in Baltimore, MD
By Melissa Barrera-Sosa
Home of the NFL Ravens, MLB’s Orioles,
the ever-innovative Johns Hopkins
Hospital, the beautiful harbor, years-old
neighborhoods, and many historical monuments,
Baltimore’s Latina entrepreneurship is booming
more than ever.
While Baltimore, currently ranked the 6th
largest city in the United States, has reported a
decline in the city’s population over the past 10
years, the one area where it reports growth is in
the percentage of Latinos living in the city. The U.S.
Census Bureau estimates that Latinos make up 5.5
percent of Baltimore’s population. What’s even
more exciting is that the increase in population has
been followed by an increase in the number of
Latina business owners, which is changing the
economic landscape of the Baltimore area.
Veronica Cool, Hispanic Strategist and founder
and CEO of consulting firm Cool & Associates,
believes that the increase in Latina-owned
businesses is the result of women looking for ways
to support their families and communities through
renovation and a dogged work-ethic, not just in
business but in corporations and non-profits.
Though Latina-owned businesses are on the
rise, many business owners struggle with making
their businesses successful. Maritza Huerta, who
together with her twin sister Maricela, runs The
Twins PR, says one of the biggest obstacles faced
by Latinas is finding funding for their businesses, a
sentiment echoed by Cool, who says, “Many
resources exist, but they are not often promoted or
visible to our Latina community.” She goes on to
say that many starting out “have the talent and the
drive, but often lack the knowledge and focus to
To help combat this issue, Cool suggests
emerging entrepreneurs in the Baltimore area look
into resources such as the Maryland Hispanic
Chamber of Commerce and the SBDC. Cool also
mentions Latino Innovators Pitch, a competition she
exist, but they are not
often promoted or
visible to our Latina
— Veronica Cool.
Maritza Huerta and twin sister Maricela Huerta, The Twins PR.
started “to showcase the innovation of Latino
entrepreneurs in the region.” The prize? A year-long
mentoring program for the winner.
Corina Morga, Vice Chairman of the Maryland
Veronica Cool, Hispanic Strategist and
founder and CEO of Cool & Associates.
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, shares the Latino
Economic Development Corporation and Life Asset,
a micro-lender to small businesses, as potential
resources for those starting their business.
34 www. lat inastyle.com LATINAStyle Vol . 25, No. 6, 2019