A self-described "reluctant entrepreneur," De La Torre was a fixture in the corporate world as a CPA before diving into start-ups with "El Clasificado," a directory of classified ads targeted at Latino immigrants.
She did consulting jobs on the side to keep the business afloat and thought about walking away at several points in its early years. She didn't, but she did smartly recruit work-study students from a nearby high school (only the ones who were earning A's) and pivoted from a home-delivery method to putting the paper in racks at grocery stores.
In 1996, she acted quickly to launch a Web presence, which receives 24 million monthly page views, and the print publication is now available in 300 cities.
Headquartered: Los Angeles
Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the headquarters of "El Clasificado" due to an editing error. It is headquartered in Los Angeles. Also, the current number of page views the site receives monthly is 24 million, not the 21 million previously reported.