On April 25, 2023 Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School hosted an empowering event, supported by CultureLink’s Settlement Workers in School (SWIS) Program and the Community Relations Department of the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB), and in Partnership with the organization Canada Habla Español. The LATAM Young-Preneur Conference aimed to inspire the entrepreneurial thinking of Latin-American youth, and educate them on the impact of their community in the Canadian society.
The conference offered a lineup of six enthusiastic guest speakers, passionate about their area of expertise in entrepreneurship, including Mr. Manuel Camacho, the Director of LET Group and President of the Education Committee at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CANCHAM Mexico).
Over 100 students from various Toronto high schools turned out for the event. Discussions led by the guest speakers kept everyone engaged throughout the day. They learned learned about the principal traits of a successful entrepreneur, including the art of networking, risk-taking, and resilience; as well as the importance of financial literacy in entrepreneurship.
In addition to the informational sessions, the students were able to interact with members of the panel in smaller groups. Through informal conversations, successful Hispanic business leaders such as Fernando Vega and Juliana Montoya -Colmakers’ CEO & Founder and Director of Sales and Marketing (respectively)- shared their experiences and insights into running their businesses.
“This conference was an incredible opportunity for Latin-American youth to learn more about starting a business while also celebrating the contributions of the Latin-American community in Canada,” said Ronald Rojas, Program Worker at CultureLink’s SWIS Program. “The conference provided a space for youth to come together, share ideas, and gain practical tools to succeed not only as entrepreneurs but as leaders in their communities.”
With overwhelming positivity and excitement, the conference came to a close while students eagerly discussed their newfound knowledge and the potential for future entrepreneurial ventures. The young participants left inspired and motivated to make an impact in their communities and beyond.
As we continue to encourage and empower underrepresented groups with events that present a closer look into the business world, we look forward to creating more spaces where young individuals can learn from experts, build a network, and get the inspiration to start thinking about their future careers as entrepreneurs.