Ms. Netzi Gallardo is the Co-Founder of La Colmena del Abuelo (The Grandfather’s Hive), a Mexico-based company that spreads awareness of the plight of bees and bee protection by promoting 100% pure honey. Like many other participants, Ms. Gallardo arrived with the intent to acquire valuable skills to more fully manage her business. In her case, she wanted to know how to commercialize and prepare her honey for export. One such event, One Million Cups, encouraged local entrepreneurs to meet and present their startups to a thriving peer network.
Ms. Gallardo was initially placed with BEEZ Hives N Honey, a one-stop-shop for bee enthusiasts. Notwithstanding the wonderful chance to work with the beekeeping supply shop, Ms. Gallardo decided to maximize her fellowship by capitalizing on networking opportunities with other organizations. Upon the recommendation of UCCD, she contacted the Mexican Consulate in Salt Lake City, and they were able to offer considerable connections to the community. Thanks to this insight, she was able to meet the director of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Alex Guzman. The Hispanic Chamber was very enthusiastic about having Ms. Gallardo involved in the Chamber’s activities and viewed it as a golden opportunity for growth and connection. She jumped right into things and was excited about the opportunity to connect with Hispanic business owners in Utah, commenting that “the support they gave us was enough to learn from our industries.”
Additionally, Ms. Gallardo met Joe Wilson, the author of the highly acclaimed bee guide The Bees in Your Backyard. This book provides the most comprehensive and accessible guide to all bees in the United States and Canada. For a blossoming entrepreneur invested in all things bee-related, this meeting was an exceptional highlight during her engaging stay.
Ms. Gallardo rejoiced in the enthusiastic news that she would become certified in organic beekeeping, something that would accentuate her niche in the industry. UCCD programs are not just about visiting new places and meeting new people, it’s also about developing new talents to take back home and use to improve the visitors’ home communities. During her fellowship, she participated in radio conversations with local business owners, doing one-on-one and group interviews with Latino business owners to exchange business experiences, best practices, and common mistakes. We hope the experiences she received will not only benefit her professional endeavors but the success of her bee company in Mexico.