This article was originally published in La Prensa San Diego Newspaper on June 17, 2016.
By Ana Gomez Salcido
A passion for business runs in Eduardo Landeros’ family. It is only natural that Landeros is the Community Loan Officer at the CDC Small Business Finance in San Diego.
“I come from a family where everyone had some type of business,” said the Tijuana native. “My grandfather had a Mexican candy enterprise in Mexico. My dad always had some type of business too along with my uncles and aunts. My mother ran a business as well.”
Landeros grew up in Tijuana before moving to San Diego when he was 10 years old.
Eduardo studied at Southwestern College for a couple of semesters. He then decided to move back to Tijuana to study Business Administration at the Universidad Iberoamericana Tijuana.
“While I studied in Tijuana, I went to a Symposium in Monterrey and decided to move there to study at the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey,” said Landeros. “I continued studying Business Administration but then I decided to change to Marketing.”
The type of classes in Marketing motivated the career change, since Landeros liked the statistical and analysis parts of marketing.
When Landeros finished his bachelor’s degree in marketing, he came back to San Diego and started working for a market research company.
“I have always been interested in market research, on why the consumer buys certain things,” said Landeros. “I supervised a group of people that made surveys.”
In 2000, Landeros started working in the administrative area of the San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and later became the Interim President and CEO of this organization.
“We held a lot of workshops so companies could be certified and be able to sell to government entities,” explained Landeros. “I noticed that the language was a barrier for a lot of business owners; they couldn’t understand the systems used in the United States or the different types of contracts used.”
Learning about the obstacles Hispanic business owners faced, motivated Landeros to start helping in this specific area.
“I always say I started my business career in 2000, because I have been involved in the business sector since then,” added Landeros.
After four years in the San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Landeros left the organization to start a business venture with his two brothers that would follow the footsteps of their grandfather.
Landeros and his brother started a Mexican candy business in San Ysidro. The Landeros brothers manufactured and distributed classic Mexican candies like jamoncillo, cocada, and cajeta through their business.
“We operated the enterprise for almost two years and we sold to around 200 different stores in San Diego, including the Northgate Markets back when they were El Tigre Markets. We even sold to many stores in the Los Angeles area,” said Landeros.
In 2005, Landeros started working as a business-banking officer for Citibank, where he worked for more than three years.
The objective of his job was to help businesses to get bank loans and help them manage their accounts.
“Business has always caught my eye. As a business banking officer, I was able to analyze all the businesses I served,” said Landeros. “I have always been interested on how businesses operate and how successful they are. I had the opportunity to analyze different businesses.”
Landeros continued his work as a business-banking officer in two other banks, USA Federal Credit Union and Union Bank.
After almost six years working for three different banks helping the business community to get bank loans to prosper in the commerce, Landeros started working for the CDC Small Business Finance in San Diego.
“When the recession hit, the banks weren’t giving loans to business owners. It was very difficult to be approved; that’s when I started working for the CDC,” said Landeros.
The CDC Small Business Finance is a non-profit lender providing capital to small business so they can expand, grow and create jobs in California, Arizona and Nevada.
“Getting a Loan from CDC different because it’s not a bank loan. CDC is an organization created by the Small Business Administration, they are more flexible,” explained Landeros. “At the banks, you need to be operating for at least two years with a business to be approved for a loan, so entrepreneurs often couldn’t get loans.”
At CDC Small Business Finance, businesses loans can be given to people that have had credit problems before, even if they have filed for bankruptcy.
“We are a mission based lender, that’s the type of organization we are, our mission is to help businesses,” said Landeros. “It is more gratifying to help people that have close doors in some place else.”
Landeros also finished an MBA in Accounting at the National University and started working as a Business Consultant and Adjunct Professor at the Southwestern Community College District and the University of Phoenix.
“I have liked every one of the jobs I have ever had,” said Landeros who has also helped low-income individuals at the San Diego Housing Commission to open a new business.
“I run a 12-week program to help people open a micro business like a flower shop or to have a place at a Swap Meet, without investing too much money,” he said.