Keeping Small Businesses Competitive through Sharing Best Practices of Global Leaders


Leah Oviedo

Leah Oviedo is a business owner in Encinitas , CA . She is the founder of Investing In Women, a free business resource site and grant program, Her services include Press Release writing, Social Media Strategy and Logo Design.

Self employed since 2006, she started Mercado del Mundo, an online boutique featuring clothing, exotic silks, jewelry and fine art from various artists. Coming from a family of successful women business owners she wanted to give back and encourage more women to become financially independent. To contact Leah directly email,


1. A la Oprah, What did you know for sure when you decided to embark on your business?

Leah: I knew that I wanted to start a business that would not just be profitable for me, but make a difference for others as well.

Take us through a typical day, from the moment you wake up til calling it a day.

I get up early and take a walk than return home to eat breakfast. I dress up for the day, because working my pajamas makes it too tempting to go back to bed!

I get online and start working on both of my websites. I return emails, check up on a few networking sites and research new business resources for iiWomen. I take an hour or two for lunch non business errands. Most of my work is completed online so I spend the majority of my time sitting in front of the computer. In the evening I usually attend online networking chats or webinars. My favorite days are when there is a live networking event to attend. While I enjoy online networking, it is not as much fun as meeting people in person.
Some days I work until 8 pm, but stop myself from working later so I do not burn out!


2. What are your tricks for time management with all of the responsibilities you have?

Leah:  I write up a priority list with the most important actions in a week first. I always add deadlines for each task so I am motivated to finish on time.


3. Best advice received when you started out in your business?

Leah:  Read everything before you sign. There are some very shady deals out there that can cost you a lot of money and time!
The best advice I can pass on is don’t be afraid to ask. If you want to grow your business you will learn that asking for help and advice is easy and has great results.


4. When did you know for sure that your business plan was going to work? (a ha moment)

Leah:  It was actually about a year after I wrote my plan. The day I awarded my first business grant was the moment I knew that I was growing a successful business. I’ve also realized that your business plan is not set in stone, you will make changes and add new goals as your business grows past your original plans.


5. What resources do you turn to for direction, advice, fresh ideas?

Leah:  I have formed relationships with several other entrepreneurs that I have collaborated with over the years. They are always there to give me feedback and support. I also find the news and the Q&A tool on Linked Into be great for finding new information.


6. What’s next for Mercado del Mundo/Investing in women over the next 6 months? 3 years?

Leah:  Over the next 6 months, Mercado del Mundo will add new artists. Investing In Women will have awarded our second and possibly 3rd business grant. Over 3 years, Mercado del Mundo will represent more independent artists and designers as well as fair trade and co-ops. The goal for Investing In Women is to award 100 grants in the next 2 years, so 3 years down the line I hope to include international grants as well.


7. What’s been your proudest achievement as a woman? as a business owner?

Leah:  Awarding the business grant has been the highlight of my entrepreneurial career. When I first started out with Mercado del Mundo my proudest moment was the first sale I made for our first independent jewelry designer.


8. If you could do anything in your business differently, what would it be and why?

Leah:  I would have saved up more cash in the beginning so I would not have been as stressed out the first year. This would have made running a new business easier. However, it has all worked out!

Thanks for inviting me to be your first interview!

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