BOOSTING HISPANIC ENTREPRENEURS DURING NATIONAL HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH
National Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 through October 15, and it’s the perfect time to celebrate the contributions of Hispanic small business owners to our nation’s economy and discuss how we can help them thrive and grow their businesses.
Hispanic-owned businesses generate significant economic benefit, spurring innovation and building wealth in diverse communities throughout America. Hispanic-owned small businesses are opening at a rate far above the national average, with the Hispanic share of all U.S. business owners growing 46% between 2007 and 2012. To encourage these positive trends, the small business community should offer more support, training and resources that enable Hispanic entrepreneurs to build and expand their businesses.
Fortunately, many small business assistance centers do already provide education focused on the Hispanic community, including many that offer resources in Spanish. Read on for a list of organizations that offer assistance specifically to Hispanic business owners:
- The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) represents more than 4.37 million Hispanic-owned businesses through its network of 200 local chambers of commerce. USHCC and its local affiliates offer information and networking opportunities for Hispanic entrepreneurs. They also offer education on policy issues facing Hispanic small business owners, like access to capital, international trade, immigration, education and workforce development, and infrastructure.
- The Minority Business Development Agency, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, oversees a network of business centers that offer help in finding capital, securing government contracts and other aspects of expanding your small business.
- The National Hispanic Business Group is one the nation’s largest networking organizations for Hispanic businesses of all sizes.
- The National Minority Supplier Development Council works nationwide to help minority-business owners expand through a national network of minority suppliers.
- Centro Community Partners is an organization that helps entrepreneurs launch their business ideas through a number of programs. Many of these programs, including their basic program to build a small business and their app for developing a business plan, are available in Spanish.
- Code2040—named in recognition of the fact that the U.S. will be majority people of color in 2040—is a group working to support black and Latinx technology entrepreneurs with a goal of making tech more inclusive and representative.
- SCORE Mentors is a national nonprofit organization that matches entrepreneurs with mentors who can help them navigate the process of starting a business, and you can filter by language to find Spanish-speaking mentors.
- Your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) or economic development agency likely offers resources in Spanish, especially if you live in a Hispanic-majority community. Find your local SBDC to see if they can provide support to your small business.
- Many national small business organizations have dedicated Spanish-language resources:
- The Small Business Administration also has a tool to find small business technical assistance centers with Spanish-language assistance.
- The SBA also offers Spanish-language resources on government contracting and procurement in Spanish, including how to compete for the 8(a) program for small disadvantaged businesses.
- The Small Business Development Center network has published a list of resources on business planning, marketing, the loan process and more available in Spanish.
This list is far from exhaustive, but it’s a good place to start looking for organizations that work to promote and inspire Hispanic entrepreneurs. As we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, we should focus on how we can better support this community by helping current business owners grow their businesses and empowering aspiring entrepreneurs.