Laura and Antonio: Business Owners and Community Leaders

It’s not surprising that entrepreneurs often become community leaders. In addition to their contribution to the local economy, small business owners work to build up their communities as volunteers, partners, donors, and sponsors. Two of our recent boot camp graduates, Laura and Antonio, offer strong examples of what leadership as a local business owner looks like.

Even though she’s just starting out, Laura Easley is already thinking about the impact she and her business can have on the community at large. Laura owns The Curiouser Kitchen, an open-concept kitchen providing private chef services, catering, and meal delivery (which you can find on her website and Instagram). She is passionate about food justice and has been intentional about making sure that mission is reflected in her business plan, decisions, and connections from the start. Laura donates to and volunteers with Denver Community Fridges, a mutual aid organization, and she’s purposeful about partnering with companies that boost farms run by women and people of color. While she knows she’ll be able to do more to give back as her business grows, Laura also believes it’s important to do what she can now; the little choices that business owners make matter and can have a big impact on the community. By leading with her values early on, Laura is working to ensure that she’s of value to others.

For Antonio Soto, being a business owner means being a role model. When he started SNegoio, which provides business and accounting support to Latino and immigrant-owned small businesses, Antonio went all in because he wanted to pave the way and inspire others to follow. He has already helped 60 small business owners at no cost to them, and he’s been proud to see his impact in ways large and small. Antonio is passionate about business ownership in his community because he views it as a tool for breaking the cycle of poverty, allowing families to create foundational wealth that can be built upon in future generations. Recently, Antonio’s leadership and influence were recognized at the state level when Governor Jared Polis appointed him as Director of the Minority Business Office. In his new role, Antonio is continuing to lead by example, using his own story of starting a business to inspire others to ask for help and be open to the resources available.

Laura and Antonio believe in both their power and their responsibility as business owners to uplift their communities. RMMFI seeks to foster that sense of leadership and community connection with all the entrepreneurs we work with, and we’re always proud to see what’s possible when people use business ownership to activate potential for themselves and those around them.