Sonoran Business Women Visit Phoenix To Build Networks, Create Opportunities

By Kendal Blust
Published: Friday, May 31, 2019 - 8:46am

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Hermosillo business women delegation
Kendal Blust/KJZZ
The business women's delegation from Hermosillo with U.S. Consul Elia Tello and Mayor Kate Gallego.

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego met with a group of more than 20 business women from neighboring Sonora, Mexico this week. They were in Phoenix to build networks and strengthen cross-border business ties.

Sonorans have always had strong family, cultural and economic ties with Arizona, said Ana Maria Araque, president of Sonora’s women’s chapter of the Mexican business leaders union COPARMEX.

“It’s like our second home, for many of us," she said. So it’s a natural place to look for business partnerships and opportunities.

Araque’s heading a delegation of women business leaders that arrived in Phoenix this week, joined by the U.S. Consul General in Hermosillo, Elia Tello.

The group is meeting with government and business leaders, attending workshops and developing new ideas, Araque said.

“Once they go back to Mexico, they will already know the people, they will have the connections, and they will know how to start their business," she said. "And if they need more information, they will know who they can get that information from.”

The women work in fields from tourism to technology, education to mining and beyond, Araque said.

Gertie Agraz is one of the delegates. She own a consultancy company that helps small businesses in Hermosillo improve their business model, she said. She hopes this visit will help her expand to consulting for cross-border businesses looking to operate in both Sonora and Arizona.

"I’m really looking forward to having some fruits from this visit and to keep being in touch with people here," she said, adding that meeting other women in Phoenix has been "very inspiring, and I’ve been having a very good time also."

Araque said it's important for business women on both sides of the border to connect with each other. She hopes next time she'll have the change to host Phoenix business women south of the border for a visit to Hermosillo.

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