Unleashing Latino-owned Business Potential, New Report From The Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 30, 2017 — Latino Americans are starting businesses at three times the rate of the general population thus playing an important role in driving US economic vibrancy through their outsized contribution to new business creation. However, Latino-owned businesses (LOBs) fail to scale in size and revenue at the same rate of other businesses, presenting an opportunity gap of $1.38 trillion for the US economy. In order to address the untapped potential of LOBs and its cascading effect on the wider economy through unrealized economic growth, the Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program released the report Unleashing Latino-owned Business Potential.

The report emanates from the Aspen Institute Forum on Latino Business Growth, a convening of 27 cross-sector leaders and stakeholders. It identifies key challenges and solutions to scaling Latino-owned business (LOBs), specifically those with the potential of reaching $1 million or more in revenue, a group of businesses that is often overlooked. Focusing on fundamental business needs as well as overarching recommendations for improving the ecosystems within which LOBs operate, the report offers collective knowledge and solutions in order to help stakeholders, influencers and decision-makers take informed actions to help accelerate the pace at which LOBs grow, scale, and, ultimately, succeed.

To view the launch discussion live starting at 12:00pm ET go to: https://www.aspeninstitute.org/events/report-launch-unleashing-latino-owned-business-potential/
To read the report go to: https://www.aspeninstitute.org/publications/unleashing-latino-owned-business-potential

A selection of the key recommendations are as follows: 

Fundamental Business Needs

Needs

Solutions

Accessing Capital for
Growth

Increased access to capital,
specifically “right sized” capital
in the form of equity, debt, or a
combination thereof that
matches the needs of LOBs at
various stages in their growth
cycle.

Re-direct large pools of capital already in
the market towards equity investments in
high-growth LOBs; Research and develop
relevant and fair credit requirements for
LOBs; Invest in the Community
Development Financial Institution (CDFI)
sector so it can make more capital
available to underserved businesses.

Increasing Access to
Procurement
Opportunities

The ability to access and
capitalize on important
procurement and supply chain
opportunities that foster growth.

A technology-driven platform that gives
both suppliers and buyers access to
reviews of service, thus garnering greater
exposure for tested and reliable LOBs;
Increasing transparency of the
procurement process, including reducing
the cost, through group licensing, to
online hubs that house procurement
announcements through group licensing.

Business Training
and Education

The availability of relevant,
culturally competent, and
convenient business training and
education for different sectors
and growth stages.

Conduct a needs assessment of Latino
business owner training and education needs
in order to design and implement
more responsive and sector- and scale-
specific interventions to meet the growth
potential of LOBs.

Ecosystem Dynamics

Power and Influence

The inability of Latinos, despite their increasing numbers, to
influence or exercise power in ways that would help facilitate
LOB growth.

Narrative and Brand

Unhelpful stereotypes and negative narratives about Latinos and
the nature of LOBs that prevent gatekeepers, lenders, and clients
from seeing the capacity and potential of LOBs.

Networks and Mentors

Opaque and exclusionary systems, both formal and informal,
that facilitate business opportunities, are often difficult for
Latino business owners to access and navigate.

“When you bring 27 diverse experts, leaders, practitioners, and stakeholders together in a retreat setting with carefully moderated dialogue, as we did this summer, you get surprising and creative results. Not only did it generate this report which uplifts a complex set of challenges and solutions to help more Latino businesses grow and flourish, but it also led to new relationships, collaborations, and the incorporation of the ideas generated into the participants' work” said Monica Lozano, Chair of the Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program.

“When a community is approaching 30% of the population, as the Latino population is, increased attention on ensuring their success becomes a shared national imperative. The good news is that Latinos already represent outsized levels of business creation. Just imagine what they could do if their true potential was recognized and fomented? This report identifies ways to capitalize on existing Latino potential and remove barriers that prevent greater growth and success for the economy as a whole,” said Abigail Golden-Vazquez, Executive Director, Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program.  

The report launch will feature Monica Lozano, Chairman of the Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program, Hector Barreto, Chairman of the Latino Coalition, Alejandra Y. Castillo, CEO of YWCA USA, Gary Cunningham, President and CEO of Meda (Metropolitan Economic Development Association), and Jean Horstman, CEO of Interise. Watch the panel discussion here at 12pm ET.

The Aspen Institute Forum on Latino Business Growth and this report was made possible through the support of Surdna Foundation, Ricardo Salinas Foundation, Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Target, Comcast NBCUniversal Telemundo, Edison International and the Carnival Corporation. In addition, Verizon helped to make the launch event possible.

Further Online Information
To continue the conversation, please tweet @AspenLatinos and @AspenInstitute using #LatinosAdvance

The Aspen Institute founded the Latinos and Society Program in 2015 to provide a place for Latinos and non-Latinos to learn about their shared future and jointly explore solutions to the challenges of our time. Its vision is to foster a more informed citizenry and promote the engagement of all people in securing a prosperous and inclusive future for America. This policy program convenes diverse audiences and subject matter experts to advance three important policy areas, civic participation, economic advancement and educational opportunity. The program is also connecting a pipeline of Latino leaders to Institute programs, fostering collaboration, and strengthening their networks. To learn more, follow @AspenLatinos, or visit AspenInstitute.org/policy-work/latinos-society

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SOURCE The Aspen Institute

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