Paulette Piñero – EforAll Greater Worcester
After spending 15 years doing strategy and business development in the social impact field, Paulette Piñero founded Unstoppable Latina in 2020 to guide Latina CEOs to harness their strengths, amplify their voice, and live their purpose. What excites her most is removing obstacles for professionals of color so they can take the next step in their careers and business. She’s been a mentor, guest speaker, and a judge for EforAll Greater Worcester since 2020.
What made you want to become a mentor?
I was a volunteer coordinator during my career so I understand the value and transformation that a mentor can provide. I was also looking for a way to serve my community and the entrepreneurial ecosystem with a clear goal. We are all extremely busy, so I love EforAll because, as a mentor, you are clear about your expectations, time commitment, and how you want to serve.
I also loved that all the mentors are excited about this experience. I think people join EforAll as a volunteer because they want to see folks succeed and because they believe that everyone should have access to quality resources and support. This combination of collaboration, guidance, equity and justice makes the EforAll experience completely different from what most accelerators provide.
What are the biggest challenges that women entrepreneurs face?
The biggest challenge that women entrepreneurs face is what I call being systemically overlooked. We are overlooked because we might be in a room where we have the best ideas or we are the most qualified person, but we get overlooked (literally and figuratively) by folks that appear to have more power and influence. It is systemic because the roadblocks that women entrepreneurs experience are very real and entrenched. It is programs like EforAll as well as committed mentors that can remove those obstacles because we’ve been there. We always hear, “I want a seat at the table.” With EforAll, women and folks with intersecting identities are building tables and bringing their own chairs. It is our duty to guide the women who don’t know there’s a path forward so they too can live their purpose.
I always tell my clients and mentees that success is personal, you define the life you want for yourself, and then you create the ecosystem to thrive. EforAll creates that ecosystem for marginalized and underestimated communities, and I am honored that I play a small part in disrupting the status quo.
What is your favorite part of being an EforAll mentor?
My favorite part of being an EforAll mentor is that I get to have fun! We laugh, learn, and collaborate during mentoring sessions because entrepreneurship is hard. Living your purpose is not easy, it goes against what many of us were told growing up, so to mix topics like cash flow statements or a SWOT Analysis with being vulnerable and sharing your personal story with someone who doesn’t have anyone else in their immediate circle to guide them is an amazing experience. In my last mentor team, we talked more about our failures than successes, laughed with our mentees, and reiterated that there’s no magic remedy to becoming the CEO of your business. I’ve had the same experience meeting the EforAll Worcester team, attending workshops, and connecting with other entrepreneurs. To create that big of an impact and still have fun makes the whole experience unique and worthwhile.
What advice would you have for entrepreneurs?
My advice for entrepreneurs is to just start. Write down your why (purpose), how you want to work (values), what you want to do (services or product), and who you want to inspire to take action (clients). Then select one thing or product at a small scale you can talk about for hours and get to know your market and clients. Once you know how folks receive what you do and you feel like you understand the value or transformation your clients get, even if there’s no tangible offer at the moment, you join a program like EforAll and develop that idea with the support of an amazing curriculum and mentor team.
Interested in becoming a mentor? Learn more here.