Ramona Ortega is changing the way millennial women of color think and manage their finances via her platform: My Money My Future. We talked with the powerhousefounder, and former lawyer, on why she’s on a mission to make generations of Latinas wealthy.
Latina: Why was it important to you personally to create a financial app for Latinas?
Ramona: One of the greatest challenges we face as a community is economic inequality, in particular, the racial wealth gap. The data does not lie, the racial wealth gap is very real and has serious
implications for well-being and access to opportunities. I decided to launch MyMoney My Future because I had spentmany years working to solve this problem
through public policy, but I realized that it was just as important for ourcommunities to have access to solid financial advice. At the time I was workingin corporate law and had insight into how
really rich people managed their money and grew their wealth. I talked to womenin my community and everyone seemedreally intimidated t o speak about moneyand investment and I thought, “I can fixthis problem!” Combining financial literacy with a platform to take action was our answer to making personal finance more accessible.
Latina: Where do you get yourconfidence?
Ramona: Ha! I don’t know if it’s confidence, as much as it’s sheerwillpower to get something done andwin a game most say we can’t win. The minute someone tells me I can’t or I
shouldn’t, I do. I think my confiden ce comes in the “doing” rather than thewanting to do. When you put skin in thegame, feel the pain, take risk, losesomething, gain something, it matters.
It breeds c onfidence because it cutsout the BS.
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Latina: What should every aspiring “boss babe” know about starting a business?
1. Know the proble m you are solving an dknow why you are solving it. Have somepassion around it!
2. Understand the business model, and how you are going to make money.
3. Do your homework. There is an abunda nc e of information online.Read a lot and make sure you understandyour vertical. Are you a non-profit, a for
profit, a traditional business versus a tech startup?
4. Don’t wait to launch! Get out there and do something. Test your MVP (minimumviable product) see what you can build
and then do it better.
Latina: What’s your biggest challenge now as a women of color?
Ramona: Not having enough high-powered networks that are often needed to break the “glass ceiling” or into the
tight-knit world of Silicon Valley. We don’t have a lot of people who look like us who have sold companies for millions of
dollars. We don’t have a lot of CEO’s ofFortune 500 companies. We are getting there, but those kinds of connections are
gatekeepers. They wield power that translates into opportunity.
Latina: How do you try and balance work and mom life?
Ramona: I don’t! Seriously, I don’t think of it as a balance so much as just our life.
As a single mom, my son, who is 15 and an Aries like me, is everything to me. But
he also knows I am out here doing what I need to do to make a difference and build
a company. When I am not traveling we spend a lot of quality time together, like going to the gym or going to dinner. But
sometimes I miss things and I believe he knows that it doesn’t take away from us.
Latina: Do you ever feel like giving up?
Ramona: All the time. Success is about ups and downs and how you deal with the
downs and stay resilient. This is where your network helps you realign and gets
you back on track.
Latina: What’s one thing peopleu nderestimate about you?
Ramona: My ability to adapt and transform. I have an internal compass
that is always pointing me towards success. It is a sixth sense that I know
where I am heading and what I am doing is going to be big. It is a powerful feeling
to have a deep sense of direction that most people cannot see.