Hispanic-owned businesses are booming, with a growth rate double that of U.S. companies overall.
A recent study by Geoscape and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) revealed the rapid growth of Hispanic entrepreneurship -- and the impact of Hispanic businesses on the economy. The study projects that there will be 4.23 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the U.S. by the end of this year. The number has grown by 27.5 percent since 2012, vs. the 12.6 percent growth rate for all U.S. businesses over that time period.
This surge in business ownership comes at a time of slow growth for the U.S. Hispanic population, thanks in part to a decline in immigration from Latin America. Immigration from Mexico has even slowed to a standstill at times, according to the Pew Research Cente r. Still, though Hispanics comprise 17.4 percent of the U.S. population, the Geoscape/USHCC study finds this group accounts for 20 percent of all American entrepreneurs.
In fact, Hispanics are 1.5 times more likely than the general population to start a business, according to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity. Sales from Hispanic-owned businesses contribute more than $668 billion annually to the U.S. economy -- a 29 percent increase since 2012.
Growth in entrepreneurship could fuel some important changes. Hispanic business owners are 1.7 times more likely to earn more than $100,000 in annual household income, compared with Hispanics overall. Nearly two-thirds of Hispanic entrepreneurs -- vs. 38 percent of Hispanics overall -- earn more than $50,000 a year, according to the study. Hispanic business owners are also more likely to contribute to financial institutions (including financial planners, mutual funds, second homes and IRAs) than the overall Hispanic population.
To be sure, there’s still room to grow and scale. Hispanic-owned businesses tend to have fewer employees and bring in less revenue than U.S. businesses on average. Last year, researchers from the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative estimated that if the size of Hispanic-owned businesses had matched the national average, the U.S. gross domestic product would have increased by $1.4 trillion, or 8.5 percent, in 2012.
“Throughout all corners of the United States, Hispanic entrepreneurs play a crucial role in supporting the growth of local communities,” said Javier Palomarez, president and CEO of the USHCC, in a press release accompanying the study. “They create American jobs, maintain our leadership in global markets and contribute toward the mutual prosperity that makes America’s economy the greatest in the world.”
California, Texas and Florida, where 55 percent of the U.S. hispanic population resides, are the fastest-growing states for Hispanic entrepreneurial activity. However, New York, Georgia, Arizona and Illinois have also seen substantial increases in Hispanic business ownership.