Latina-Owned Businesses Are Growing Four Times as Fast as U.S. Businesses Overall

Marketing to Women: Addressing Women and Women's Sensibilities, January 2001 | Go to article overview

Latina-Owned Businesses Are Growing Four Times as Fast as U.S. Businesses Overall


The number of businesses owned by Hispanic American women increased by over 200% between 11987 and 1996, and sales by Latina-owned firms increased 534% during that time, according to National Foundation for Women Business Owners research sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank. [Anecdotal evidence suggests this trend is continuing.--Ed.] By comparison, the number of businesses owned by U.S. women overall grew 78% and sales by women-owned firms increased 236% between 1987 and 1996. The number of U.S. businesses overall grew 47%, and sales among all U.S. businesses rose 120% during that time.

Latina business owners are more likely than non-Hispanic women business owners to describe their businesses as family-run: 75% of Hispanic women business owners say so, versus 71% of Caucasian women business owners, 64% of Asian American women business owners, and 55% of black women business owners.

Latina business owners have launched their businesses with a larger amount of capital than women business owners overall: More than half (54%) of Latina entrepreneurs started their businesses with $10,000 or more, while 44% of all women entrepreneurs had initial capital of $10,000 or more. Fewer than half (45%) of the Latina entrepreneurs in the study borrowed money to start their businesses. Of those who did borrow funds, 35% borrowed from commercial banks and 23% from family members (other than spouses). Overhalf (54%) of Latina business owners held bank credit in 2000, compared to 50% in 1998. Almost three in 10 (29%) of those with bank capital have $100,000 or more available to them, while 22% have less than $25,000 available.

Latina business owners are less likely than women business owners overall to finance their businesses using a personal credit card: Only 15% of Latina business owners use personal credit cards to meet business capital needs, compared to 41% of overall women business owners who do so.

Two thirds (66%) of Latina entrepreneurs start their own business rather than buying, inheriting, or otherwise acquiring an existing business.

Latina business owners' reasons for owning their own business reflect many of the motivations of women business owners overall: the desire for flexibility and greater control over both their time and their professional future, the opportunity to achieve greater financial success, and as a solution to job changes or loss.

Over half (54%) of Latina business owners consider English to be their primary language, while 37% consider Spanish primary, and 7% use both languages equally. Two thirds (65%) of Latina business owners were born in the U. …

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