matters is if you have a good business." 19

6/ Speed Dating The women entrepreneurs had the chance to meet 32 investors and pitch their business ideas to them during the Speed Dating session. Below is a list of tips from Ellas2 for pitching your ideas. Practice your one-minute pitch as much as you can before the conference. You will have tons of opportunities to pitch to investors and mentors during the Speed Dating and Mentoring Sessions. Practice, practice and practice! Here is a basic pitch structure you should consider:

 Talk about the need and the problem you are solving.  Talk about how you are solving that problem.  Talk about what you need. Ask for help, especially when you have the opportunity to interact with mentors (do you need money, contacts, training ...?).


@RoblesSusanaro: Let the hunger games begin!! Speed dating #WeXchange @fominbid @Ellas2 @NXTPLabs @pitchbull http://t.co/M6J0bwR1a7 @NoraKurtin: Here we are!! Rt @emifioriti: Speed dating entrepreneurs & investors #WeXchange @500Startups @patriciaaraque: Magic is happening! Speed networking between entrepreneurs and investors at #WeXchange. Woot!! @CIBBVA: Now at #WeXchange is the time for the Speed Dating Investors and #Entrepreneurs @PabloSalazarR: Mujeres talentosas + speed dating + Miami = success. #WeXchange (speed dating as in investors + opportunities!)


7/ Pitch Competition Ellas2 held online “Ellas Connectan” Financing Specials in September and October 2013 for women entrepreneurs, in which participants had the opportunity to pitch their start-ups to investors from Latin America and the US, and to receive advice on improving their pitches. More than 100 women applied to attend the online events and 44 were selected. Of these participants, six were chosen by the investors to pitch their start-ups at WeXchange. The first prize winner was announced at the conference’s closing session (see page 40 for details).





DineroTaxi (Argentina),



a social and green platform (webs and apps) that promotes and coordinates sustainable actions focused on energy efficiency. www.greentizen.com

which provides an integral solution for firms in the fashion industry that want to develop minimum risk multi-online sales channels. www.fotter.com.ar







a platform for easily finding reliable babysitters and housekeepers. www.nidmi.es

a SAAS software that provides administrative services to the dental industry. www.dentidesk.cl

an app for booking last minute hotel rooms. www.lastroom.mx

the largest Latin American aggregator firm in the taxi sector. www.dinerotaxi.com







@bedy: 6 pitches at #WeXchange - great job to the finalists! http://t.co/fuHvymjHxi @FundsSociety: @Lastroomx se impone en el primer pitch conference de emprendedoras de Latinoamérica #WeXchange - @FundsSociety @Montseonline: Transformar el mundo a través de nuestras empresas. @Ellas2 #WeXchange @linktoStart @womenalia mujeres emprendedoras haciendo historia @NXTPLabs: El jurado de la pitch competition de #WeXchange @BorisHirmasMDC @bedy @SilviaTorresC @SallyBuberman @BryanPearce1 @NaranyaLabs: Acaban de ser anunciados las ganadoras de #WeXchange: 3º lugar @fotter, 2º @nidming, 1º @LastRoomx. En horabuena. @fominbid: New hotel reservation startup @LastRoomx wins Miami #WeXchange pitch http://t.co/D8vzMwze6j


8/ Mentoring Women entrepreneurs were asked to indicate their mentoring needs and were consequently paired with mentors who had specific expertise in the areas they were looking for. Each mentee benefited from 1-3 sessions with mentors to discuss their business ideas or how to grow their ventures.

@cataortiz1: En sesi贸n de mentoring en #WeXchange. Ofrecer mentoria es de lo m谩s gratificante q tiene este oficio @InnpulsaCol @sylchebi: Thanks Rania @TheWayWomenWork for your thoughtful mentoring at #WeXchange!!


9/ Keynote Address: Think BIG

In her remarks, Nicolette Moreno, founder/co-founder of three companies: Open English, Next University, and Flakita, encouraged the audience to Think Big, telling the women in the room that they should build big companies. As she put it, small companies take the same amount of time and effort as big ones, but they have very different rewards. Below is a list of tips about how to start a big company:

1. Find a great idea to change the world. 2. Attract great talent. 3. Help your team, help your team understand that idea so deeply that it becomes their own. 4. Help your team find purpose in their work. 5. Hire incredible project managers that know how to get things done. 6. A CEO’s job is to maintain the vision, keep believing in people you chose and trained, help your team make decisions, and keep the company funded. 7. Have good communication plans. Her advice for the audience in general:

1. “Men, if you are starting a company, find a woman co-founder.” 2. “Women, start the company yourself.” 3. “Women, if you can raise a family, you can raise a company. It’s the same skillset.”


@lavca_org: #NicMoreno calling on #WeXchange attendees to #ThinkBig with the story of her 3 companies, including @OpenEnglish http://t.co/gbUz5GSZ9x

@OpenTalent2013: “I’m here to get you to think big with me. ¡Build a big company!” @NicMoreno @OpenEnglish #WeXchange

@melmaqueda: “If you don’t have a woman as a cofounder, you should go and get one! We really have a totally different vision” #WeXchange #NicMoreno


@marta_cruz: Don’t make decisions for your team, help your team to take decisions @NicMoreno #WeXchange cc/ @NXTPLabs

@fominbid: What is your dream? #nicmoreno Women tend to aim lower than men. So, build a BIG company #WeXchange

@Miss_Internet: It’s beyond inspirational to see girls like nickmoreno kicking a** as entrepreneurs #WeXchange #miami… http://t.co/0FqxPDDgfA

@LupitaAngelR: @NicMoreno A very inspirational talk at #WeXchange. Thank you for sharing your experiences and plant the seed of thinking big! :) 27

10/ A Win-Win for All: Investing in Women A panel made up of Rania Anderson of The Way Women Work, Susana Garcia-Robles of the MIF, and Silvia Torres Carbonell of IAE Business School addressed the importance of investing in women. The panelists discussed an encouraging trend in Latin America of wives and husbands working together in a shared business. According to Silvia, networking is related to social capital. The main glue of social capital is trust, to create trust and to trust in others. Be trusting, she advised. Rania encouraged the women to think of themselves as a role model for other younger women, because in her experience women help each other succeed.

@MujerEmprende: El capital social va más allá del networking. Es construir confianza. @SilviaTorresC #WeXchange @Ellas2: “Mi experiencia es que las mujeres se ayudan entre sí” @thewaywomenwork en #WeXchange —> La nuestra también. Yes! @ChioGT: “Hay una oportunidad en #Latam para crear redes de inversoras ángeles que inviertan en mujeres” @TheWayWomenWork en #WeXchange” @emp_red: “The global economy thrives when we partner equally” Rania Anderson @TheWayWomenWork #WeXchange @OpenTalent2013: “Women will have great opportunities in new technologies and education” @SilviaTorresC #WeXchange http://t.co/ave5Cx5f9a 28

@TrangHo9: #WeXchange ‘Never take a NO to be a no about you!’ when it comes to financing, says Rania Anderson. Fascinating panel on investing in women @lavca_org: “Be trustable and trust in other people. That will give you access to the resources you need” Wise words from @SilviaTorresC at #WeXchange @lisandrobril: @SilviaTorresC #WeXchange “Being trustable is the most important social capital asset ... do not confuse with networking“ @CIBBVA: “In Latam we are still in the process to get angels who only invest in women” @SilviaTorresC of @EntrepreIAE #WeXchange @CIBBVA: “We have two objectives: make money and grow women’s business” Rania Anderson @TheWayWomenWork #WeXchange http://t.co/8jFVFPpm87 29

11/ Celebrating Second Chances Joan Lyman of LMG Corp and Co-Founder of Secure Works shared her experience of founding companies and bringing them to IPOs. Her tips include:

1. Location doesn’t matter. 2. No restrictive relationships. [They use open source]. 3. Ask for forgiveness, never for permission. 4. Never eat alone. 5. Competitors are your colleagues. Learn from them. A market without competition is not a market. 6. Live in chapters, not whole novels. Don’t apologize to your children about where you are. Get them excited about where you are going to be. Never live in guilt. 7. Nurture relationships with older people. 8. Learn the word NO. Never avoid it. Never take a No to be a No about you. 9. Look for character, not for jobs.


@GabyRobertoBaro: Celebrate failures because they give u a 2nd chance #WeXchange @Ellas2 @RoblesSusanaro @SallyBuberman: “Look for character, not for Jobs” #WeXchange http://t.co/sCTJmofky3 @Ellas2: “Mejor pedir perdón que pedir permiso” Joan Lyman #WeXchange Streaming en http://t.co/q45RlZCfG2 @sylchebi: Joan Lyman at #WeXchange: it takes a lot of years to have an overnight success @fominbid: Wisdom by Joan Lyman for women

entrepreneurs: Never eat alone. And live in chapters, not whole novels #WeXchange @lavca_org: Joan Lyman, founder of LMG Corps and Secure Works- “A market without competition isn’t a market.” #WeXchange #BillionaireWomen @OpenTalent2013: “Competitors are your colleagues. You should learn from them” Joan Lyman in #WeXchange http://t.co/sFHq63yGt1 @CIBBVA: “Important thought for creating a company: Location doesn’t matter” Joan Lyman in #WeXchange



12/ A Leap of Faith: from Executive to Entrepreneur


Silvina Moschini, Contributing Expert on the Internet and Social Media at CNN Español and CEO/Founder of Intuic, talked about her personal journey of becoming an entrepreneur after a successful career as a corporate executive. Silvina, whose Twitter handle is “@Miss_ Internet,” sparked a wave of Tweets from those in the audience who clearly identified with her experience and advice.

@marta_cruz: @Miss_Internet #WeXchange los amigos se hacen cdo no necesitas amigos, las marcar se hacen cdo no necesitas marcas http://t.co/zmTVNTHuW1 @CIBBVA: “Cualquier tipo de compañía debe asumir que es una compañía de medios” @Miss_Internet, en #WeXchange http://t.co/8jFVFPpm87 @MujerEmprende: “Poder contratar talento en cualquier parte del mundo es mucho más eficiente para tu negocio” @Miss_Internet #WeXchange @CIBBVA: “Relaciones profesionales y marca deben ser construidas cuando aún no son necesarias” @Miss_Internet #WeXchange @marta_cruz: @Miss_Internet la búsqueda de la felicidad me llevo a ser emprendedora. #WeXchange cc/ @NXTPLabs http://t.co/kh2XMcl8jq @Alondriux25: “Los negocios son un deporte de contacto; para hacer negocios hay que desarrollar relaciones” #WeXchange @Miss_Internet @Alondriux25: “La escasez hace que uno vea con mayor claridad”. #WeXchange @Miss_Internet @Miss_Internet: [VIDEO] Un honor compartir mi experiencia personal como emprendedora en Miami #WeXchange 2013. @Ellas2 http://t.co/YDHW8i3U0C 33

13/ Unlocking the Potential of Women Entrepreneurs Bryan Pearce of Ernst & Young presented the key findings of a study commissioned by the MIF on the profiles and needs of high-growth women entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean. Ernst & Young conducted interviews and surveys in nine countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay. The findings from the study reveal that 90% of entrepreneurs (both men and women) enter into sectors where they clearly see a market opportunity or where they have the technical knowledge required. When women entrepreneurs were asked about what drives them, the three main reasons they gave were: 1) economic independence; 2) passion for my own business, and 3) employing others/doing something worthwhile. In terms of challenges, lack of access to finance remains the main challenge for women and men entrepreneurs.

The study also highlighted the main needs mentioned by these women entrepreneurs:

 Access to institutional sources of funding  Growing their businesses beyond their local market through strategic advice

 Recognition of the entrepreneurial activity as a pillar in the generation of wealth

 Availability of mentors who understand and connect with the particular situations experienced by high-growth female entrepreneurs

 Expanding the role of men at home  Access to wide and effective contact networks which go beyond their circles of family and friends


@fominbid: What drives women entrepreneurs? @BryanPearce1 gives a preview of a @fominBID @EYnews survey coming soon! #WeXchange @NXTPLabs: El 76% de emprendedoras de alto crecimiento en LatAm tiene un grado de licenciatura como minimo. @BryanPearce1 #WeXchange @NXTPLabs: @bryanpearce1 7 de cada 10 emprendedoras tienen entre 20 y 39 a帽os #WeXchange http://t.co/8Fc1CWIozu @Lindsaycwalsh: S贸lo 30% de las #emprendedoras inician con el objetivo de convertir sus empresas en internacionales vs 60% de emprendedores. #WeXchange

@macalara: Seg煤n el estudio de Ernst&young el 80% de mujeres son accionistas mayoritarias s贸lo un 40% de hombres lo son #WeXchange @NXTPLabs: Es importante que las mujeres aprendan a trabajar con los medios comunicando sus historias @BryanPearce1 #WeXchange Santi_Miami: @ BryanPearce1 of @EYnews Unveils Key Findings of Study about High-Growth Women Entrepreneurs in Latam #WeXchange http://t.co/IoQ246OPh2


14/ Women and Entrepreneurship in Latin America and the Caribbean Angela Camacho of Microsoft Latin America, Bryan Pearce of Ernst & Young, Paula Marra of Grupo de Productores del Sur at GPPS, Marta Cruz of NXTP Labs, and Susana Garcia-Robles of the MIF held a conversation about opportunities and challenges for women entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean. The discussion centered on how private companies can support entrepreneurs in the region, how to unlock the potential of women entrepreneurs, and what can be done to help the next generation of young women become successful entrepreneurs. Some of the answers included forming strong public-private partnerships to promote the purchase of products made by women-led companies and work together on other shared priorities. Furthermore, they suggested that very young people should get some business experience, as cultivating entrepreneurship starts early.

@MicrosoftLatam: “Convertirse en emprendedor era el Plan B de las mujeres. ¡Debe ser el Plan A!”, declara Ángela Camacho, en #WeXchange @WenMnC: We have to look for women role models and become one for our communities #WeXchange @Nadjalisse: Consejo para las emprendedoras - “Aprendan a alzar la voz.” @marta_cruz @NXTPLabs #WeXchange @CIBBVA: “For make things happen in Latam, we should grasp that things cannot be done by only one part of the population” Ángela Camacho #WeXchange @NodoKa_co: We need more women in technology. Angela Camacho from Microsoft #WeXchange @macalara: La historia emprendedora de @Pemarra da cuenta de 100 años de una empresa que supo reinventarse #WeXchange



15/ Challenges Ahead During the last session, Susana Garcia-Robles of the MIF presented a summary of takeaways from the conference and challenges ahead for women entrepreneurs. The good news is that 80% of high-growth women entrepreneurs do not see their sex as an obstacle to succeed in their ventures, according to the Ernst & Young survey results. However, other obstacles remain. Women need to strengthen their networks. Statistically, men have access to more international networks and mentors because a greater percentage of men have studied overseas, and staying connected with potential mentors and investors once they return to their home countries helps them immensely. Additionally, women tend to look for close family or friends as mentors, whereas men tend to look for external and professionally related mentors. Women role models do not yet abound; there are more male entrepreneurs who have already made it big and have gone from entrepreneurs to angel investors to giving back to the community by becoming mentors. Women are leapfrogging but still are lagging behind. Aversion to risk has been the norm in education in Latin America and the Caribbean, said Susana, adding that she believes this must be reversed. That is why the CERTIFICATE TO FAIL has a relevant message for the entire audience: innovation brings chaos and the possibility of failure, fall seven times but get up eight times! Susana closed by recommending that women build a public profile so that their business can grow.


Felipefskl: RT @sylchebi: “Innovation brings chaos, don’t expect things to be perfect” @RoblesSusanaro in #WeXchange @Ellas2 @nextplabs @marta_cruz @… Mariananeman: RT @bedy: . @RoblesSusanaro closing #WeXchange - more mentorship + embrace the failure and chaos + wisdom of the crowd @marta_cruz: ¿12 de Diciembre: dia de la #mujer #emprendedora? Claro que sí!! http://t.co/R8OukOuNjD #WeXchange cc/ @NXTPLabs @Ellas2


16/ Awards Ceremony Angela Cois of Lastroom, the smartphone app for booking hotel rooms on short notice, was awarded the first prize in the Pitch Competition. The MIF provided her with $5,000 to travel to Silicon Valley, and NXTP Labs awarded her with two mentoring sessions. Second prize and third prize went to Nidmi and Fotter, respectively, and all three finalists were awarded a Surface from Microsoft.

Below is a condensed version of 10 lessons learned from WeXchange written by Angela Cois of Lastroom:

1. If you have an idea and want to start a company, do it.

Do not wait for someone to help you do it.

2. The perfect time to start a company does not exist.

Among women, it is interesting to make the parallel to motherhood: When are we 100% ready for it? Who can guarantee that we will be able to do it?.

3. We all have a license to fail. Errare humanum est.

And those who do not fail did not try.

4. Give priority to your values.

It is very valuable advice in business. Companies are made of people and sometimes you have to know how to say no to these people. Be true to your values.

5. Make yourself visible.

Getting people to recognize us, perhaps start to follow us, or be a part of our network is a key aspect in the process of building our personal brand.

6. Listen. It is the best way to learn.


I consider myself an introvert. And I grew up in a cultural environment where people are somewhat closed off and do not make friends easily. Networking is not an easy task. It’s getting out of your comfort zone and opening up.

7. Ask everything you can.

Do not be afraid to ask questions. It is another great way to learn. If an investor asks you if you know the meaning of a certain term, or if you have read such a thing, do not be embarrassed to say you don’t or haven’t.

8. Do not be afraid of investors. If you think that investors are savior angels or custodians of some

secret magic formula to make your business work, it is better to listen to this: the success of a company is due to its entrepreneurs and is paid with work, mistakes, creativity and the ability to innovate and differentiate each day.

9. Involve your family. Rather than feeling guilty because you are not with your children for

the set time that your mother recommends or the time your childhood friends spend with their children, change this situation. Give it a different meaning: involve the children so they feel a part of your working life.

10. A woman satisfied with herself is a happy woman. Enjoy the experience and be happy with what you do. If starting a

company only means enormous sacrifice that affects everything and you do not enjoy it because it brings more resentment than satisfaction, it is probably not meant for you in this stage of your life. Not everybody likes roller coasters.

Look for what makes you feel alive! To see the original post in Spanish, please visit: http://blog.lastroom.mx/2013/12/wexchange-10-lecciones-aprendidas/


@leon_androide: La emprendedora de MĂŠxico gana el 1er lugar en el 1er pitch competition #WeXchange Lastroom pic. twitter.com/0CxGFbhTwI @jlrodv43 @Miss_Internet: yeah!! @March_Gutierrez: Meet the new game changers at #Latam #WeXchange @RoblesSusanaro @macalara @marta_cruz pic.twitter.com/FKZFLVRoV5 @matthaggman: Closing reception for #WeXchange conf on Thurs. Inspiring. Many amazing women entrepreneurs. @knightfdn @InnovateMIA @Ellas2: 10 lecciones aprendidas en #WeXchange Miami, por la ganadora de la pitch competition http://t.co/W32yEEaQrj @fominbid @NXTPlabs 42

Tweets from after the event LauraBlackaller: #WeXchange que gran evento!!! @marta_cruz: The day after the first Event for #women #Entrepreneur #WeXchange, only three words: #foco, #consistencia y #pasion @activismo: couldn’t be in Miami #WeXchange but thank god for streaming! love the event very inspirational! @InnpulsaCol @SecMujeresMed @macalara: Por que emprenden las mujeres? 1) Independencia económica 2) pasión x su empresa 3) generar empleo #WeXchange @PitchBullcom: “En el #WeXchange todas teníamos algo en común, el espíritu emprendedor” @ritamoley @Balcostics Su experiencia en: http://t.co/rd1SbHNSjp @InnpulsaCol: Así se vivió el #WeXchange en Miami, un foro liderado por mujeres emprendedoras @cataortiz1 http://t.co/ LxnkkWyjcZ @santi_miami: Women Driven to Change the World meet at #WeXchange #miami- once again @knightfdn & @matthaggman making it happen! @Emifioriti: Back Home! Happy, emocinada e inspirada por todo lo vivido #WeXchange @georg_neu: Came back super-inspired by the creativity and dynamism of the women entrepreneurs at #WeXchange. Way to go chicas! @RoblesSusanaro: Still reeling from the energy #WeXchange @fominbid @Ellas2 @NXTPLabs @Miss_Internet @cataortiz1 @moni_pina @gugamayer @moni_pina: What will you do differently starting today? #WeXchange http://t.co/JIidHwwP7S via @fominbid

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