April 17, 2014

CEO Sounding Board

CEO Sounding Board - Foreign-born business owners in Florida

Question: Do you think starting and running a business is harder for foreign-born owners?

Mike Vogel | 5/7/2013

William G. Mora
Native Venezuelan - President, CEO - GM Consulting-Gamma Brands - Jacksonville

"I believe that if you have a tendency inclined to succeed, it doesn't matter where you could start your business. Just because someone tells you ‘no,' it doesn't mean that you can't change that ‘no' to a ‘yes.' If someone tells you ‘no,' it just means not right now. It can turn into a ‘yes' later on. That's perseverance at its exponential form."

Gabriela Alcántara-Diaz
Native Uruguayan - President - G ADMarketing Communications - Miami

"I was raised and studied in the states and started my career in advertising by working with a non-U.S. born, Cuban-American woman entrepreneur. Starting a business, oftentimes, is the only opportunity many non-U.S. born Hispanics migrating to south Florida have in order to flourish within a community that may require college-level credentials, and in many cases, stateside licenses. Fortunately, many immigrants do hold professional skill sets, business acumen and the connection with the Western Hemisphere as part of their heritage. With a greater need to establish a solid foundation for their families, this entrepreneurial spirit may be the only option most non-U.S. born Hispanics have to make a difference."

Amilcar Cordova
Native Puerto Rican - CEO - Cordova Marketing Solutions - Orlando

"It would have to depend on the industry you're in. Some of the limitations one would run into, coming from the island in this particular case, would be perhaps the language barrier or not knowing the market. In Puerto Rico, you have 4 million people living on the island, and you market to them in the same way. (Here) you can't depend just on the Puerto Ricans. You have to reach out to the Colombian, Venezuelan and Cuban communities, plus your general market. It is a challenge for anyone coming from anywhere. Other than that, I don't really see a lot of disadvantage. I own a marketing and advertising company. I deal with businesses that come from Puerto Rico that have done very well. There are challenges, but I don't think it has to do with anything we're doing wrong here in central Florida."

Tags: Trendsetters, CEO Sounding Board

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