Hispanic culture lends itself to starting businesses. According to “2020 State of Latino Entrepreneurship,” an annual report from Stanford University, the number of Hispanic-owned business with at least one employee grew 14 percent between 2012 and 2017, more than twice the 6 percent average for the U.S.
“The number of Latino business owners has grown 34 percent over the last 10 years compared to just 1 percent for all others, making Latino-owned businesses the fastest-growing segment of the small business ecosystem,” the report stated.
In the San Fernando Valley, Census data shows the population is 42 percent Hispanic. That’s an enormous talent pool for entrepreneurship, as evidenced by the profiles in this Special Report. The trend of Hispanic business ownership also has the attention of large companies, including those that appear on the cover of this issue.
Several profiles on the following pages point to the importance of culture.
Anthony Gonzales is chief executive and co-founder of Force Impact Technologies Inc. in Thousand Oaks noted that “in some cultures failure isn’t necessarily well accepted, and is looked down upon. But I never felt that level of pressure. I felt I was being congratulated for even trying.” Jonathan Rojas, co-founder of Whistle Messaging, discussed the role model of his entrepreneurial grandfather in his career.
Hispanic startups still face hurdles, including limited access to capital and ongoing struggles with the coronavirus and its economic fallout.
“While the negative impacts between Latino and White employer businesses were universally experienced through September 2020, Latino-owned businesses may face greater challenges in weathering the pandemic due to less access to relief loans and a higher proportion of businesses in industries particularly affected by the pandemic (e.g., accommodation and food services and other services),” according to the Stanford report.