Today, we’re introducing Olga Camargo as part of The Startup Magazine’s Female Founder Interview Series. Olga has a great story as CEO and Founder. Shenix is a Chicago-based fintech app company focused on financial education and advisory services for Latinos.
SHENIX empowers Latinos to become financially and socially active through culturally compatible financial education, professionally qualified Latinx/Xx advisors, and English- and Spanish-speaking career coaches. Helps bridge the wealth gap to accelerate transformation.
With over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, Olga is perfectly positioned to provide financial advice. She co-founded her own financial practice, her FARO Associates LLC (a Latinx/Women-Owned/Minority Business Enterprise), and a new fintech project, SHENIX, based on culturally relevant financial services research and community needs. was launched.
Olga’s many achievements include:
- 2021 Forbes Business Council Financial Services Industry Group Chair
- Negocios, Olga Named Among Chicago’s 50 Most Influential Latinos
- Crain’s Chicago Business named Olga “Chicago’s Most Powerful Latino” for 2019.
- Aspen Ideas Festival Ricardo Salinas Scholar
- Chicago’s Choice of 1871 Chicago Technology and the IHCC’s LatinX Incubator
- Diversity MBA Magazine Top 100 Under 50 Executive Leaders and Top 100 Women Influencers
- University of Illinois Chicago School of Management Alumni Leadership Academy Inductee
- Chicago Council on Global Affairs 2010 Emerging Leaders Program Selection
- Member of the Commission on Public Buildings, chaired by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot
- National Board Chair of the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (100k members).
- Olga is a member of the IL State Treasurer’s Hispanic Advisory Board.
- IL Latino Legislative Caucus Foundation Economic Development Committee
- Northeastern Illinois University Foundation Committee
Learn more about Olga’s story from our interview.
TSMs: Describe your latest project, SHENIX, in 10 words or less.
Olga: SHENIX accelerates the economic and social transformation of Latinas.
TSMs: Tell us a little more about your business and app. Why is it important to focus on Latinas?
Olga: Our mission is to work on Equal Pay Day for Latinas and help Latinas close the greatest wealth gap facing any group in the United States.
SHENIX™ is an innovative financial company founded by Latinas/x and for Latinas/x to provide culturally relevant financial education to the Latinas/x community, empowering the economy while prioritizing cultural thinking. help accelerate social and social change.
SHENIX™ offers financial education, partner financial services, career planning and salary negotiation resources, all of which support Latino/x life goals.
TSMs: What inspired you to focus on Latinx financial education?
Olga: I would like to answer this question by describing three personal scenarios.
1. Experience working with mom at a bridal shop
When I was in high school, I worked part-time at a bridal shop with my mother. She taught me a lot about business. That included a way to help customers choose gowns and accessories that symbolized their enthusiasm for new life, new happy beginnings.
I witnessed my mother’s business acumen. It was her way of providing customer service, delivering amazing gowns, and making sure customers knew they actually had the new beginning they were promised. You pitched your service. One day, a finance person approached my mother with a service pitch. He spoke only English and her mother only spoke Spanish. So I stepped in as a temporary translator.
Soon, the consultant stopped talking to my mother, a longtime business owner who had been dealing with customers over the years. I made a pitch. Mother seemed to have disappeared from her room.
She never disappeared, and that scene never left my mind. I just kept thinking: This is incorrect. Unfortunately, this situation was not unusual. My mother and other owners like her had a long list of similar experiences that were either discounted or overlooked simply because they were Latino-speaking Spanish.
Latinos are often the primary financial decision-makers in their homes, yet they lack the tools and resources they need to make the best financial decisions for their homes, communities, and businesses. often
2. My own experience
Struggling with pay disparities within companies, I needed guidance on salary negotiations and career growth, especially when I learned I was earning less than the people I was supervising. I knew what was happening to other Latinos with every conversation.
3. Over 10 years of experience as a financial advisor
When I joined the financial industry as a financial advisor and started working for a Latino-owned nonprofit to help manage 401K and 403b retirement plans, I also conducted a 401K education session. These were attended mainly by Latina employees. I have learned a lot about their continued financial needs after retirement. We have impacted the lives of 3,000 people through our work, provided virtual financial education, and championed communities within the financial industry. and helped lead a financial seminar at a national Latino conference.
TSMs: During the pandemic, most people’s jobs and financial situation have been affected in some way. How has the pandemic changed the way you approach finance?
Olga: I always tell people to be positive!
Having experienced the pandemic, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when overseeing your finances.
- Building emergency savings to cover six months of monthly expenses is a must.
- Having life insurance for your family is important to ensure that your family does not fall apart financially if the family’s primary provider dies.
- do your homework Latinos and those looking to get back into the workforce need research to ensure they get equal pay. Several resources can help with this.
- Create a budget to survive the unexpected.
- save for your future
TSMs: Can you cite a specific success story that shows how better financial planning has impacted your client’s financial health?
Olga: I’ve talked to many people in my life about how to make money at work. I always think of the janitor I met at the hospital who spoke only Spanish. He missed the hospital’s retirement savings match for 20 years because he did not participate in the hospital’s retirement plan. This example motivated me to become more involved in sharing information with people who need to be more involved in their employer’s benefits.
TSMs: What would you say to someone who feels they have been treated badly in life and are unable to achieve financial security and success?
Olga: We all suffered losses. You are not alone.
We all have to bounce back, but this time, look for the information you need to make better financial decisions overall. and change the way you think. Start with small steps. Immediately leap forward. Be part of a community looking forward to moving forward.
TSMs: On the business side, can you give us a little more background on the launch of SHENIX? What is the first big hurdle when releasing the first version of your app?
Olga: As a startup, we have self-funded because our mission is to move forward. Together with our attorneys, we have been discussing the best and most impactful ways to launch. It takes time and patience, but it’s worth it.
But on December 6th, thanks to NBCUniversal Telemundo, we were able to pre-launch from New York City’s Rockefeller Center. They understood the importance of SHENIX and sponsored us.
TSMs: What were the other major challenges in your own entrepreneurial journey? Employment? marketing? find capital?
Olga: Marketing was probably the main challenge, but Latinx media advocates stepped up to join the cause and helped us spread the word. Helped us on social media.
Colleges and Universities are also helping us with SHENIX and spreading the word because college students have noticed us and are helping us with their TikTok posts and they want to do more. It’s like a movement, and SHENIX is at the center of it.
We can move forward faster with more partners committed to making the world a better place for Latinas.
TSMs: As a longtime entrepreneur, can you go back to your early life decisions and tell us what factors influenced your decision to become an entrepreneur?
Olga: I worked with my mother from middle school to college. After that, I worked in corporate America (in the financial industry) and knew what I could do to serve women and minorities in their communities.
I’ve never been good at asking permission to be creative and deliver impactful service when it matters.
Entrepreneurship gives me the freedom, the blank canvas, to create what I know the world needs.
TSMs: From your experience as an entrepreneur, what is the most important piece of advice you can give other startup founders?
Olga: Two things: 1. Dream big! 2. Build your own instead of stepping on someone else’s shoes.
TSMs: Tell me something about yourself that most people don’t know.
Olga: I am on this earth to serve others and help people live happy lives.
Great, Olga. It’s been an inspiring journey. I wish you continued success. thank you.
Post Female Founder Interview – Olga Camargo was first published in The Startup Magazine, leading Latino fintech advisory.