Tampa woman's entrepreneurial drive helps Hispanic community

For Hispanic Heritage Month, we are highlighting a woman whose entrepreneurship changed the life of her community.

Ileana Martin is not a stranger to hard work. She picked up the habit from her father.

"My father was such a hard-working person," Martin said. "He actually had four jobs at one time."

Born in Havana, Cuba in 1963, Martin and her family came to the U.S. in 1967 searching for a better life.

"Literally we came here with the clothes on our backs," she said.

At just 22 years old, Martin started a business to help the Hispanic community, creating Spanish Yellow Pages.

"I'm so proud of that and now I was able to give back to the community," she said. "That was a great feeling and a great sense of accomplishment."

In 1987, Martin published the first directory.

"We started here in Tampa and we moved to Orlando, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Houston, Texas. So it was pretty big," she said.

Martin says success doesn't come easy; it comes through hard work and determination.

"With a lot of love you can make it happen and just with a lot of drive and stay focus because that's what it takes," she said.

Love, drive and focus: according to Martin, those are the three ingredients to a successful life.

"The American dream is alive and well. We live in this great country and I'm so grateful for it," she said.

Martin sold the business in 2013. She now is the president of a marketing company.