What Can Latinos Learn From Israeli Innovators? 

November 18, 2014 is National Entrepreneur Day. In honor of this day, we bring you the guest column below.

Thank you to Guest Columnist Arminda “Mindy” Figueroa, Chief Marketing Connector (and CEO) of Latin2Latin Marketing + Communications, LLC 

What Can Latinos Learn From Israeli Innovators? 

That is the question that came up recently while working with a client partner on the launch of a new book called El Pequeño Dínamo by Marcella Rosen.

un pequeno dinamo imageEl Pequeño Dínamo examines life-changing innovations including:  the flash drive; SpineAssist, a robot that saves many lives in spinal surgery;  a desalination process that solves the world’s water shortage, IceSense3, a device that freezes breast tumors; and Drip Irrigation, to water the desert.

How Have These Innovations Impacted Latinos?

Honduras, for instance, has adopted the Drip Irrigation invention. Many coffee farmers in Central America will soon begin the “Meses Flacos,” or “thin months” when the coffee harvest is over, the income from the past harvest has already been consumed but the next influx of cash is still 7 to 8 months away.

In these days, all that is brought to the table are small amounts of food, and many familiesMAP_LT1_Country_Honduras must borrow from others to get through these tough times. The income of the crops is often never enough for the whole year. The “Coop Fund for Sustainability” – created by the largest Swiss retail chain of supermarkets COOP –  supports a project in which coffee producers in Fair-trade Cooperatives can have additional income opportunities with a water-saving irrigation system.


Drip irrigation system used by Honduran farmers.

By growing vegetables not only can they get additional income but spread it evenly over the entire year to fill in the gaps left by “los Meses Flacos”. The smallest irrigation kit consists of a sack as a reservoir and 4×5 meter of drip tape that brings the water drop by drop to the plants and can irrigate 20 square meters. With this coffee kit, farmers can create gardens that produce vegetables and fruits for the local market. This means additional income for many families and less of the thin months–“Meses Flacos.”

What are the Triggers that Fuel Israeli Innovation?

  1. Necessity
  2. Immigrants and Education
  3. Democratic Principles of Freedom
  4. Questioning Everything
  5. Army Experience

The growing Latino audience—similar to Israelis—has overcome adversity, and as a result, thrived in entrepreneurial spirit. Hence, the translation of El Pequeño Dínamo into Spanish.  It was driven by the many similarities between Israeli innovators and Latino entrepreneurs.

Manny Ruiz, Chairman and Founder of the Hispanicize companies, collaborated on the book launch and joined Ms. Rosen at a book discussion recently in Miami.  “As a Latino entrepreneur who was mentored by Jewish women, I loved reading El Pequeño Dínamo because its stories gave me an even deeper appreciation for the industrious, hardworking mentality that powers Israel’s genius and world renowned achievement; a small nation that is arguably, person for person the globe’s titan for invention, business and entrepreneurship,” Ruiz concludes.

 El Pequeño Dínamo can inform and inspire millions of US Latinos about inventions to improve their health (for example, banishing breast tumors, curing sleep apnea, reducing partial blindness) and their way of making a new living or surviving during “los Meses Flacos.”

I hope that I have piqued your interest about this extraordinary book.  I am sure that you will be as pleased as me with the fascinating things that you’ll discover.  It’s truly inspiring!  Find more details https://www.facebook.com/elpequenodinamo and Amazon.com (http://amzn.to/1twjJ7s).

1 http://blog.ideorg.org/2013/05/06/ide-drip-irrigation-elevating-honduran-farmers/

HUF Supports Entrepreneurs

HUF’s Emerging Entrepreneur program partners with SCORE of Broward County and other partners on numerous workshops throughout the year. Our key funding partners for this program are: Chase and JP Morgan. Our support partners include Bank of America and Comerica.

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