The Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program invites you to participate in the third annual Aspen Latino Business Summit in Washington, DC, to explore business ownership and entrepreneurship as a pathway to accelerate inclusive growth in Latinos communities.
The Summit is a top-tier platform connecting local leaders to national networks, federal policy makers, and influential investors. The 2023 Aspen Latino Business Summit will spotlight how digitalization, technological changes, regional supply chain strains, and the push for sustainable business practices are defining what the future American economy will look like. This era of groundbreaking change and evolution requires Latino and other minority communities to prepare for next generation sectors to grow their wealth and build vibrant, resilient communities. Attendees will hear from forward thinking experts and economic development practitioners about how to increase economic opportunity for all, address systemic barriers exacerbated by this rapid change, and seize the next economy.
Wednesday, September 6, 2023 – Welcome Dinner
6:00 – 6:45 pm Registration
6:45 – 7:10 pm Welcome remarks
7:10 – 7:40 pm Fireside Chat: Perspectives from Entrepreneurs
In this session, we will learn about Paul Rodriguez and his trajectory from a professional skateboarder to a successful entrepreneur through an interview moderated by real estate entrepreneur Lukas Rodriguez, who happens to be his brother. By sharing his personal journey, Paul will provide invaluable insights and inspiration to the audience, offering a unique perspective and practical advice on how to navigate the challenges of building
a successful business.
7:40 – 7:45 pm Closing
Thursday, September 7, 2023
8:15 – 9:00 am Breakfast & Registration
9:00 – 9:15 am Welcome remarks
9:15 – 9:45 am America’s Leadership in the Next Economy
Digitalization, technological changes, regional supply chains, and the push for sustainable business practices are defining what the future American economy will look like. The Federal Government has been preparing the country for this future by using the post-pandemic recovery period to roll out investments that will set the foundation for innovation in key sectors of the economy. One of the departments deploying this capital is the Department of Commerce. In this session, we will hear about the projected impact of this public capital and how communities can ensure they receive it and maximize it.
9:45 – 10:00 am Data Spotlight: Latino Business Action Network
Gain valuable insights into the State of Latino Entrepreneurship through the latest research by the Latino Business Action Network. This session highlights achievements, identifies growth potential, and offers practical steps for scaling businesses in this dynamic environment.
10:00 – 10:30 am Made in America: The Next Gen Sectors Powering Our Economy
After decades of offshoring and outsourcing, the country is seeing a boom in factory construction and the production of key goods — electric vehicles and batteries, solar panels and wind turbines, semiconductors — that are necessary to enhance national security and accelerate the decarbonization of the economy. This transformation is being catalyzed by unprecedented federal policies and investments delivered through such measures as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act. This panel will feature high level officials from the US Department of Commerce, who will discuss how the agency is leading the national industrial transition.
10:30 – 10:45 am Break
10:45 – 11:15am The Next Workforce
To seize the next economy, Latino workers across all sectors need tools to thrive in an increasingly digital environment. Traditional industries such as retail, agriculture, manufacturing, construction and hospitality are in the midst of profound technological changes impacting business models and workforce needs. According to a 2023 National Skills Coalition report, 92% of all jobs in the US require digital skills. In this session, panelists will discuss the strategic importance of supporting the workforce in the digital transition, as well as feature best practices in digital upskilling and tech empowerment of Latino workers and professionals.
11:15 – 11:20 am Entrepreneur Spotlight: Providing sustainability solutions for companies
11:25 – 12:10 pm The New Circular Economy
As sustainability becomes ingrained in the way we do business, companies are
grappling with how to reduce their carbon footprint while maintaining the integrity of their business. In this session, we will learn how the circular economy can meet sustainability goals and be a vehicle to include more small businesses into their supply chain.
12:10 – 1:25 pm Lunch Session
Entrepreneur Spotlight: Acceleratng Economic and Social Transformation for Latinas | 12:35 – 12:40 PM
Fireside Chat with U.S. Small Business Administrator | 12:45 – 1:15 PM
Recognizing the crucial significance of supporting Latina entrepreneurs, this Fireside Chat brings to the forefront the essential role they play in our dynamic economic landscape. Gain valuable insights during a compelling conversation with the Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator. Discover actionable strategies aimed at empowering Latina-owned businesses, nurturing growth, resilience, and their consequential contributions to the business realm.
1:25 – 2:10 pm Interactive Breakout Sessions or Networking Hour
Fostering Cybersafe Small Businesses
As small businesses increasingly rely on digital platforms and technologies, ensuring their cybersecurity is paramount. This breakout session on Fostering Cybersafe Small Businesses will explore the challenges and opportunities in protecting small businesses from cyber threats and promoting a culture of cybersecurity awareness.
Access to Capital
Equitable access to capital is crucial for the growth of Latino entrepreneurs and businesses. Join us in this interactive session to explore innovative strategies fostering entrepreneurship, driving economic development, and cultivating a thriving business ecosystem. Engaging with policymakers, industry leaders, and advocates, we will delve into challenges, successes, and best practices in expanding access to capital, aiming to fuel job creation and sustainable growth for underserved communities.
Commercial Corridors as Cultural Assets
Commercial corridors play a critical role in the economic vitality and cultural identity of communities. This session will explore innovative strategies and best practices for leveraging these corridors to preserve and celebrate the unique cultural heritage of neighborhoods while driving economic growth.
2:10 – 2:15 pm Entrepreneur Spotlight: Artificial intelligence for small businesses
2:20 – 3:05 pm Innovative Financial Solutions
Latinos are the fastest growing segment of the small business ecosystem, yet struggle to find capital to sustain and grow their ventures. Technological advancements are opening new lanes for innovation in financing that can reach Latino and other underserved entrepreneurs who need it the most. Experts will discuss some of these models, such as revenue-based financing, venture capital, and alternate equity investments and how they can bridge the gap for Latinos.
3:05 – 3:35 pm Building Wealth Through Asset Ownership
According to McKinsey & Company, in 2019, the median wealth of a Latino household was approximately $36,000, a stark contrast to that of White households at an estimated $188,200. Asset ownership is an important driver of wealth building and accumulation that is critical to tapping into the economic potential of the Latino community. This session will explore inclusive home ownership, commercial ownership, and asset building strategies, with the aim of narrowing economic disparities.
3:35 – 3:40 pm Announcement: SBA Cyber Summit 2023
3:45 – 4:15 pm The Transformative power of Artificial Intelligence
As Artificial Intelligence continues to reshape industries and economies, understanding its impact on underserved populations becomes increasingly vital. Responsible AI implementation holds the potential to create a more equitable landscape, bridging existing gaps and driving sustainable economic development. With Latinos being the fastest-growing segment entering the workforce, AI can become a catalyst for inclusive economic growth, unlocking unparalleled opportunities for Latino-owned businesses and entrepreneurs. This session will explore how AI can ignite innovation, expand access to crucial opportunities, and bridge the digital divide, ultimately empowering Latino entrepreneurs and workers alike.
4:15 – 4:30 pm Closing Remarks
4:30 – 6:00 pm Reception
Vice President, Aspen Institute, Executive Director, Latinos and Society Program
Ambassador Gaddi Vasquez
Advisory Board Chair, Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program, Former U.S. Ambassador
Jerónimo Anaya Ortiz
Communications Lead, Square
Senior Vice President for Economic Initiatives, UnidosUS
Managing Director, The Diversified Search Group
Senior Vice President for External Affairs, Wells Fargo
Dr. Deborah Berebichez
Physicist, Data Scientist, and TV host, Founder and CEO, Solve for You
President and CEO, National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders
The Honorable Isabella Casillas Guzman
Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration
Alba Castillo Baylin
Vice President, Stakeholder and Social Impact Management, The Coca-Cola Company
Chief Executive Officer, Latino Business Action Network
Chairman, American Triple I, Former Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Reverend Luis Cortés, Jr.
Founder, President and CEO, Esperanza
Derrick T. Davis
Director for Industrial Cyber Security, Office of Small Business Programs, U.S. Department of Defense
Associate Director, Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program
Jaime di Paulo
President and CEO, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Vice President, MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth
Chief Executive Officer, Reboot Representation
Media Executive, Entrepreneur, and Producer, and New York Times Bestselling Author
Senior Vice President, Program Manager, Bank of America Charitable Foundation
Angie Garcia Lathrop
Community Affairs Executive, Bank of America
Executive Director, Aspen Institute Energy and Environment Program, Co-Director, Aspen Ideas: Climate
Board Chair, CPS Energy
Deputy Secretary of Commerce, U.S. Department of Commerce
Counselor for Equity, U.S. Department of Commerce
Director of Sustainability, The Coca-Cola Company
Director and Founder, Nowak Metro Finance Lab, Drexel University
Associate Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration
Nadia Marquez Pabst
Vice President, Policy & Regulatory, Aypa Power
Owner, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Marketing Officer, Neo Broadband and 3Cycle
President and CEO, Hispanic Federation
Program Officer, U.S. Equity and Economic Opportunity, The Rockefeller Foundation
CEO, Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement, Co-Founder, SHENIX
Senior Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Comcast Corporation
Real Estate Entrepreneur
Paul Rodriguez, Jr.
Professional Skateboarder, Entrepreneur and Investor
Partner, Holland & Knight
Deputy Director of Public Engagement, U.S. Department of Commerce
Director of Sustainability, Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages
Chairman and CEO, Pinnacle Group
President, Chemistry Cultura
Owner, Chief Executive Officer, Neo Broadband and 3Cycle
Founding Director, Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino