At the moment we current Olga Camargo as a part of The Startup Journal’s Feminine Founder Interview sequence. Olga has an incredible story as CEO and Founder of SHENIX, a Chicago-based fintech app firm targeted on monetary schooling and advisory providers for Latinas.
SHENIX helps shut the wealth hole to speed up Latinas financial and social transformation by way of culturally suitable monetary schooling, professionally certified Latino/x advisors and profession coaches that talk English and Spanish.
Olga is completely positioned to supply monetary recommendation with over 20 years of expertise within the monetary providers trade. She launched her monetary observe, FARO Associates LLC (Latina/woman-owned/Minority Enterprise Enterprise), and new fintech challenge, SHENIX, on her culturally-relevant monetary providers analysis and neighborhood wants.
Olga’s many accomplishments embody:
- 2021 Chair for FORBES Enterprise Council’s Monetary Providers Trade Group
- Negocios Now named Olga amongst Chicago’s Most Influential 50 Latinos
- Crain’s Chicago Enterprise named Olga amongst “Chicago’s Most Highly effective Latinos” in 2019
- Aspen Concepts Competition Ricardo Salinas Scholar
- Chicago’s 1871 Chicago’s Know-how and IHCC’s LatinX Incubator Choice
- Range MBA Journal High 100 Underneath 50 Govt Chief and High 100 Ladies of Affect
- College of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Enterprise Administration Alumni Management Academy Inductee
- Chicago Council on International Affairs 2010 Rising Leaders Program Choice
- Commissioner on the Board of the Public Constructing Fee Chaired by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot
- Nationwide Board Chair for the Hispanic Alliance for Profession Enhancement (100k members).
- Olga serves on the IL State Treasurer’s Hispanic Advisory Council
- IL Latino Legislative Caucus Basis Financial Growth Committee
- Northeastern Illinois College Basis Board
Let’s study extra of Olga’s story from our interview…
TSM: Describe your latest challenge, SHENIX, in 10 phrases or much less:
Olga: SHENIX accelerates Latinas’ financial and social transformation.
TSM: With a bit extra element, inform us extra about what you are promoting and your app and why is it essential to give attention to Latinas?
Olga: Our mission is to deal with Latina Equal Pay Day and assist Latinas in closing the wealth hole, the widest confronted by any group within the U.S.
SHENIX™ is an progressive monetary firm constructed by Latinas/x, for Latinas/x, offering culturally related monetary schooling to the Latina/x neighborhood to assist them speed up their financial and social transformation whereas prioritizing their cultural mindset.
SHENIX™ presents monetary schooling, monetary providers by way of its companions, profession planning, and wage negotiation assets, all of which assist Latinas/x life objectives.
TSM: What parts of your background impressed you to give attention to monetary schooling for Latinas?
Olga: I wish to reply this query by describing three private situations:
1. Expertise Working with Mother at Bridal Store
Whereas I used to be in highschool, I labored part-time, facet by facet, with my mom at that bridal store. She taught me a lot about enterprise, together with methods to assist our clients choose robes and equipment that symbolized their eagerness for a brand new life, a brand new glad starting.
I witnessed my mom’s enterprise acumen— the best way she supplied customer support, provided great robes, and ensured her clients to know that they, certainly, would have that promised new starting. Throughout this time, completely different distributors would go to the store to pitch their services or products. Sooner or later, a monetary consultant approached my mother with a service pitch. He solely spoke English, and my mom solely spoke Spanish. So, I stepped in as a short lived translator.
Instantly, the marketing consultant stopped talking to my mom, a long-time enterprise proprietor who dealt with clients for years. As an alternative, he solely pitched his product to me, a 14-year-old highschool pupil. It was as if my mom had vanished from the room.
She didn’t vanish, and neither did that scene from my thoughts. I simply stored considering: This isn’t proper. Sadly, this case wasn’t an anomaly. My mom and different house owners like her had a protracted listing of comparable experiences, the place they have been discounted or missed just because they have been Spanish-speaking Latinas.
Whereas Latinas are sometimes the first monetary decision-makers of their households, they usually lack the mandatory instruments and assets wanted to empower them to make the perfect monetary selections for his or her houses, communities, and companies.
2. My very own expertise
Struggling the pay hole inside the company setting, I wanted steering on wage negotiation and profession progress, particularly after I discovered that I used to be making lower than the individuals I used to be supervising. I knew this was not distinctive to me and was taking place to different Latinas per conversations.
3. Expertise Working as Monetary Advisor for Over a Decade
Once I joined the monetary trade as a monetary advisor and started working with Latino-run and serving nonprofits and helped handle their 401K and 403b Retirement plans, I additionally introduced 401K schooling classes. These have been primarily attended by Latina staff. I discovered a lot about their ongoing monetary wants past retirement. We’ve impacted 3,000 lives by way of our work, supplied digital monetary schooling, advocated for our neighborhood inside the monetary trade, and helped to guide monetary seminars at nationwide Latino conferences.
TSM: In the course of the Pandemic, most individuals’s jobs and monetary conditions have been impacted in a roundabout way. How has the Pandemic modified the best way one ought to method their funds?
Olga: I all the time inform individuals to be proactive!
Having skilled the pandemic, listed here are some useful suggestions to bear in mind when overseeing your funds:
- Constructing emergency financial savings to cowl six months of month-to-month bills is a should.
- Getting life insurance coverage for members of the family is essential to make sure that the household doesn’t develop into financially ruined if a key household supplier passes away.
- Doing homework. Latinas and anybody seeking to bounce again into the workforce must do their analysis to make sure they’re getting equal pay. Some assets assist with this.
- Budgeting your self to raised climate the surprising.
- Saving on your future.
TSM: Are you able to cite a specific success story that exemplifies how higher monetary planning impacted your consumer’s monetary situation, one which motivates you?
Olga: I’ve talked to many individuals in my life about reaping the advantages at work. I all the time take into consideration the janitor who I met at a hospital who solely spoke Spanish. He had missed out on the hospital’s retirement financial savings match for 20 years as a result of he didn’t take part within the hospital’s retirement plan. That instance motivated me to get extra concerned in sharing info with those that wanted to be extra engaged with their employer’s advantages.
TSM: What do you say to somebody that feels they’ve been dealt a nasty hand in life and so they’ll by no means discover monetary safety and success?
Olga: We’ve all suffered losses. You’re not alone.
All of us should get again up, however this time search the data that we have to make general higher monetary selections. With info, you’ll really feel extra assured in regards to the selections you make, and your mindset will shift. Let’s begin with small steps and also you’ll be transferring ahead quickly with leaps and bounds. Be a part of a neighborhood that’s trying ahead to getting forward.
TSM: On the enterprise facet, give us a bit extra background on the SHENIX launch. What are your first main hurdles in getting your first app model launched?
Olga: As a startup, we’ve been self-funding as a result of our mission is essential to maneuver ahead. Together with our attorneys, we’ve got been discussing the perfect and most impactful strategy to launch. Organising the entity accurately and positioning it takes time and endurance as a result of we generally have to attend for others, however it’s all value it.
On Dec. 6, nonetheless, we have been in a position to do a pre-launch from New York Metropolis’s Rockefeller Heart, due to NBCUniversal Telemundo. They understood the significance of SHENIX and sponsored us.
TSM: What have been the opposite major challenges in your individual entrepreneurial journey? Hiring? Advertising and marketing? Discovering capital?
Olga: I’d say advertising has been the primary problem, however our Latinx media champions have stepped as much as be part of the trigger and have been serving to us get the phrase out. They’ve assisted us with articles, podcasts, interviews, and social media.
Universities and faculties are additionally within the mixture of serving to us with SHENIX and spreading the phrase as faculty college students have seen us and at the moment are serving to us with TikTok posts, and so they need to do extra. It’s nearly like a motion, and SHENIX is on the middle.
We may transfer ahead quicker with extra companions who’re dedicated to creating our world higher for Latinas to allow them to lastly construct their monetary legacy and anybody else who identifies with this group.
TSM: As a long-time entrepreneur your self, going again to your adolescence selections, inform us what components influenced your choice to be an entrepreneur.
Olga: I labored with my mother from center faculty to varsity. I then labored for company America (the monetary trade) but in addition knew what may very well be carried out higher to service ladies and minority communities.
I’ve by no means been good at asking for permission to be artistic and ship impactful service when it issues.
Entrepreneurship provides me the liberty, a white canvas, to create what I do know the world wants.
TSM: With all your expertise as an entrepreneur, what’s crucial recommendation you may provide different startup founders?
Olga: Two issues:
Dream Large and Convey It to Life!
Don’t Stroll In Anybody’s Footwear, Construct Your Personal.
TSM: Inform us one thing about your self that most individuals don’t know.
Olga: I’m on this earth to serve others and assist individuals dwell glad lives.
That’s improbable, Olga. You’ve had an inspiring journey, and we want you continued success. Thanks.
The publish Feminine Founder Interview – Olga Camargo Leads Latinas Fintech Advisory appeared first on The Startup Journal.