At present we current Olga Camargo as a part of The Startup Journal’s Female Founder Interview series. Olga has an ideal story as CEO and Founder of SHENIX, a Chicago-based fintech app firm targeted on monetary schooling and advisory companies for Latinas.
SHENIX helps shut the wealth hole to speed up Latinas financial and social transformation via culturally appropriate 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 companies business. She launched her monetary follow, FARO Associates LLC (Latina/woman-owned/Minority Enterprise Enterprise), and new fintech challenge, SHENIX, on her culturally-relevant monetary companies analysis and group wants.
Olga’s many accomplishments embody:
- 2021 Chair for FORBES Enterprise Council’s Monetary Companies Business 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
- Variety MBA Journal Prime 100 Below 50 Govt Chief and Prime 100 Girls 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 be taught 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 your online business and your app and why is it essential to deal with Latinas?
Olga: Our mission is to handle Latina Equal Pay Day and help Latinas in closing the wealth hole, the widest confronted by any group within the U.S.
SHENIX™ is an revolutionary monetary firm constructed by Latinas/x, for Latinas/x, offering culturally related monetary schooling to the Latina/x group to assist them speed up their financial and social transformation whereas prioritizing their cultural mindset.
SHENIX™ presents monetary schooling, monetary companies via its companions, profession planning, and wage negotiation sources, all of which help Latinas/x life objectives.
TSM: What components of your background impressed you to deal with monetary schooling for Latinas?
Olga: I wish to reply this query by describing three private eventualities:
1. Expertise Working with Mother at Bridal Store
Whereas I used to be in highschool, I labored part-time, aspect by aspect, with my mom at that bridal store. She taught me a lot about enterprise, together with learn how to assist our clients choose robes and equipment that symbolized their eagerness for a brand new life, a brand new joyful starting.
I witnessed my mom’s enterprise acumen— the best way she offered customer support, supplied 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. In the future, 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 chatting with 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 scholar. 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 example wasn’t an anomaly. My mom and different homeowners like her had a protracted checklist of comparable experiences, the place they had been discounted or missed just because they had been Spanish-speaking Latinas.
Whereas Latinas are sometimes the first monetary decision-makers of their households, they usually lack the required instruments and sources 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 steerage on wage negotiation and profession progress, particularly once I realized that I used to be making lower than the folks 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 business as a monetary advisor and started working with Latino-run and serving nonprofits and helped handle their 401K and 403b Retirement plans, I additionally offered 401K schooling periods. These had been primarily attended by Latina staff. I realized a lot about their ongoing monetary wants past retirement. We’ve impacted 3,000 lives via our work, offered digital monetary schooling, advocated for our group inside the monetary business, and helped to steer monetary seminars at nationwide Latino conferences.
TSM: In the course of the Pandemic, most individuals’s jobs and monetary conditions have been impacted not directly. How has the Pandemic modified the best way one ought to strategy their funds?
Olga: I at all times inform folks to be proactive!
Having skilled the pandemic, listed below are some useful suggestions to remember 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 trying to bounce again into the workforce have to do their analysis to make sure they’re getting equal pay. Some sources assist with this.
- Budgeting your self to raised climate the sudden.
- Saving to your future.
TSM: Are you able to cite a specific success story that exemplifies how higher monetary planning impacted your shopper’s monetary situation, one which motivates you?
Olga: I’ve talked to many individuals in my life about reaping the advantages at work. I at all times 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 folks 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 foul hand in life they usually’ll by no means discover monetary safety and success?
Olga: We’ve all suffered losses. You’re not alone.
All of us must get again up, however this time search the knowledge that we have to make total higher monetary selections. With info, you’ll really feel extra assured concerning 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 group that’s wanting ahead to getting forward.
TSM: On the enterprise aspect, 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, now we have been discussing the perfect and most impactful approach to launch. Organising the entity appropriately and positioning it takes time and persistence as a result of we generally have to attend for others, but it surely’s all price it.
On Dec. 6, nonetheless, we had been in a position to do a pre-launch from New York Metropolis’s Rockefeller Heart, because of NBCUniversal Telemundo. They understood the significance of SHENIX and sponsored us.
TSM: What have been the opposite main challenges in your personal entrepreneurial journey? Hiring? Advertising and marketing? Discovering capital?
Olga: I might say advertising and marketing has been the principle 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 schools are additionally within the mixture of serving to us with SHENIX and spreading the phrase as school college students have seen us and at the moment are serving to us with TikTok posts, they usually need to do extra. It’s virtually like a motion, and SHENIX is on the middle.
We might transfer ahead sooner 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 elements influenced your resolution to be an entrepreneur.
Olga: I labored with my mother from center college to varsity. I then labored for company America (the monetary business) but additionally knew what might be finished higher to service girls and minority communities.
I’ve by no means been good at asking for permission to be inventive and ship impactful service when it issues.
Entrepreneurship offers me the liberty, a white canvas, to create what I do know the world wants.
TSM: With your whole expertise as an entrepreneur, what’s a very powerful recommendation you’ll be able to provide different startup founders?
Olga: Two issues:
Dream Massive and Carry It to Life!
Don’t Stroll In Anybody’s Sneakers, 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 folks dwell joyful lives.