The founder of We Are Women Owned, Lisa Nicole Rosado, is honoring her Puerto-Rican American roots by organizing a month-long online market.

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Lisa Nicole Rosado, founder of WAWO, writing next to a laptop
Credit: Courtesy of Lisa Nicole Rosado

Whether you want to get an early start on holiday gift shopping or you just want to treat yourself to something special, the Latina-Owned Pop-Up Shop hosted by We Are Women Owned is one you won't want to miss. This month-long event aims to make a big impact on small Latina-owned businesses through a virtual shopping experience in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.

"Everything that I am and everything that I do is community oriented," says Lisa Nicole Rosado, founder of We Are Women Owned (WAWO), pictured above. Prior to WAWO, Rosado began organizing pop-up shopping events to help herself and other small businesses raise brand awareness. Today, the online community she founded is dedicated to creating opportunities for women-owned businesses by offering resources like branding and business support as well as networking events. The platform has also hosted numerous pop-up shows both in-person and virtually through the years, including a virtual shopping showcase in June in support of Black-owned businesses

The platform's latest event is dear to Rosado, who is Puerto Rican-American. According to a survey conducted by Stanford's Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative, systemic racism and gender discrimination has resulted in less capital and resources available to business owners. In fact, 86 percent of Latino small businesses reported a significant impact on their businesses by the pandemic. By amplifying Latina voices, WAWO hopes to increase brand awareness, encourage buyers to redirect their economic resources in support of Latina-owned small businesses, and make a dent in affecting the long-term economic change.  

From now until October 15, online shoppers are invited to step inside a virtual showcase of over 100 Latina owned-businesses. The event features products across nine categories: accessories, apparel, beauty, baby and kids, food and beverage, gifts, home and lifestyle, paper goods, and wellness. Shoppers can even find services, such as business and career, health and wellness, illustration and graphic design and personal development. The curated event is open to customers free of charge.

"It's been really great to see just how awesome it's being received," Rosado says of the event's first few days. "I just hope that by doing this we can hopefully help make a little bit of change."

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