USHCC Foundation Announces Inaugural Women’s Entrepreneurship Competition Winners


The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) Foundation has partnered with the Kauffman Foundation to celebrate and empower female entrepreneurs through the At the Table Entrepreneurship Competition. Betty Manetta, President & CEO of Argent Associates, Gail M. Smith, Co-Chairman & Founder of Abbene Smith Gold LLC (ASG), and Yamila Constantino Mendez, President of Dinero Y Mas were selected as winners during the 2014 USHCC National Convention.

“While Hispanic entrepreneurs are opening businesses at an unmatched rate, Latinas are leading our community’s growth by starting new enterprises at a rate of four to one when compared to their counterparts,” USHCC President & CEO said Javier Palomarez. “Through our At The Table program, the USHCC Foundation is providing women entrepreneurs the resources and networks they need to continue spurring  job creation, innovation, and economic development nationwide. We look forward to reporting the progress of this year’s winners and celebrating their collective contributions.”



The USHCC Foundation has partnered with the Kauffman Foundation, Cosmopolitan for Latinas, Doral Bank, Google and Facebook to provide resources and tools for women to continue to grow their businesses. With the help of Michelle Mulligan, the Editor in Chief of Cosmo Latina, the winners will be featured in the upcoming October issue. Their stories will be seen and read by more than 30 million people, inspiring young women entrepreneurs across the country.

“As a presidential ambassador for global entrepreneurship and an advocate for women in business, I am proud to recognize and celebrate some truly amazing women. Today, we are honoring some of our country’s most influential women who have pioneered their way in every industry from the world of business, government, philanthropy, education and beyond,” said Chairman of the USHCC Foundation Nina Vaca. “These high achieving women have been at the forefront of our country’s progress and are taking a seat At The Table.”

At the Table Entrepreneurship Competition is part of the At the Table: Women in Business and Leadership initiative, led by the USHCC Foundation, which ensures women entrepreneurs and business professionals receive the much needed resources and skills to propel them to higher levels of success and influence. At the Table is a multifaceted platform that leverages existing resources and the influential leadership of the USHCC network to foster the growth and business acumen of Latinas and women.

“The ‘At The Table’ competition not only called attention to the work of Hispanic businesswomen and emerging entrepreneurs individually, it also built a greater network among them collectively,” said Katie Baker, Director of iStart at the Kauffman Foundation. “The excitement around this initiative has raised awareness of the issues Latina founders often face, and increased the number of mentors and role models available — all of which are sure to continue to grow in the future. It’s one of the best outcomes we could have hoped for.”


About the USHCC Foundation

The USHCC Foundation is the philanthropic and educational arm of the USHCC. The mission of the USHCC Foundation is to enrich experiences of current and future leaders in the world of business through life-long learning and support. The Foundation’s initiatives awaken and nurture the entrepreneurial spirit, support business growth, strengthen local chambers and foster leaders. For more information, visit 


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Eliza Hernandez


USHCC Foundation