Cristina Villanueva helps to uplift Latino business owners in Milwaukee & beyond | WUWM 89.7 FM

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Christina Villanueva’s mission is to support and empower Latino business owners throughout Milwaukee.Owned by Villanueva Ambus Financial Services LLC, a bilingual tax preparation and accounting practice serving the south side of Milwaukee.She is also the co-founder of negligenceis a social learning platform for Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs nationwide.

Villanueva’s interest in entrepreneurship began when she was a student at South Division High School. Her teacher, Vicky Kalman, says she had a passion for teaching accounting and finance to her students.

While working at the National Tax Office, Mr. Villanueva was also someone his family and friends consulted on about taxes.

“People brought me letters. [the] We translate with the IRS,” recalls Villanueva.

After noticing a surge in new Latino business owners in Milwaukee, she changed direction and founded Ambas in 2017 to meet the growing need for bilingual services. Villanueva says she started with over 100 clients and has now grown to around 1,000 through word of mouth and community outreach.

“It has definitely evolved, especially after COVID,” she says. , Assistance, etc., and that’s where Negogy came into being now because they realized there were all these great programs available to Latinos. Because of their business, they didn’t have access to it.”

The app provides access to education, resources, networking, classes and more to help entrepreneurs succeed and grow. He also serves Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs outside Milwaukee 100% in Spanish, and Villanueva said he was initially surprised by the lack of Spanish-language resources.

“But at the same time, it’s not surprising…because the resources aren’t out there, and many of these Latino business owners aren’t affiliated with any banks, and they don’t have them. It’s a personal banker that can help them with their finances,” she explains.

“So I don’t want to say that we in the US aren’t doing a good job of creating resources, but we’re not doing a good job of finding ways to connect that resource with end users,” Villanueva said. I will add. .

Villanueva said the average negozee member is a Latina mom who is about 39 years old and has one or two employees. She says part of the resource’s growth is due to the company meeting clients and driving growth successfully over the long term.

“I’m drawn to negozee because I’m just starting a business like my mom’s and she can help people who don’t know the language. So our own community is giving back to each other.” ,” says Villanueva. “We have experts here who are knowledgeable or expert, helping small business owners get them where they need to be.”

She says that for Latinx-owned businesses to succeed in the Milwaukee area, they must create a space for Latino entrepreneurs to share their stories and create support systems. . Villanueva said there should also be a focus on financial literacy for business owners and education on how business owners can reach the next level.

“There is a huge need. Latinos are crying for help … and there are different groups now in Milwaukee and seeing that we are headed in the right direction is honestly I am very happy to tell you,” she says.

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