Large California-based companies tend to originate as small-scale operations. These companies, driven by founders with outstanding ideas and access to capital, can grow in just a matter of a few short months when guided by individuals who have a strong vision. More and more apparent is the fact that many of these business leaders and entrepreneurs are not white, nor or they male; rather, they are Latina women who've realized how to capitalized on their natural startup/high risk-reward nature, which Latinos are known for.

Lilly Rocha, a UC Berkeley grad, abandoned a successful corporate 9-5 where she worked on global events in the food and beverage industry and planned annual meetings. She left to launch her own business, 67 Events and Meetings, and to head Sabor Latino, which is a premier Latino food and Latino consumer-focused trade show, held in Los Angeles.

The idea was for her to create an "ambicultural event," which featured and reflected mainstream and ethnic foods that are part of the Latino culinary experience. Rocha explained that Latinos enjoy food that has a Latin touch, but they also enjoy mainstream foods. And, while the idea for the on-going event came with ease, confidence that she could head and manage the functions came much later.

"The simple truth is that I was brought up in a culture that told me that the man is in charge," Rocha said. "I had to learn to address that."

To correct this mindset, Rocha turned to Latina women empowerment specialist Dr. Yasmin Davidds, who shared with Rocha that she shouldn't allow someone else's rules to dictate what Rocha's strengths and gifts were.

"It is wonderful to see her evolve into a dynamic leader and agile strategist who is making the world a healthier place with food industry trade shows such as Sabor Latino," said Dr. Davidds.

Presently, Rocha only has eight employees, but she recognizes that as the trade show grows, as will job potential -- particularly in the area of event management.

After suffering a heart attack at a young age, Rocha recovered with a mission of teaching young Latinas, or "the sisterhood," about helping one another, and was determined to educate on the benefits of healthier snack options for Latino consumers.

Rocha is just one of many Latinas who've decided to create a business after seeing a need in the community. As stated in a previous Latin Post article, Latinas represent one of fastest growing segments among start-up enterprises. Latina-owned businesses contribute billions to the American economy on a yearly bases, and the total earnings for these businesses have risen from 57.8 percent since 2002.

Latina business growth indicates a desire for Latinas to wield their own success and offer services to their community that, either, hasn't be offered before or access is difficult. This is, perhaps, why Latinas often own business related to food services, health care, finances, social services and technology -- it's a way to give back to their community, while simultaneously proving business know-how and creative spirit.

Published research by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that all women entrepreneurs will create 5 to 5.5 million new jobs across the U.S. by 2018 -- that's more than half of the total new small-business jobs expected to be created during that time, and about one-third of total new jobs will be generated due to the efforts of female entrepreneurs.