Latino-owned businesses are continuing to grown in this bad economy--don't be afraid to start your own
As children of immigrants, we are programmed to want more. The more our family sacrificed to give us opportunity, the more we want to make the most of that opportunity and give back to our parents and grandparents as repayment for their struggles. But boy has that been hard lately. The current state of the economy, and the regular news about just how hard the recession is hitting Latinos in particular, has made it seem like the American dream is now the American nightmare.
The truth is that Latinos taking charge of their careers and starting their own business are doing just fine, and are fueling the economic recovery in this country. And you can too.
Latinos have started more than twice the national average of businesses in the United States and are responsible for $350 billion in revenue over the last 5 years. That means that we will be 8% of the overall economy from 2005 to 2015. Think about that for a second.
Too scared? Afraid to take a risk? You really shouldn't be. Here are some reasons that your culture can help you succeed:
We can rely on our family: When I was 9 years old, my parents started a business. They borrowed my abuela's "funeral money" and put us all to work, including my cousins. Who else could they trust to help run the business but family. We were an immediate team and everyone had the same goal--if the business succeeds, the family succeeds.
The government wants to help you: President Obama has made it clear that helping Hispanic-owned businesses is a priority, specifically throwing his support behind the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), which in turn will throw it's support behind you.
Latinos are loyal customers and employees: You know this about yourself, when you find something or someone you like, you stay with it. Especially if you feel like you are helping to support a fellow Latino.
You are bilingual, so you have a much bigger customer base: Growing up bi-cultural in the U.S. means you can be American and Latino. You know what appeals to both consumers and how to treat them and which language to speak to them in. Plus, you can capitalize on all the Latino love people have these days. Did you know Mexican food gets searched more on the Internet than Italian food does?
One in four children in the United States right now is Latino: The future customer of any business is a Latino and you understand them better than any big company can.
My father was in his 40s when he started his business, just sayin'. The time is now.
What kind of business would you like to own?
Image via scatterfingers/Flickr