Actress Eva Longoria spent her Wednesday (08May13) in Washington, D.C. to testify in the U.S. Senate about the need to expand business opportunities for minority women.

The former Desperate Housewives beauty, who owns two restaurants and her own production firm, attended the Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee hearing to share her own experiences with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

During her testimony, she discussed her efforts to provide help to other Latina business owners via the Eva Longoria Foundation, which offers training and small loans to budding entrepreneurs, and called on authorities to increase funding for government organisations like the Small Business Administration's Women Business Centers programme to make support more widely available.

She told officials, "Diversity breeds innovation, and that is what our country needs right now... Latinas are one of our nation's greatest natural resources, and we have to treat them as such. If we invest in giving Latinas the tools to unlock their potential today, we can create a brighter economic future for our country."

After the hearing, Longoria took to her blog and wrote, "It was an honor to testify at Senate hearing today about Minority Woman Owned Businesses!"