Hispanic Entrepreneurs in the 2000s: An Economic Profile and Policy Implications

Hispanic Entrepreneurs in the 2000s: An Economic Profile and Policy Implications

Hispanic Entrepreneurs in the 2000s: An Economic Profile and Policy Implications

Hispanic Entrepreneurs in the 2000s: An Economic Profile and Policy Implications

Synopsis

Hispanics account for more than half the population growth in the United States over the last decade. With this surge has come a dramatic spike in the number of Hispanic-owned businesses. Hispanic Entrepreneurs in the 2000s is a pioneering study of this nascent demographic. Drawing on rich quantitative data, authors Alberto Dávila and Marie T. Mora examine key economic issues facing Hispanic entrepreneurs, such as access to financial capital and the adoption and vitality of digital technology. They analyze the varying effects that these factors have on subsets of the Hispanic community, such as Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and Salvadorans, while considering gender and immigrant status. This account highlights key policies to drive the success of Hispanic entrepreneurs, while drawing out strategies that entrepreneurs can use in order to cultivate their businesses. Far-reaching and nuanced, Hispanic Entrepreneurs in the 2000s is an important study of a population that is quickly becoming a vital component of American job creation.

Excerpt

In the first decade of the 2000s, more than half of the population growth in the United States was a product of the country’s increasing Hispanic population. The decade started with 35.3 million and ended with 50.5 million individuals of Hispanic origin. And while one in eight Americans was of Hispanic ethnicity in 2000, this share had risen to one in six by 2010. Among many of the consequences of this population growth is the significant increase in the number of Hispanic business owners during this time. This observation is unsurprising (given that the larger base of this ethnic group helped generate more self-employment), but this population growth also brought with it an increasing demand for Hispanic products that, arguably, created more entrepreneurial opportunities for Hispanics. Consider this: more than 2.3 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States generated $350.7 billion in sales in 2007 alone.

Scholars such as us have found this phenomenon relatively unexplored by the popular press and in the academic literature. Over the past several years, we have participated at conferences, delivered papers, and served as discussants in a variety of academic venues to delve more into this issue. In one conference, the annual meeting of the Western Economic Association International in Vancouver, British Columbia, we presented a paper in an American Society of Hispanic Economists session titled “Changes in the Entrepreneurial Earnings of U.S. and Foreign-Born Mexican American Men: 2000-2007” in the summer of 2009. There we had the opportunity to chat . . .

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