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Episodio 4: Unexpected Entrepreneurs (Emprendedores inesperados)

Por Duolingo el miércoles 19 de agosto del 2020

Emprendedores hay en todas las industrias. En este episodio, conoceremos a dos fundadores de negocios que trabajan para transformar su profesión.

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Diana: Stephanie López siempre había soñado con tener su propio negocio, pero su sueño no se cumplió exactamente como ella lo había imaginado. En el 2016, Stephanie trabajaba como mecánica en una franquicia de automóviles en Wausau, en el estado de Wisconsin, y sus compañeros de trabajo no fueron muy acogedores.

Stephanie: Some of the guys there, including managers, made offensive comments all the time. All because I'm a woman. They didn’t want to tell me where anything was. I couldn't take a lunch break, and they wouldn’t pay me for that time. I felt really unhappy and disappointed.

Diana: Stephanie finalmente le contó sus problemas al Departamento de Recursos Humanos, o Human Resources… pero allí le dijeron que nada iba a cambiar. Si no le gustaba el trabajo, podía abrir su propio taller.

Stephanie: Human Resources told me I would be happier if I left my job, and they were serious. That's when I thought, "You know what? I will leave. I'll make a new place where I am welcome. And I'll show other women that they can do it, too." So, that’s what I did.

Diana: Welcome, bienvenidos y bienvenidas a “Relatos en inglés”, un podcast de Duolingo. Soy Diana Gameros. En cada episodio podrás practicar inglés a tu propio ritmo, escuchando historias reales y fascinantes.

Todos nuestros protagonistas hablan en un inglés sencillo y fácil de entender para quienes están aprendiendo el idioma. En cada capítulo, yo te acompañaré para asegurarme de que entiendas todo.

Esta semana, visitamos los Estados Unidos para conocer a dos emprendedores o entrepreneurs que se esfuerzan por hacer que sus industrias sean más inclusivas.

Stephanie comenzó a amar los autos a una edad muy temprana. Su abuelo era mecánico de automóviles.

Stephanie: When I was growing up, my family was obsessed with cars. My grandpa taught auto repair to college students, and my father fixed cars at his house. I was around cars a lot when I was a kid. I often went to auto repair shops with my grandpa, worked outside with my dad, and just watched my dad and my grandpa fix cars.

Diana: Stephanie aprendió mucho al ver a su padre y su abuelo jugar con los autos… le parecía mágico.

Stephanie: My grandpa bought old, broken cars that had a lot of missing parts. Then he found the missing car parts, like a carburetor. And he actually put the cars back together. They worked perfectly! It was just so amazing. When I got older, my grandpa started to test my car knowledge. He used the same diagrams and lessons from his college classes.

Diana: Stephanie disfrutaba mucho trabajar con automóviles. Cuando empezó la escuela secundaria, decidió apuntarse a clases de mecánica. En ese entonces, Stephanie era porrista, o cheerleader.

Stephanie: I was one of the only girls in the class. The boys said things like “Why are you here? Girls don't do this.” And they laughed at me because I was a cheerleader. I came to class in my white cheerleading uniform, and they joked, saying, “Oh, be careful, don't get dirty!” They thought it was so funny that someone in a clean cheerleading uniform was working on cars in a repair shop.

Diana: Stephanie sabía que algún día trabajaría en un taller mecánico. Cuando se graduó de secundaria en el 2005, comenzó a buscar trabajo.

Stephanie: I applied to a lot of jobs. But half of the time, I didn't even get an interview. And, for a while, I didn't realize that it was because I'm a woman. I remember one guy said, “Well, we don't want a woman working in the shop. The wives of the men who work here probably won't like that." But things like that actually motivated me.

Diana: Stephanie finalmente encontró empleo en un taller mecánico... haciendo el mismo trabajo que los hombres. Pero en alguna ocasión, un cliente se negó a hablar con ella.

Stephanie: One time, a customer called. He had some basic questions about a car radio, but he didn't want to talk to me. He shouted that he wasn't going to talk to a woman. And my boss at the time took the phone out of my hand and told him, “If you're not going to let her help you, then no one here will help you.”

Diana: Los jefes de Stephanie le sugirieron que volviera a estudiar para ser técnico de automóviles. Pensaron que un título le daría más credibilidad cuando la gente tuviera dudas sobre su capacidad.

Stephanie: Obviously some people didn't respect me. I thought that getting a degree might help, so I started a college program. To be honest, I thought a diploma could fix a lot of these problems. I thought customers were finally going to listen to me. They were finally going to understand that I'm good at my job.

Diana: Después de graduarse, Stephanie intentó encontrar un empleo en la especialidad que había estudiado. Pero el mejor trabajo que pudo encontrar le pagaba... diez dólares por hora... Eso era menos de lo que ganaban los demás empleados en el taller.

Stephanie: My new coworkers didn't want me to work there. That was when I decided to go to Human Resources, where I also talked about the problem with my salary. I said, "Look, I have my automotive degree. I’m certified, and I have experience. The McDonald’s down the street pays their workers more than you pay me." But that didn't matter. So they told me, "If you really don’t like it here, open your own shop."

Diana: Así que, en el 2017, Stephanie abrió su propio taller mecánico.

Stephanie: I rented a building and opened my own shop there. I spent all the money I had. I was very scared, and I didn't know what was going to happen. At first it was just me, working alone. But soon, the shop became busy. A lot of my customers were from the shops where I used to work. They actually went to those shops because of me. And when I left, they followed me to my new business.

Diana: Muchos de esos nuevos clientes de Stephanie eran mujeres.

Stephanie: These women didn't think the other mechanics listened to them or respected them because they were women. They felt uncomfortable asking these other mechanics questions because they were condescending. That’s how a lot of women feel at auto repair shops. So it’s not just women mechanics who sometimes don’t feel welcome –– it’s customers, too.

Diana: En dos años, Stephanie tenía ya tantos clientes como para ampliar su negocio y trasladarse a un almacén más grande, que convirtió en un gran taller mecánico.

Stephanie: I named my auto repair shop Wooster’s Garage to honor my grandpa and great-grandpas. They had auto repair shops named Wooster’s Garage, too. Women have a lot of power –– more than we can even imagine. And if a woman wants to be a mechanic, yes, it is going to be difficult. And yes, she is going to encounter some sexism. But if a woman really wants to be a mechanic, she can do it. And there are many inspiring examples of women mechanics in this country.

Diana: Con gran esfuerzo y tesón, Stephanie López finalmente encontró su espacio en el negocio de la reparación de automóviles… y logró ser exitosa. Pero para muchos emprendedores, ese mismo éxito puede ser difícil de conseguir.

Cuando era niño en Vancouver, Canadá, Rahim Fazal soñaba con Silicon Valley, la meca de la tecnología en California. Rahim creció en viviendas que el gobierno ofrecía para personas de bajos ingresos.

Rahim: Most of the people in the community where I grew up were immigrants, like my parents. Some people in the community were not immigrants, but they also didn't have a lot of money. Our rent was about $350 a month, which, in an expensive city like Vancouver, is basically nothing.

Diana: Los papás de Rahim eran refugiados que se mudaron a Canadá a finales de la década de los setenta. En ese entonces, miles de personas procedentes de la India que hasta entonces habían vivido en el este de África, fueron expulsadas de allí.

Rahim: My parents did go to college. But their credentials and work experience weren't recognized in Canada at all. My dad used to be the manager of a pharmacy, and my mom worked in a lab. But it was difficult for them to find jobs in Canada.

Diana: A pesar de su educación, el padre de Rahim tuvo que trabajar como aparcacoches para llegar a fin de mes.

Rahim: My parents really wanted my sister and me to do well in school. They thought education was very important because they couldn't bring anything except for their minds to Canada. So, they really wanted us to go to a university. They started saving fifty dollars a month for my college when I was three years old. That was all of the money they could give.

Diana: Rahim se enamoró de las computadoras desde muy joven. Le fascinaban las historias que leía… de emprendedores de éxito que estaban cambiando el mundo con nuevas páginas web y nuevos dominios, o domain names.

Rahim: There were these kids who looked just a little older than me. They were starting websites with these incredible domain names — like and And they were making a lot of money. I thought that maybe I could do the same thing.

Diana: Cuando cumplieron dieciséis años, Rahim y su amigo Husein tuvieron una idea: crear una plataforma web que ayudara a pequeñas empresas a diseñar, construir y publicar sus propios sitios web.

Rahim: In one year, 25,000 small businesses started using our platform –– from all over the world. We didn't tell our parents about it. You know, it was our little secret. We felt like we were part of something important, and that we belonged in the tech industry. Silicon Valley was like the center of the universe, and tech leaders were changing the world. And we felt like we could be part of this world, too.

Diana: Entonces, Rahim y su amigo se convirtieron en aquellas personas a las que siempre habían admirado.

Rahim: It was the year 2000, and I was in my last year of high school. And then, the most amazing thing happened: We sold our company for more than a million dollars!

Diana: A los diecisiete años, Rahim ya era millonario.

Rahim: The next morning, my dad went to work and stopped at the gas station. The sale of our company was in the newspaper, on the front page. And there was a picture of me and my friend, Husein, in front of a new Mercedes.

Diana: Rahim decidió que ya no iría a la universidad, algo que decepcionó a sus papás. Pero entonces algunos inversores de los Estados Unidos contactaron a Rahim y Hussein y les propusieron comenzar una nueva empresa juntos. Ellos aceptaron la oferta inmediatamente.

Rahim: We were never at home. We went to a lot of parties and big meetings. We flew to Las Vegas. We had all these experiences that we read about in magazines. I thought, at the time, that we were part of the tech industry. But in reality, that wasn't true. That became very clear to me very quickly. We needed to meet serious tech investors, but we didn't know anyone who actually worked in Silicon Valley.

Diana: El negocio fracasó y Rahim perdió casi todo su dinero.

Rahim: It was very embarrassing. I felt like a fraud. And also, I’m very competitive, and I really, really hate to lose. So I decided to start again and do what my parents wanted me to do. I went back to school.

Diana: Rahim fue a la universidad y después a una escuela de negocios. Cuando se graduó, fue directamente a Silicon Valley.

Rahim: After I went back to school, I was confident again. I started a new company, and it was successful. It was a social media business. After a while, we sold the company to Oracle, the tech giant! And I worked for them until 2015. But while I was there, I noticed something about the people who made the important decisions for the company.

Diana: En su opinión, los líderes, los que tomaban todas las decisiones, eran parte de un pequeño grupo de iniciados o insiders.

Rahim: Oracle spent a lot of money –– billions and billions of dollars. But the insiders in the company controlled where that money went. It seemed like these people all knew each other and came from the same prestigious universities. You know, many of them went to Harvard Business School or studied computer science at Stanford…

Diana: Rahim sentía que eso tenía un efecto directo sobre a quién se contrataba y a quién no. Para él fue muy difícil llegar a la cima, y se preguntó si habría una manera de ayudar a la gente que, como él, partía de cero.

Rahim: My partner, Joel, and I got the idea to start a new company. We wanted a less elitist tech industry, where knowing important people or going to a prestigious school wasn't essential. We knew a lot of smart people who wanted to be part of the industry, and we wanted to give them opportunities to be successful.

Diana: A Rahim y Joel se les ocurrió un nuevo negocio: una escuela para formar a vendedores para compañías de software. Lo llamaron SV Academy, que significa "Silicon Valley Academy". Los alumnos serían de grupos minoritarios, o underrepresented backgrounds.

Rahim: At SV Academy, we work with people from underrepresented backgrounds. And we teach them what they need to know to get tech jobs. Our goal is to make new leaders in the tech industry. They will one day have the power to make positive changes in their companies.

Diana: Las empresas de software son los clientes de la escuela de Rahim. Ellas escriben el plan de estudios y proporcionan tutoría. Al acabar el programa, les ofrecen trabajos bien pagados a los estudiantes. Muchos de ellos son Latinx, que es como se le conoce a la comunidad latina en los Estados Unidos.

Rahim: Seventy percent of our program graduates are the first people in their families to graduate from college, 25 percent are Black, 17 percent are Latinx, and 60 percent are women. At the biggest tech companies in the world, less than 10 percent of the employees are Black and Latinx. And less than half of the employees at these companies are women. So with SV Academy, we’re trying to change that.

Diana: El objetivo principal de SV Academy es ayudar a los graduados a ascender en sus empresas, hasta el punto en que puedan ellos mismos influir en futuras contrataciones... y así atraer a más empleados de grupos minoritarios.

Rahim: If we want to change the tech industry, we have to change it from the inside. If a person works hard, they should have the same opportunities as everyone else. Our graduates are achieving their dreams, and they're not following the traditional path. I'm lucky because I was successful in many ways. Now I can help a lot more people become successful in their careers.

Diana: Rahim Fazal vive en Silicon Valley con su familia y está a punto de expandir SV Academy. El taller de Stephanie Lopez está más ocupado que nunca y su negocio continúa creciendo en Wausau, Wisconsin.

Este episodio fue producido por Julia Scott, una periodista que vive en Oakland, California.

Gracias por haber escuchado “Relatos en inglés”. Nos encantaría saber qué te pareció este episodio. Puedes enviarnos un correo electrónico a, o también puedes enviarnos un mensaje de audio por WhatsApp al +1-703-953-93-69. Con más de 300 millones de usuarios, Duolingo es la plataforma de aprendizaje de idiomas más popular y la aplicación educativa más descargada del mundo. Descarga la aplicación hoy mismo y, si quieres más información, ve a

“Relatos en inglés” es una producción de Duolingo y Adonde Media. Puedes suscribirte en Spotify, o tu plataforma preferida. También hay una versión de vídeo disponible en YouTube. Yo soy Diana Gameros. Thank you for listening!


Este episodio es una producción de Duolingo y Adonde Media.

Productora: Julia Scott
Narradores y protagonistas: Stephanie Lopez y Rahim Fazal
Editores de transcripción: David Alandete y Stephanie Joyce
Editor de sonido: Martín Perez Roa
Diseño de sonido e ingeniero en masterización: Martín Cruz Farga