What advice would you give other Latino entrepreneurs?
Consider straddling between your business idea and your full time job. This is tricky, because once you need to fundraise capital very few investors (if any at all) would invest in something and someone who is juggling two responsibilities. Yet if your nurture your idea for a bit, you will be more prepared once you quit your full-time job.
You’ll avoid getting desperate too early on, among the many other pressures entrepreneurs face.
Once you’re all in, don’t be scared. You’re an immigrant! You’ve done this before and you’ve persevered. Everything that intimidates people about entrepreneurship, we’ve already done before as immigrants. We’ve left behind our families, language and culture. We know how to work really hard to reach our goals. We know how to persevere through many obstacles. We don’t give up.
What drives you?
I have been there. I see myself in the young people and women I meet all the time. I see my mother in the parents of these young people. I went through it and I overcame it with the help of others. Now I want to help them overcome it too.
What does your philanthropy mean to you?
Honestly, I really want to leave my little corner of the world a better place than I found it. I want to do this through my business, philanthropic and my personal life. I helped launch the Latina Giving Circle through the Latino Community Foundation. We are a group of Latinas who pool our resources and time to help Latino nonprofits in California. It’s a lot of fun to give back together.
My intention with my philanthropy is the same as with my philosophy in life. I want to leave things better.
Judith thank you for sharing you inspirational life lessons. I'm sure it willl serve to encourage other Latina entrepreneurs to achieve their goals.
About the author
Masha V. Chernyak is a strategic visionary, marketing expert, and experienced advocate for the immigrant community. An immigrant herself, Masha served in the Peace Corps in rural Guatemala, worked as a community organizer on Chicago’s South Side, and is now building Latino philanthropy in California. In her current position as VP of Programs and Policy at the Latino Community Foundation, Masha manages the organization’s investment portfolio, elevates the LCF brand, and helps lead the organization's change-making strategy. She was instrumental in launching the California Latino Agenda, a campaign to connect diverse Latino leaders to shape and amplify a unified agenda for change. Masha is trilingual, loves photography, and has a Master’s in Public Affairs and Politics from the University of San Francisco.Website