Hispanic- and Latino-owned businesses in the United States have made a significant impact on the nation’s economic landscape. In 2020, Hispanic-owned businesses brought in over $472 billion and employed nearly 3 million people. Hispanic and Latino entrepreneurs play a vital role in driving innovation and economic growth across industry sectors, which is why many organizations have formed over the years to help sustain this growth.
From influential organizations to government-backed initiatives, here are nine programs that can help Hispanic business owners get started or find assistance.
Association of Latino Professionals for America
The Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to create opportunities for Latinx individuals. For Latinx-owned businesses, ALPFA serves as a valuable support system, offering collegiate scholarships, educational programs, professional connections, and more. Through its initiatives and events, ALPFA fosters a community that nurtures the growth and success of Latinx entrepreneurs, contributing to the advancement of diverse and dynamic businesses in the United States.
Latinas Think Big
Latinas Think Big brings together Latin American women with a shared interest in big ideas and ventures. It’s known as the largest network for Latina professionals, entrepreneurs, and students, offering in-person events as well as an online community of over 20,000 members. Learning opportunities and career advice are just some of the perks of membership; members of the community celebrate each other’s achievements, supporting one another through growth and milestones, with plenty of opportunities for local and national networking. Past national summits have been held in locations such as San Francisco, Cambridge, and New York City.
Latino Business Action Network
The Latino Business Action Network (LBAN) is an organization committed to empowering Latinx entrepreneurs in the United States. In partnership with Stanford University, LBAN aims to foster the growth and success of Latinx businesses through innovative programs. LBAN’s Business Scaling Program equips entrepreneurs with essential skills and knowledge to effectively expand their business ventures. Additionally, LBAN’s Small Business Navigator partnership offers crucial resources and guidance to emerging businesses, enabling them to navigate challenges and seize opportunities in today’s competitive landscape.
[Read more: 9 Funding Options for Hispanic-Owned Businesses]
League of United Latin American Citizens
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) works to promote civil rights, economic empowerment, and social justice for Latin American communities in the United States. Within the economic and business sphere, LULAC offers various programs to support and uplift Latinx-owned enterprises. LULAC’s Latinos Living Healthy initiative addresses health disparities and fosters a healthier workforce, vital for sustainable business growth. Additionally, the Empower Hispanic America with Technology initiative equips aspiring professionals with essential tech skills, bolstering their potential in the digital landscape. Overall, LULAC’s commitment to empowering Latinx entrepreneurs underscores its significant role in driving economic advancement and community prosperity.
Latinas Think Big brings together Latin American women with a shared interest in big ideas and ventures.
National Hispanic Business Group
Rooted in a strong commitment to diversity and inclusivity, the National Hispanic Business Group (NHBG) revolves around providing a supportive ecosystem that enables Hispanic business owners to thrive and prosper. Through a range of programs and initiatives, NHBG empowers entrepreneurs to leverage valuable resources, networking opportunities, and industry insights. NHBG promotes economic advancement within the Hispanic business community through mentorship programs, scholarships, specialized workshops, and even hosts in-person events throughout the year.
Minority Business Development Agency
The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), an arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce, has been helping minority-owned businesses since 1969. The agency focuses its efforts on connecting minority-owned businesses with capital, contracts, and assistance with getting into new markets. Additionally, there are many MBDA Business Centers around the United States where Hispanic and other minority business owners can seek guidance, information on funding, and other resources.
National Minority Supplier Development Council
The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) plays a vital role in certifying minority-owned businesses. Businesses that get certified with the NMSDC are then able to get connected to new business opportunities. The NMSDC acts as a matchmaker of sorts between certified minority-owned businesses and large public and private entities that seek to hire diverse suppliers. Additionally, the NMSDC also hosts events focused on education, networking, leadership, and other topics.
Small Business Administration 8(a) Business Development
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) champions Hispanic-owned businesses through the 8(a) Business Development Program. Tailored to promote growth and equal opportunities, the initiative aids qualifying small enterprises owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, including Hispanic entrepreneurs. Ready to equip participants with resources, training, and mentorship opportunities, the program promotes growth in the federal marketplace. To participate, Hispanic-owned businesses must meet specific eligibility criteria, including:
- Qualifying as a small business.
- Being at least 51% owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged U.S. citizens.
- Having a personal net worth of $850 thousand or less, adjusted gross income of $400 thousand or less, and assets totaling $6.5 million or less.
Those interested in the 8(a) Business Development Program can read the full list of qualifying criteria to learn more. Once certified, participants gain access to federal contracting opportunities, facilitating expansion and exposure to a broader clientele.
U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), founded in 1979, serves as the umbrella organization for more than 200 local Hispanic chambers of commerce and Hispanic business organizations around the United States. The USHCC works to develop national programs to help Hispanic businesses, promotes trade between Hispanic businesses in the United States and Latin America, and provides technical assistance and training to Hispanic entrepreneurs. Additionally, the organization hosts events and programming to help businesses stay connected and informed.
[Read more: 6 Hispanic-Owned Business Directories]
This article was originally written by Sean Ludwig.
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