Latino Business Owners: The Force Behind Economic Growth in America | By Lili Gil Valletta
In a country built by immigrants, numbers represent the strength and ability to move forward both culturally and economically. Such is the case for Latinos, a growing force in the United States currently representing 18 percent of the overall population — a number expected to grow to 30 percent by 2060.
The economic impact Latinos have in the country as a group is growing at a steady rate, and according to Nielsen, a global information measurement firm, Latinos are “the most influential segment since the baby boomers,” representing a $1.5 trillion consumer market.
The economic impact extends beyond the Latino consumer to the Latino entrepreneur. The State of Latino Entrepreneurship 2015 Report, created by the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative (SLEI), highlighted data that reveal the economic impact that Latino-owned businesses (LOBs) have on the U.S. economy.
Housed within Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative is a unique research collaboration between Stanford University and the Latino Business Action Network (LBAN), a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization located in Palo Alto, California. This report also debunked several myths regarding the markets and industries in which LOBs are found.
Latinos are significantly impacting the growth in number of small businesses in the United States. The State of Latino Entrepreneurship 2015 report revealed that between 2007 and 2012, the number of LOBs grew by 46.9 percent compared to just 0.7 percent for non-Latino owned businesses, an extraordinary level of entrepreneurship that suggests Latinos play a substantial role in local job creation and economic development.
A closer look at the growth in the number of small businesses between 2007 and 2012 shows that 86 percent of the growth in all small businesses during this time can be attributed to LOBs In fact, without LOBs the United States would see a serious drop in the number of small businesses.