As business adviser for San Antonio’s entrepreneurs, this alumna has a unique perspective as to what it takes to create a successful business.
by Donna Parker
Margot Slosson Fuentes ’09: BS in Business Administration and Spanish
If you own or want to start a small business, you’ll want to talk to Margot Slosson Fuentes. As business adviser at ACCION Texas, Inc., Margot counsels small business owners and entrepreneurs in San Antonio who are looking to grow their business. In addition to providing advice and links to resources—especially capital—she coordinates entrepreneurial courses and business workshops and is a resource provider for entrepreneurs in the Café Commerce program at the Central Library, where she works with Peter French, the director, who is a fellow Trinity alumnus.
Margot is uniquely suited to the position, thanks to her Trinity education, her former position as membership and international programs coordinator for The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, and her own independent business ventures. Being so thoroughly immersed in the thriving entrepreneurial climate of the Alamo City provides Margot with a unique and critical link to other entrepreneurs and intensifies her empathy toward those who expend the time, energy and sheer dedication it requires to get a business off the ground.
And the lady knows whereof she speaks. Margot and her husband, Julio, an artist, founded Texarte, which specializes in Tex-Mex-themed acrylics on canvas and matted photographic works. Margot, who creates artwork as a hobby, explains, “This is a virtual business with a Web presence, and we attend different markets around San Antonio to show and sell our artwork.”
Along with Texarte, she and Julio are in the planning and research phase of a second opportunity that provides revelers with seats on a 16-person party bicycle to drive around town and sample the City’s vibrant nightlife and well-established tourist attractions. They plan to launch that venture with Fiesta Cycle PedalPub® in January of 2015. Says Margot, “It would be fun for us to not only take riders to the traditional landmarks like the Alamo, but to establish new sites for them to see, thus expanding the city’s opportunities.”
As both a small business adviser and a small business owner, Margot draws extensively on her Trinity business education, noting “it really helps.” She credits her core classes in marketing, accounting and finance with preparing her to assist ACCION’s clients, many of whom have skills in a particular trade or service but require direction in general business areas such as business plans and financial projections.
In a city with a majority Hispanic population, Spanish language proficiency is definite plus, and Margot praises Trinity for accelerating the foundation she had in the language. Through the MAS program, she completed a two-month internship with a Spanish company in Madrid. Of the experience, Margot says, “I was integrated fully into the work environment, interacting with fellow employees and sharpening my business-specific Spanish vocabulary.”
While in Madrid, Margot also studied under professor Jorge Gonzalez, who specialized in the European Union and the economy and “really impacted my skillset of developing relationships.” The fluency she developed in Spanish and the relationship building skills she acquired in Spain, served her well in a second study abroad experience at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Guadalajar, Mexico.
On campus, Margot’s adviser, professor Richard Burr “was so encouraging.” It was through his support that Margot says she was able to “push her boundaries” by selecting rigorous classes and combining her study abroad experiences into her business major. “It’s all led up to this exciting time in San Antonio, with a thriving urban revitalization downtown and really great energy with more young professionals in the city.”
Between her job and independent business ventures, Margot continues her commitment to community service that was nourished on the Trinity campus. During those undergraduate years, Margot volunteered through TUVAC and Latino Exchange. These days, she is a volunteer reading buddy with the San Antonio Youth Literacy Program at Herff Elementary.
“Trinity really established such a sense of community for the students,” says Margot. “Living there was great with a flourishing campus life, and it’s really where I built strong relationships and lifelong friendships. Combined with my internal drive to problem solve and drive the process forward, I’m in exactly the right place to leverage opportunity and contribute towards the City’s economic development.”
You may contact Margot at: mslosson [at] gmail.com