Home Back Issues August 2011 Budding entrepreneurs get tamale traction

Budding entrepreneurs get tamale traction

| Print |  Email
Articles - August 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Article Index
Budding entrepreneurs get tamale traction
Page 2
By Linda Baker

 

0811_MicroSteps_01
Above: From left: Inocencia Ordunás, Hector Vargas and Jazmin Lopez are part of a group of “micro mercantes” who have launched their tamale business with the help of a new program. Below: Tamales made by the Hacienda entrepreneurs. // Photos by Teresa Meier
0811_MicroSteps_02

Should budding entrepreneurs strike out on their own? Or is it more effective to pool resources with like-minded business owners? That was the dilemma facing the “Micro Mercantes” tamale vendors, a group of low-income Latinas who participate in a microenterprise program sponsored by Hacienda Community Development Corporation.

When the program launched in 2005, “The idea was to provide each lady training tools to start their own business,” says program coordinator Jorge Alvarado. But this year, “the ladies realized they could make more money with less labor if they formed a co-op.”

So on a recent Friday morning, nine women — and one son-in-law — gathered in Hacienda’s community kitchen, assembling spinach and chicken tamales, to be sold at 10 area farmer’s markets for about $4. Each of the women sells at one market a week, with one vendor working an extra market on a weekly rotation.

Buying wholesale and working as a team are some of the benefits of the co-op, says member Jazmin Lopez. Each woman contributes about $150 a week for ingredients; the vendors also share vehicles, and occasionally husbands, to help transport groceries and finished tamales. Weekly revenues are about $5,000, and depending on the individual, the women earn 50% to 100% of their family’s income.



 

More Articles

What I'm Reading

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014

Nick Herinckx, CEO of Obility, and Jake Weatherly, CEO of SheerID, share what they've been reading.


Read more...

The 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon 2014

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

Proud, diverse and underpaid.

Pride in their organizations’ mission, fairness in the treatment of women and ethnic minorities, flexible work schedules — these are just a handful of workplace characteristics that employees of this year’s 100 Best Nonprofits appreciate about their organizations.


Read more...

Innovation: a critique

News
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
1008 innovation thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

A Design Week panel discussion raises questions about how innovative we really are.


Read more...

Reimagining education to solve Oregon's student debt and underemployment problems

News
Thursday, November 13, 2014
carsonstudentdept-thumbBY RYAN CARSON | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

How do we skill up our future technology workforce in a smart way to take advantage of these high-paying jobs? The answer shouldn’t focus only on helping people get a bachelor’s degree.


Read more...

Knight Vision

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY

Travis Knight wants to release a movie a year. Can he pull it off?


Read more...

The Rail Baron

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Oil is gushing out of the U.S. and Canada, and much of it is coming from places that don’t have pipeline infrastructure. So it’s being shipped by rail.


Read more...

OB Poll: Wineries and groceries

News
Friday, October 24, 2014

24-winethumbA majority of respondents agreed: Local vineyards should remain Oregon-owned and quality is the most important factor when determining where to eat or buy groceries.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS