Celebrating Latin Heritage Month | From Brazil to the US and Beyond

By Julia Figueiredo, Director for Latin America at PFG

As we embrace Latin Heritage Month, from September 15th to October 15th, I reflect on my journey from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, to Silicon Valley and now Miami. Eleven years ago, I set foot in the US with dreams, aspirations, and fears. I had no connections in San Francisco, and for the first few days, I thought I had made a colossal mistake. Why leave my family, friends, comfort, and everything I knew to share a small apartment in Berkley with someone I met off Craigslist?  

The years went by, and I made many friends I would take for the rest of my life. I am a first-generation immigrant; English is my second language, and I had to learn to adapt to a completely different culture. However, Latinos are known for being resilient, and I was. As I had no background in technology, it was exciting to learn about it in the booming streets of San Francisco. From joining a pre-seed startup to working at the Product Marketing team at Evernote (one of the first unicorns in Silicon Valley) to helping start Latinas in Tech, to being the head of Latin America at Silicon Valley Bank. 

Today, I’m incredibly honored to lead the practice for Latin America at Partners for Growth, where I have the privilege of supporting passionate and innovative entrepreneurs from Latin America. Our shared stories, diverse backgrounds, and collective aspirations drive us toward creating impactful changes in LATAM and globally. I also sit on the board of Endeavor Miami. Miami is the gateway to Latin America and is the perfect location to combine my passion for tech and honor my roots. 

The United States is home to a significant percentage of Latin Americans. According to the United States Census, its Hispanic population is 63.7 million as of July 1, 2022, making it the nation’s most significant racial or ethnic minority — 19.1% of the population. We’ve woven our traditions, values, and dreams into the very fabric of this nation. I am inspired and proud of the achievements of many fellow Latin Americans in the US, our home countries, and globally. From revolutionary startups to groundbreaking innovations, our community is making waves and challenging the status quo. 

Latin Heritage Month is not just a reflection of our history but a celebration of our present and the promise of an even brighter future. We are writers, engineers, artists, entrepreneurs, and scientists. Our influence is vast, and our potential is #limitless. 

As we celebrate, let us remember our roots and the vast horizons that lie ahead. Our Latin heritage is a testament to resilience, creativity, and an undying community spirit. Here’s to the Latin Americans making a difference, those who’ve paved the way, and future generations who will continue to shine even brighter. 

Feliz Mês da Herança Latina! 

¡Feliz Mes de la Herencia Latina! 

Happy Latin Heritage Month! 🌟🎉 #LatinHeritageMonth

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30+ Year Global Strategic Partner

SVB is a leading American bank providing products, services and strategic advice for businesses at every stage. They operate as a go-to commercial bank for start-ups and established corporations, offering venture funding, private banking & wealth advising. SVB is the largest lender to technology companies globally.

SVB has built its reputation as the financial partner of the innovation economy – helping individuals, investors and the world’s most innovative companies achieve extraordinary outcomes.
PFG and SVB have maintained an official strategic partnership since the late 1980’s. We have collaborated together as co-lenders and extended each other's ability to reach new markets and provide deeper capital to high-growth companies.

PFG and SVB have provided growth debt across the U.S. & Canada, Europe, Middle East, Asia, and Latin America, where we co-manage a Venture Debt Latin America Growth Lending Fund.

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IFC — a member of the World Bank Group — is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. IFC works in more than 100 countries, using its capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.

PFG and IFC are strategic partners where we extend IFC’s direct venture and VC funding, collaborating on fintech and tech lending across global growth markets.

10+ Year Global Strategic Partner

Aims to be the partner of choice for the private sector in Latin America and the Caribbean. They finance projects to advance clean energy, modernize agriculture, strengthen transportation systems and expand access to financing.

IDB Invest, a member of the IDB Group, is a multilateral development bank committed to promoting the economic development of its member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean through the private sector. IDB Invest finances sustainable companies and projects to achieve financial results and maximize economic, social, and environmental development in the region. With a portfolio of $16.3 billion in asset management and 347 clients in 25 countries, IDB Invest provides innovative financial solutions and advisory services that meet the needs of its clients in a variety of industries.

PFG leads a joint venture with IDB Invest that provides debt capital to emerging innovative tech companies across the region via our Latin America Growth Lending Fund. The initiative brings investment expertise into LAC from top notch global players in this field.