LATINO VOICES

CEO Of The Hispanic Chamber Of Commerce Explains U.S. Latino Entrepreneurs' Growth

Sep 17, 2013
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Hispanic-owned businesses—there are about 3.2 million of them in the U.S.—will generate $468 billion in revenue this year, according to a new study from consultancy Geoscape. That’s up from 1.6 million businesses and $254 billion in 2002.

One explanation for the fast growth: Recent research showing that immigrants are 27 percent more likely to start a business—and also more likely to perceive opportunity and less afraid of failure—than native-born Americans.

“For a good period of time, Hispanic businesses concentrated in the trades, especially agriculture and construction,” says Javier Palomarez, chief executive officer of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “Today, we have businesses of all sizes in every industry and every corner of the country.”

I spoke recently to Palomarez as his organization, which serves as an umbrella for more than 200 local Hispanic chambers, prepared for its annual convention this week in Chicago. Edited excerpts of our conversation follow.

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