Chicago-based tech entrepreneur opens fund for Latino-owned businesses
Ruben Flores-Martinez will provide $1 million worth of funds to around 1,000 Latino startup businesses.
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CASHDROP CEO and founder, Ruben Flores-Martinez, always believed small Latino-owned businesses deserved the same rights and chances other businesses had.
This is the reason why Flores-Martinez decided to provide $1 million of his own money to create his own foundation called, The Latino Renaissance Fund.
The money is provided by Flores-Martinez’s business, CASHDROP, an app that allows online stores to manage their business from one app, and will distribute the money towards 1,000 business owners.
The money will go towards entrepreneurs who use his app for their growing businesses.
“I’m pledging a million dollars of my personal stock in the company and we are giving it away to 1,000 Latino-owned businesses that are in the platform,” Flores-Martinez said. “The Latino equity program is meant for every single CASHDROP merchant on the platform. We encourage every single person to sign up.”
Flores-Martinez, who was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico, experienced first hand the struggles of becoming a first generation business owner in the country. That is why his new start-up fund is so crucial to him.
“I come from a very entrepreneurial community … as a Latino in tech, I came to realize the hard way actually that only 1% of all venture dollars go to Latino founders like me. And it’s not because we don’t have big ambitions or big ideas, it's that there's just no representation,” he said.
He also said that financial boost will be able to go towards other young entrepreneurs who struggled like he first did during the beginning of his business development.
“It’s always been very important to me to not only make it for myself, but make a statement to enable the next generation, the next 10, 15 Rubens that can make it bigger, so that I can help them get there faster, and the Latino Renaissance Fund for me was just a way of really putting my money where my mouth is.”
Flores-Martinez created his app during the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. He admits that it was a difficult time for him, but continued to work endlessly to create his app.
“When we launched, it was right at the beginning of the pandemic, so there was no traffic and a lot of people that were used to brick-and-mortar commerce were forced to pivot really fast,” he said. “So at the beginning with a lot of restaurants and food trucks and hospitality industry businesses that needed a way to start collecting payments from a remote location because of COVID, and then it kind of proliferated into a lot of people that just had ideas for small side hustles … so that kind of created this really interesting ecosystem for us.”
At the end of the day, all Flores-Martinez wants is to see young Latino entrepreneurs achieve their dreams.
For more information about CASHDROP, please visit its website.