hispanic business owner opening door
The growing segment of U.S. Hispanic-owned businesses need assistance in scaling-up operations and several resources exist to assist them. — Getty Images/andresr

Hispanic-owned businesses have made major strides during the past decade, with the number of Hispanic business owners in the U.S. growing by 34% while the overall number of business owners grew just 1%, according to a recent Stanford study. In fact, businesses owned by Hispanic entrepreneurs now contribute more than $700 billion in annual sales to the U.S. economy each year.

Even as Hispanic business owners become an increasingly powerful economic force, however, they have still struggled at scaling up operations, according to Inc. The reasons behind this trend are varied, including less access to financing and credit, more adversity to amassing debt and smaller pools of skilled workers.

Here are seven organizations, government agencies and programs that can help Hispanic business owners get started or find assistance.

Latino Business Action Network

The Latino Business Action Network (LBAN), a San Jose, Calif.-based nonprofit, works closely with Stanford University to fund and manage Hispanic-focused entrepreneurship programs. With a focus on growing businesses through “entrepreneurship research, education, and networks,” LBAN simultaneously teaches entrepreneurs how to scale and mentors them on topics like wealth building. The organization is responsible for more than 600 graduates through the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative Education-Scaling Program, who in turn now employ more than 30,000 people through their businesses.

League of United Latin American Citizens

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the oldest and largest Hispanic-focused organization in the U.S., has been working to improve lives since 1929. While the organization works on many issues including education, housing, health and political influence, it also focuses some of its efforts on promoting entrepreneurship. LULAC has collected a detailed list of resources and materials for entrepreneurs, and it created the Latina Entrepreneur Academy (LEA) to help Hispanic women “build their own businesses or enhance their existing ones.” LULAC has worked closely on improving Hispanic women entrepreneurship in part because “one out of every 10 women-owned businesses are Latina.”

National Hispanic Business Group

The National Hispanic Business Group (NHBG), a New York City-based membership organization founded in 1985, was created to provide more opportunities to Hispanic entrepreneurs, business owners and professionals at the level of vice president or above. The organization spends time trying to foster “dialogue and economic exchange with the private and public sectors while supporting social change and community empowerment.” The NHBG offers its members the ability to participate in community events, procurement networking opportunities and an annual gala. Perhaps most importantly, it works to connect members with corporate entities that are looking to add additional minority-owned vendors.

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The NMSDC connects certified minority-owned businesses with entities that seek to hire diverse suppliers.

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, and those businesses that do 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 Small Business Administration (SBA) has several programs designed to help Hispanic and other minority-owned businesses, but none is as broadly useful as the 8(a) Business Development program. The 8(a) program helps the federal government meet its goal of awarding “at least 5% of all federal contracting dollars to small disadvantaged businesses” each year. Hispanic-owned businesses, per the program’s parameters, can get certified and after that, they will begin to get access to federal contracting opportunities and be assigned to a specialist who can help with navigating federal contracts.

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 U.S. The USHCC works to develop national programs to help Hispanic businesses, promotes trade between Hispanic businesses in the U.S. 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.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published July 30, 2020