This is the seventh annual State of Latino Entrepreneurship report in which we have collected robust survey data from Latino-owned businesses across the country to provide a timely account of the fastest growing segment of the U.S. business population. This year, we administered our largest survey to date of 15,000 business owners — 7,500 Latino-owned employer businesses and 7,500 non-Latino, White-owned employer businesses as a benchmark comparison group. The comparative analysis provides a detailed understanding of existing gaps, but also captures encouraging ways in which Latino-owned employer businesses are distinct.
In this report, we explore the financial viability of Latino-owned employer businesses through the multiple characteristics of credit that are commonly used to evaluate borrowers. We have previously reported some significant funding gaps, but the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to amplify both the need for financing and the understanding of critical levers in the current and future landscape. Moreover, our historical research focus has been on the business outcomes and experiences related to the Latino entrepreneur, but this report also looks inward into the employment opportunities within Latino-owned businesses. Thus, our current research focuses exclusively on employer firms, those with at least one paid employee other than the owner, as these businesses are poised to have great impact on the economy and job creation. The findings in this report are also considered in the context of broader national trends as we weight our sample to be as nationally representative as possible; additional methodological information related to sampling and measures can be found in Appendix A. We include a glossary of terms to support readers in Appendix B.
In addition to our focus on the kinds of jobs created by Latinos, which we operationalize through novel indices, this report continues the work we undertook last year in measuring the ongoing impact of COVID-19. The broader context of the pandemic continues to permeate businesses on a global scale. We report on the strategies deployed to mitigate challenges and consider the impact of the $800 billion small business relief aid distributed through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). We also feature five case studies with Latino entrepreneurs, former participants of the SLEI-Education Scaling program, that speak directly to themes uncovered in the national survey.
The 2021 State of Latino Entrepreneurship report provides organizations focused on supporting businesses (e.g., chambers of commerce, trade associations, economic development associations, etc.), think tanks, governmental policymakers, and corporations with insights into the business outcomes of Latino-owned businesses to inform data-driven policy and programs. Additionally, we hope Latino business owners leverage these data to inform their business decision-making and operations. We acknowledge that business owners continue to operate in largely uncertain and unprecedented times, and we would like to thank those who contributed their time and data.