With a quickly growing U.S. population, along with increasing influence, the importance of Hispanic-owned business cannot be understated. For this business segment, help abounds to get Hispanic-owned firms off the ground and thriving—by way of government resources, advocacy, and private industry. Here are some examples:
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) are two logical places for Hispanic-owned small business enterprises to seek out business help. Both agencies run various programs that help small firms in such areas as developing business plans, exporting, securing financing, and receiving business advice and training. Both are Hispanic-friendly and cover all major industry sectors, offering information in Spanish in addition to English.
Both the SBA and MBDA operate business development centers in local communities. The SBA’s Small Business Development Centers are set up to be a key, one-stop-shop resource for businesses. Likewise, the MBDA Business Centers align Hispanic business owners with services to help them succeed as minority businesses. The SBA also operates the 8(a) Business Development Program, which provides business assistance to socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
Non-profit advocacy organizations can provide additional services and encouragement for Hispanic-owned businesses. Advocates include well-known national organizations such as the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Latin Business Association, National Hispanic Business Group, National Minority Supplier Development Council, and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.
These organizations offer a multitude of services to Hispanic firms, from certification and business networking to financial advice and strategic planning.
The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, for instance, serves as an umbrella organization for more than 200 local Hispanic chambers and business associations in the United States and Puerto Rico that are designed to be an on-the-ground resource for the 4.1 million Hispanic-owned businesses operating across the United States. The Latin Business Association also serves as a voice for Latin-based businesses, advocating for opportunities and services to help business owners drive competitiveness.
The National Hispanic Business Group is an organization with a mentorship spirit in support of the growth and development of its members’ businesses through regularly scheduled meetings of the membership, procurement networking opportunities, and ongoing communications. Regionally in California, another group, the National Hispanic Business Women Association, seeks to empower and encourage women and business owners to develop and increase their business through educational seminars and speakers, mutual support, information sharing, business referrals, and networking.
U.S. corporations also are in the business of helping Hispanic-owned businesses flourish. Taking a stroll through the supplier diversity website of any large U.S.-based corporation will yield a wealth of information on corporate efforts to attract Hispanic-owned businesses into their massive supply chains. These firms have a vested stake in helping Hispanic-owned businesses succeed, as many of their customers are Hispanic consumers.
To gauge some of these firms’ efforts, go to the Billion Dollar Roundtable’s website. The Billion Dollar Roundtable, whose mission is to drive supplier diversity excellence through best practice sharing and thought leadership, promotes and shares best practices in supply chain diversity excellence among its corporate members that spend $1 billion or more annually with diverse suppliers, including Hispanic-owned firms. The website provides links to the organization’s corporate members and their efforts to attract business from Hispanic-owned and other diverse firms.
Whether it is government, non-profits, or corporations, one thing is clear: There’s help for Hispanic-owned firms to push forward.