Latina Business Owners: Women’s Entrepreneurship on the Rise

Jun 17, 11 Latina Business Owners: Women’s Entrepreneurship on the Rise

By Tony D’Andrea, PhD – SJG Director of Planning and Research

The U.S. Census has just released new data on the ethnicity of female business owners. As a main highlight, the phenomenal growth of Latina entrepreneurs clearly stands out: 788,000 Latinas now run their own businesses, according to the most recent Survey of Business Owners (last conducted in 2007). This represents a 46% increase against a 20% found across all female business owners over a five-year period. Their national background is Mexican (44%), Cuban (9%), and Puerto Rican (8%), also complemented by a myriad of Central and South American nationalities. As such, Hispanic women now own 36% of all companies owned by minority women in the country.

Latina business’ revenue growth and job creation have been outstanding by all accounts. They generate over 55 billion dollars annually, a 57% increase against the more modest 5% across all women’s business (measured over the same 2002-2007 period). With an annual revenue growth of 9.5% per year, Latina business is expanding faster than most developed nations of the Western world. As main industries, they concentrate in healthcare (20%), administrative services (18%), retail (10%), professional (9%) and real estate (6%). Although most firms are run as sole proprietorships, the remainder employs over 363,000 workers, a 29% increase vis-à-vis the 5% seen in the overall female business-owners group over a five-year period.

“The strength of Latina entrepreneurs is indicative of larger shifts occurring in the Hispanic population,” as noted by Jim Legg, The San Jose Group’s EVP of Leadership and Innovation. In addition to these business owners, almost 50% of all Hispanic women have joined the nation’s workforce, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor. Consequently, as Latinas play a more prominent role in the economy, they will develop new tastes and consumption patterns that depart from old expectations and fading stereotypes. In this scenario, The San Jose Group has developed a new segmentation model focusing on the “Nueva Latina” which explores new trends and opportunities in this evolving market.

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