Every year since 1982, the United States has celebrated American Women’s Business Day on September 22. Today, nearly 40 years later, it is important to uphold this tradition. The millions of businesswomen and women business owners in our country’s workforce continue to be under-appreciated and unrecognized for their contributions and accomplishments. In 2020, women earn 81 cents for every dollar earned by men, and even worse, the gender wage gap is larger for women of color.

In honor of American Women’s Business Day this year, we celebrate the women business owners in our community who are making great strides and are being recognized for it. The four women profiled here are all Hera Hub Carlsbad members who have been nominated for a NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) San Diego BRAVA Award this year. Here, we share a little about their backgrounds, their businesses, and their advice for aspiring women business owners. We asked each woman, “What advice do you have for women who are aspiring to own their own business?” Read on for their valuable insight!

Valencia Porter, Nominated for the Rising Star Award

Dr. Valencia Porter, MD MPH is a leader in Integrative, Preventive, and Environmental Medicine, combining ancient wisdom traditions with modern science. As a practitioner of Functional Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine, she helps people find the root causes of illness and restore and support the body’s natural healing capacities through multiple modalities. With a truly holistic approach, Dr. Porter recognizes the intricate relationship between human health and planetary health, advocating for urban regenerative organic farms to provide fresh whole foods to populations in need, while supporting local jobs and climate health.

Valencia’s Advice: “Often female entrepreneurs are independent-minded go-getters who can take care of many things on their own, but my biggest business and personal growth has come from my connections with others. So, my advice to aspiring business owners is to find and cultivate a community of people that can support your business as well as personal goals. You never know where you may find a mentor, a business or collaborative partner, a client, and even a friend. Literally and figuratively, connections make our lives richer!

Carmen Proctor, Nominated for the Rising Star Award

After working for over 20 years in Project and Program Management, Carmen is now bringing her goal-setting, planning, and implementation skills to teens by teaching the SMART goal methodology through her app, Teen SMART Goals. She is passionate about helping teens learn goal setting because this valuable life skill will empower them to tackle any challenge with less stress and in a quicker timeframe, so they can stay competitive in the complex world we live in.

Carmen’s Advice: “Define a clear vision around a business that you will love, that makes you want to wake up in the morning. But back up that vision with a clear plan of action. The days will go by quickly, and as a new entrepreneur, having an action plan that is designed to achieve your specific vision will keep you focused and confident that you can reach your goals!”

Valerie Grant, Nominated for the Women’s Advocate Award

Valerie A. Grant is the principal owner of Grant Consulting Services, LLC., a fundraising consulting firm. Valerie and her team work very well with non-profit organizations because they care about the people that the organizations care about. Ms. Grant is also a published author and an accomplished freelance writer.

Valerie’s Advice: “Do it! Don’t let fear, inequity, and lack of access to funding discourage you. The world needs you and your creative, nurturing business products and services right now. Push through when you are discouraged, rest when you can, and enjoy the process. Women business owners are making a difference, and you can too!”

Lisane Basquiat, Nominated for the Women’s Advocate Award

Lisane Basquiat is the founder and CEO of Shaping Freedom, a personal growth company that trains individuals on how to gain empowerment through internal congruence and spiritual alignment with the goal of healthier and stronger familial dynamics and legacy. Shaping Freedom is also the parent to Shaping Sanctuary and Hera Hub Carlsbad. Shaping Sanctuary is a products line for the home and office/creative space, launching Fall 2020. Hera Hub Carlsbad is a female focused and gender inclusive community, co-working space, and business accelerator. Lisane is also the co-administrator (along with her sister) of the Jean-Michel Basquiat Estate, the role of which is to honor their brother by maintaining and caring for his legacy and to make his art more accessible to global audiences.

Lisane’s Advice: “Creating a plan to start your own business? Community is key. Too often, new entrepreneurs allow their excitement to be doused by (well meaning) nay-sayers. Connect yourself with like-minded individuals who can support you along the way and hold you accountable to trusting yourself, and to take action on your dreams.”

If you’re inspired by these local North County San Diego business women who have made significant contributions and a positive impact, join your local Hera Hub community! Our mission is to bring entrepreneurial women together to learn from each other and build their businesses. Our programming is currently global and virtual, meaning that no matter where you are, you can partake in the many resources we have to offer.


We also urge you to visit the NAWBO BRAVA page to learn more about the other businesswomen who have been nominated for awards, attend the inspirational (and free!) panel release events, and vote for your favorites! After the release of six awards panels and public voting, we will all come together on Friday, October 23rd from 5-6pm PDT for the LIVE Finale Awards Show, where the winners in each category will be announced!