Latinas Create New Firms At Nearly Double Rate of All Women-Owned Businesses

Latinas create more businesses

A series of new studies by Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE) offers interesting findings about Latinas in business in California and across the United States.

Between 2014 and 2019, Latinas in the U.S. created 2.3 Million new firms. This represent 18% of all women-owned businesses created in that time period.

Latina Business Findings

In the 2014-2019 period, Latinas created new businesses at almost twice the rate of all women-owned businesses.

Most Latina-owned businesses (89%) are “microbusinesses,” small operations with 5 or fewer employees.

Over the 2014-2019 period, the number of employees of Latina-owned businesses has increased by 30%, close to 700,000 workers.

Latinas have been affected more by the economic downturn and the COVID-19 pandemic: 28.9% of Latinas lost their jobs through May 2020, compared to 9.4% for white women.

Microbusiness, Defined

Government agencies define companies with five or fewer employees including the owner as “microbusinesses.” The overwhelming majority of U.S. business are microbusinesses. In California specifically, 90% of all businesses are microbusinesses.

Latina Microbusiness Owners, Defined

Latinas have proven to be enterprising small business owners. During the 2008 downturn, Latinas started businesses at a rate that exceeded the national average.

Latinas start micro businesses for independence, flexibility, improving their financial standing, to spend more time with family, serve their community, and use their talents. They are self-reliant by nature but have more limited resources than other business owners.

Latina-owned micro businesses serve community needs that other businesses do not: services for Spanish speakers and culturally focused arts and handicrafts. They seek to ensure that they serve family, culture, and community values. Latinas report that this shared language and culture give them an advantage.

Challenges

Latina business owners tend to self-fund their businesses via savings and credit cards. A lack of funding can limit business growth.

Latinas feel under-prepared and uninformed about how to access government or financial institution funding, or how to apply for loans and grants. They find the materials and websites for these institutions confusing and intimidating.

Latinas have been affected more by the economic downturn and the COVID-19 pandemic: 28.9% of Latinas lost their jobs through May 2020, compared to 9.4% for white women.

Latinas report they are regularly discriminated against. They also report that they feel they must work harder than men and white women to remain competitive.

Culturally, Latinas feel conflicted about money. This leads them to undervalue their products and services.

Latina business owners spend time juggling day-to-day home and business activities and they tend to have difficulty delegating to others.

California Statistics

In California, Latinas earned only 42 cents for every 1 dollar earned by white males. The home ownership gap has narrowed as Latinos have purchased homes at above-average numbers for several years. The California general home ownership rate in 2019 was 54.8% while the rate for Latinos was 47.5%. This is significant because wealth among Latinos comes primarily from home ownership.

For more information, view the 2020 Economic status of Latinas Report.

Infographic image by HOPE.