Today we’d like to introduce you to Tayde Aburto.
Tayde, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
In 2007, I was researching to learn about the impact of e-commerce on export businesses. It was then when I discover that there was a digital divide between the general market and the Latino market. Latino-owned companies weren’t using the Internet as a business tool as much as their counterparts in the general market. First, I proposed the creation of a Technology Committee to the San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, but the leadership at that time wasn’t receptive to my message. I tried again in 2008 with no luck. So I decided in April 2008 to incorporate the Hispanic Chamber of E-Commerce, and I launched the concept in August.
The first members of the association were some of the exporters that I was working with at the time. They were part of my dissertation project to earn my Master’s Degree in Marketing. The first two years were challenging. The business owners didn’t understand the concept that much, the economy was going through a recession, the local Hispanic Chamber wasn’t too excited about us, and some people were criticizing us for starting a new Hispanic business association in town. In the Spring of 2010, I was having second thoughts about the concept, but a year before, I had booked the San Diego Convention Center for a two-day business expo. I was forced to, at the very least, have the event because of the legal commitments that I had signed. We hosted the event, and it was a success. There was such positive energy around the concept after the expo that I decided to keep moving forward. Twelve years later, we are still in business and stronger than ever.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It hasn’t been a smooth road. The first two years, we faced a lot of external factors that got us close to quitting. I’m grateful that I had some savings at that time that helped me to deal with the financial expenses the first two years we were in business. That was enough time to show the market that we were a legit concept and that we were in business for good. I never had the intention to create a Hispanic business association, but it just happened.
It took us a lot of time to build credibility and a good reputation in San Diego County, but our hard work and dedication got the job done. Now we are one of the largest Hispanic business associations in the country.