A Continuum of Opportunity: Celebrating and Building Hispanic Entrepreneurs

October 10th, 2018

We’re proud to celebrate and reflect on the contributions of Hispanic business owners during Hispanic Heritage month. It gives us a moment to reflect on LiftFund’s impactful journey and our continued support for tremendous Hispanic/Latino-owned small businesses.

THE PAST:

LiftFund was founded in 1994, as Accion Texas, with the vision to transform lives by opening doors, leveling the financial playing field and building a community of shared success – including Hispanic-owned businesses.

Fast forward to 2018 and we’re proud we’ve provided over $118 million in small business loans to over 12,000 Hispanic owned businesses across multiple states. Not only have we provided much needed capital, we’ve shared our expertise through thousands of hours in business consultations – because we know growing a business and growing wealth is not just about money.

Our investment and belief in Hispanic-owned firms has paid off, as they’ve shown their commitment, Hispanics pay 25% better than our overall portfolio.

TODAY:

Some may wonder why we’re proud of celebrating and building Hispanic-owned businesses – as the fastest growing ethnic minority in business formation, Hispanic business owners are left out of financial mainstream far too often than not because of perceived risk. In fact according to the Stanford Graduate School of Business 2018 Latino Entrepreneurship Gap Report:

  • Latino businesses have the lowest number of loans from a financial institution among all demographic groups;
  • Latinos have the lowest number of government guaranteed business loans from financial institutions;
  • 9x the number of Latino firms would like government loans than currently have them;
  • Latino businesses make up 42% of all minority firms and are growing businesses faster than their counterparts; and
  • 70% of Latino startup businesses use personal funds to start their businesses.

Despite the funding gap and lack of opportunity to mainstream financial sources, LiftFund is making a difference and providing a pathway, despite the barriers for Hispanic business owners to start and grow.

As we pause to think about the past, today and the future, we recognize we couldn’t serve our communities without partnerships and believers in the American Dream — organizations like The Eva Longoria Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, nearly 2,100 companies, individual donors and investors, and over 2,000 community partners — who believe entrepreneurship paves financial wellbeing and success.

Partnerships like these allow us to provide much needed capital to entrepreneurs like Maria, a millennial business owner of Lucio Tailoring Company to design amazing leather aprons and accessories; to Sandy, owner of Storybooks School to grow quality education in her neighborhood; and to Edinson, owner of Azteca Mexican Candy to add manufacturing to grow his business.

They all have different paths, but one thing in common – they have a dream – to own a business and make a positive contribution to their families and communities. Each path lead the way to LiftFund, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to serve business owners like them and the thousands more we’ve supported. The future is bright, and there is more work to be done.

THE FUTURE:

With more work ahead, we’re also proud to announce a new partnership with CNote, a rising impact investment firm; which has invested $3 million into LiftFund to grow our work in serving entrepreneurs of color and women.

With today’s ever changing economy, CNote provides opportunity for individuals to invest in people, not products, and to earn money while investing in female and minority small business owners in the U.S. CNote’s vision is to democratize and create equitable economies to support those who are at times left out of the financial mainstream.

Edinson, Maria and Sandy are paving the future for their families and their communities. They, along with many others, realize that barriers can be removed with the right tools and education, just like the support LiftFund has given them.

As a community, we can help others overcome barriers and inspire them to dream big. This year our friends at the Hispanic Chamber in San Antonio, with their board chair Erika Prosper-Nirenberg, designed R.I.S.E. (Raising & Inspiring Successful Entrepreneurs) – a free curriculum to grow the entrepreneurial mindset. Check out the amazing bilingual content here.

To join our movement and lift small businesses to help them fulfilling their dreams, click here.