In a celebration of National Entrepreneurship Month, Jessica Abo highlights two entrepreneurs who are reshaping the immigrant experience. Beatriz Naranjo founded a nanny matchmaking service addressing the diverse child care needs of New York parents; and, Aneri Desai, who left a toxic arranged marriage, shares how she has become a leader empowering immigrant women.
Beatriz Naranjo’s Story
Beatriz Naranjo believes everyone in a child’s ecosystem serves a pivotal role in achieving a healthy and balanced upbringing – often sharing the age-old adage: “It takes a village!” An immigrant from Caracas, Venezuela, she curated a small yet exclusive network of caregivers and families in New York City who highly value quality childcare and launched The Beehive NYC. Her nanny matchmaking service caters to various childcare needs for New York parents and caregivers.
“In a fast-paced city like New York, where life is happening right in front of your eyes, I saw the opportunity to immerse myself in the world of child care, and it’s never-ending need and demand, to find amazing opportunities for hard-working individuals who share my work-ethic and views on building a healthy, safe and stable environment for children to grow and thrive comfortably, be loved unconditionally, and express themselves in judgment-free zones.”
As Naranjo continues to advocate for the well-being of her families and sitters, she also emphasizes the importance of adequately and fairly valuing domestic employees and child care providers. She has made it a priority to protect her sitters’ needs, with the intention of making it clear that “we as human beings, ALL human beings, need to respect and treat one another with kindness – the same way we would like to be treated and respected.”
While she has big dreams for the future, she says she hopes her business shows other immigrants what’s possible; not only through The Beehive NYC, but also within the media and entertainment industry. “I’m excited to share that Jason Weinberg of Untitled Entertainment, and SAG award winning actress and producer Alysia Reiner, are developing my story into a scripted TV series.”
Aneri Desai’s Story
When Aneri Desai immigrated to the United States to attend business school, she had hopes and dreams. “Then I landed in a toxic arranged marriage,” she says. “One day I finally found the courage to walk out, but I had nowhere to go. I felt emotionally and financially dependent on others. That day I promised myself that I would find my voice, build my identity and do everything in my power to create opportunities for other immigrant women to be financially independent.” Her job search journey was challenging. She received more than 270 rejections before she landed my first corporate job. “After eight years working with Fortune 500 companies in leadership roles, I decided to follow my dream of empowering immigrant women.”
Today she offers personalized 1:1 coaching to international students and immigrant women looking for their first job and first promotion of trying to return to the workforce after a career break. “I provide step by step guidance on gaining career clarity, crafting a powerful resume and professional brand, building a professional network, cracking job interviews and negotiating salary. In the last three years, my mentees have landed more $23 million in job offers in North America.”
Aneri says her work matters so much to her because Immigrant/expat women are smart and courageous, but some might not know how to toot their own horn, take ownership of their career and stand out in a competitive job market in a foreign land. “I help job seekers feel confident in navigating their job search successfully. Through my work, I am empowering immigrant women to return to work after five to 10 years of career break, double their salaries, buy their dream homes, pay off their student loans, retire their parents and/or build generational wealth. When one woman lands her dream job, it elevates many lives.”
Her advice for fellow immigrants is, “never hide what makes you, YOU! Your foreign accent is a sign of bravery. Embrace it, celebrate it and shine through it.” She also adds it’s okay to ask for help. “Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. There is always someone out there who is a few steps ahead of you. They have already paved the path that can be your roadmap. It can expedite your journey.”