Beto Yarce started his first business at eight years old selling candy out of his parents’ garage in Guadalajara. In the years following, he ran many others, including a car wash, restaurant, coffee shop and family-owned business selling jewelry and folk art, eventually obtaining a degree in International Business from the Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de Occidente (ITESO) in Guadalajara.
This month, Beto celebrates his nine-year anniversary with Ventures Nonprofit, a South Seattle-based organization that empowers individuals with limited resources and unlimited potential to improve their lives through small business ownership.
He joined Ventures in March 2008 when it was still Washington CASH, as the pioneer of Latino services, in which he grew a fledgling training course into a thriving model for Latino small business success around the country. He now leads the team of more than 20 staff members as Executive Director.
“Beto is a genuine, compassionate and enthusiastic leader,” said the Ventures staff in an announcement celebrating his anniversary with the organization. “We are proud to have him on our team!”
Beto is responsible for maintaining community engagement, promoting Ventures’ mission, marketing and securing new funding sources to support program growth and much more.
He’s passionate in his support of other entrepreneurs, helping them bring their own visions to fruition.
Prior to joining Ventures, Beto helped run his family’s small business in Zapopan, near Guadalajara, Mexico. Their mission was promoting the centuries-old tradition of fine Mexican silver jewelry, while adding a contemporary flair and urban energy. The company name, Cintli refers to the mythological Zapopan Goddess of Corn.
In 2003, he opened a second branch of Cintli, called Cintli by Beto Yarce, in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. This branch quickly became known for its unique jewelry and folk art, supporting the sustainability movement from an early start.
These experiences provide him with a unique insight into the challenges faced by aspiring entrepreneurs as they work to increase their financial self-sufficiency through small business ownership.
Beto is also very active in the local community, working with a variety of different groups creating economic development, social justice and new economic models that support individuals to brake cycles of poverty. He also works with LGBTQ communities to advocate for equity for all in many capacities—education, respect, human rights, political environment, business opportunities and philanthropy.
This week, he was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions for our People in Your Neighborhood column — a series of interviews with some of South Seattle’s most interesting and engaging people.
How long working in South Seattle?
Where from originally?
Executive Director at Ventures
What do you like most about your day job?
Working with an amazing community of talented and passionate entrepreneurs promoting our mission that empowers individuals with limited resources and unlimited potential to improve their lives through small business ownership.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
My partner (JK), our clients and finding solutions to create better economic systems that work for more people.
Tell us about your work in the community.
I am very active in different groups, mostly creating economic development, social justice and new economic models that support individuals to brake cycles of poverty. I also engage with LGBTQ communities to advocate for equity for all in many capacities—education, respect, human rights, political environment, business opportunities and philanthropy.
What motivates you to do this work?
I always love to help people and support them achieve their goals. It brings me a lot of joy when disadvantaged people can reach the American dream as I did 14 years ago when I moved to this land of opportunity.
What are you passionate about?
Entrepreneurship, creating new things, and nature/outdoors.
What are your hobbies?
Travel, hiking, and everything related with ecotourism or adventure.
Tell us about your family:
I love my family. This year is my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary, I am lucky to have them and they have been amazing mentors and supporters all my life. I have two beautiful sisters with big hearts and one great big brother. 8 nieces and nephews and all of them live in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. I visit at least once a year and they come and visit. I am partnered with my Gringo who is my family here in Washington and also have wonderful friends who I consider my family here.
What’s your most favorite thing about South Seattle?
What’s your least favorite thing about South Seattle?
Where is your favorite place to go in South Seattle?
Who inspires you?
What was the last thing you read?
Professional- The Toyota Way to Service Excellence by Karyn Ross, for fun La Casa de los Secretos de Maria Victoria
Tell us something about you that not many people know:
I would like to study medicine.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Being outdoors and learning something new.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
What is your greatest regret?
What is your current state of mind?
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Immigrate to USA ongoing.
What is your most treasured possession?
I don’t really have too many attachments.
What do you most value in your friends?
Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Who are your heroes in real life?
What is it that you most dislike?
When people gossip.
What else should we know about you?
I like Karaoke, and I am actually a shy person, but nobody believes it.
Is there a South Seattle neighbor you’d like to know more about? Nominate them for our People in Your Neighborhood column — a series of interviews with some of South Seattle’s most interesting and engaging people. Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.