Jennifer Lopez Announces Launch of ‘Limitless Labs,’ a Program Designed To Support Latina Entrepreneurs
JLo had a busy weekend. Not only was the Boricua triple-threat photographed in Venice, arm-in-arm with Ben Affleck, but she also took time to give back to her community. On Sunday, Jennifer Lopez made an appearance at Latina-owned bookstore, The Lit. Bar in her home turf of the Bronx. Although JLo can show up whenever and where ever she wants without reason, she was back on her block for a purpose: to support her fellow Latinas.
Jennifer Lopez made the visit to Lit. Bar as part of her latest philanthropic project, Limitless Labs–a program designed to support Latina-owned small businesses.
JLo’s newest project comes just in time for Latinx Heritage Month, which officially kicks off this Wednesday, September 15th. At Lit. Bar, Jennifer Lopez announced that she is partnering with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses to help provide support and opportunities to Latina entrepreneurs.
Per their website, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is “a program that offers support and opportunities to help owners grow their companies and create new jobs.” “We help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity by providing access to education, capital and support services,” says Goldman Sachs.
Lopez was joined by fellow Latina jefas, Lit. Bar owner Noelle Santos, U.S. Small Business Administrator Isabella Guzman, and Voto Latino CEO Maria Teresa Kumar. Noelle Santos is the Boricua businesswoman who decided to open her own bookstore in the Bronx when she realized that there was only one other bookstore in her neighborhood. While there, Lopez and the women discussed the challenges of growing their businesses and post-pandemic life.
Latina entrepreneurs face the double-hurdles of prejudices in the form of anti-Latino discrimination and misogyny.
But despite these challenges, Latina entrepreneurs are resilient. According to the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative, Latinas own 44% of Latino businesses, compared to 40% of non-Latino women. Latina entrepreneurs are an integral, yet untapped, segment of the U.S. economy.
Lopez later took to Instagram to further explain her upcoming project: “Back home in the Bronx!! Thank you to all the incredible Latina entrepreneurs for sharing your stories and letting me share mine with you yesterday!” she wrote. “You inspired me more than you will ever know. Remember, we’re not asking for a seat at the table … we’re the CEOs at the table!”
The Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative found that Latinos are the fastest-growing segment of U.S. small businesses.
But despite the booming numbers, Latinos still struggle to find financing and other resources, like advising, to help them succeed. Because of this Latinos are “more likely to seek and receive funding from sources that expose them to more personal financial risk” according to NBC News.
In order to combat the structural hurdles that prevent Latinas from succeeding at the same level of their Anglo peers, it is imperative that they’re offered help in the form of financing and education. We couldn’t be happier that Jennifer Lopez is using her platform to uplift other Latinas.