One of the areas that experienced the greatest rate of growth in 2012 is Hispanic small business. So much so that corporate America has begun to take greater notice of Hispanic-owned enterprise, aware of the huge opportunity that it represents.
“There has always been this notion of us as a sleeping giant,” says Allen Guttierez, national executive director of Irvine, Calif.-based The Latino Coalition, a trade organization for Hispanic small business. “We have always known of our power, but now corporate America is also starting to do much more in the community, really investing and reaching out to us even in an economic downturn.”
Hispanics, it’s well known, are the fastest growing demographic in the nation, and concurrent with that trend, the number of Hispanic-owned businesses is also on the rise.
“Corporate America has come to the realization that engaging in and being part of the community is a good investment for the long term,” Guttierez says.
The 60-member organization, which provides technical expertise and business know-how to its members, is keen to forge strategic links and partnerships for them with the broader business community. Founded a decade ago, The Latino Coalition has generated a good $80 billion in contracts, Guttierez says, but business matchmaking efforts continue strong.
But what Hispanic small businesses are really lacking are financial products and services that all businesses require but that are designed especially for them.