Rachel Lozano Castro is Director of Innovation, San Diego Regional Policy & Innovation Center
and a panelist at the January 25th
2024 Hispanic Wealth Forum’s Women Building Wealth Forum in San Diego.
Rachel was raised in New Jersey and returned to her birthplace of California 15 years ago. Having lived in various countries, including Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico, her career has primarily focused on social impact and economic opportunity. With a background in micro-finance, small business development, social entrepreneurship, and public policy, she currently serves on several boards, including the San Diego Diplomacy Council, Business for Good, and Village Up.
As a proud San Diegan, business owner, speaker, consultant, and a policy experimentalist at the San Diego Regional Policy & Innovation Center, she specializes in collaboration for collective action problems. Her work revolves around equitable green transitions and regional inclusive economy, often achieved through public-private collaborations. The author is deeply committed to undertaking important and courageous initiatives, particularly when managing public funds from local, state, and federal sources such as USDA, ARPA, SBA, EDA, and GoBiz.
Previously, she directed the Brink Small Business Development Center at the University of San Diego, leading efforts to be recognized as one of 10 "Inclusive Innovation Hubs" nationwide. Before that role, she managed a global social entrepreneurship program at USD's Center for Peace and Commerce, living and working in Latin America. Her recent accolades include being honored as the 2022 Citizen Diplomat of the Year by the San Diego Diplomacy Council, recognized as a "40 Under 40" leader by San Diego Metro and America's Small Business Development Center, and serving as a TedX speaker. Wealth Stream News asked Rachel about her Wealth Journey. Please tell us about the origins of your wealth journey
As a child I thought wealth was bad. Good people should not aspire to be wealthy. Through various life circumstances and jobs, I came to see accumulation of wealth as a critical tool for impact- to break generational cycles including poverty, to be philanthropic, to have financial freedom and focus time and effort on meaningful work. Describe the main milestones, opportunities, and challenges
I worked right out of college in international economic development- living in the Dominican Republic, working in the US- Mexico border region and studying in Brazil. When my grandparents passed, I was working in social innovation and angel investment spaces, so with a small inheritance, I started asking my mentors to help me with my “investment thesis”. I put some money into the stock market via fin tech apps. I put some behind companies I believed in that were still private via equity crowd funding options made possible by SEC changed to accredited investor rules. I invested some in loan products that align with my values as detailed here
I recruited uncles, aunts and cousins and my in-laws to invest in a small family impact fund which has made several new investments as the principal is paid back with interest, all while supporting small, BIPOC owned companies in my beloved city of San Diego.Share Tools and Tips to help you create wealth
Get involved in crowdfunding, and donor-advised funds, start a business, join an angel fund (or syndicate), find your local small business development center, consider buying a franchise, have a side business, join a family or friend’s business in addition to your job or another business. What or Who did you wish you had known earlier?
I wish I knew that there are so many ways to make a good life and rewarding career and that money is a necessary resource to do so. How would you like your wealth legacy to be remembered?
I want to be remembered for being generous, strategic, impactful and collaborative with my money, just like with my time.