Study: Latinos Drive Small-Business Growth

A new report shows that the Latino demographic is a driving force behind the growth of small businesses in the United States. Between 2007 and 2012, the number of Latino-owned businesses grew by 47% compared to just 0.7% for non-Latino owned businesses, according to the State of Latino Entrepreneurship 2015 Report, created by the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative (SLEI). During that same timeframe, Latino-owned businesses were responsible for 86% of all small-business growth in the U.S.

By 2012, there were 3.3 million Latino-owned businesses in the U.S. with an average of 8.6 employees per firm and an average of $155,806 in sales per firm annually, employing a total of 2.3 million workers and generating a total of $473 billion in sales.

Census data shows that Latinos currently represent 18% of the overall population – a number expected to grow to 30% by 2060. Nielsen, a global information measurement firm, reports that Latinos are “the most influential segment since the baby boomers,” representing a $1.5 trillion consumer market.

One of the reasons that Latino-owned businesses remain small is limited access to capital. The report found that 70% of Latino entrepreneurs cited personal savings as their most common source of capital. About 6.1% of Latino business owners have financed their company with a commercial loan and roughly 2.4% have used a government loan. The report states that traditional sources of capital such as angel investors, bank business loans and debt financing have been rarely found in Latino-owned businesses.