Did you know that Latinas own about 1 out of every 10 women-owned businesses in the U.S.? And that revenue for Latina-owned businesses grows at about 9.5 percent per year?* And yet despite these promising numbers, the Center for American Progress (CAP) reports that Hispanic females still have a “long way to go to fully close racial and ethnic disparities.“
As a Latina business owner in the United States, I agree with the CAP report. Although entrepreneurship among Latinas has increased, we have a long way to go. I am fortunate to have had my business for 16 years. As Latinas, we need to support and help each other to start businesses and continue to succeed at our businesses. We need to serve as mentors for the younger Latinas starting out; we need to speak in elementary schools, high schools, and colleges to encourage young Latinas that are interested in entrepreneurship to take the leap, and we should be there to hold their hands through the beginning, middle, and advanced stages of their business.
Here are some things we could try. As Latina entrepreneurs:
- Let’s be loyal to our fellow Latina businesses
- Let’s send referrals to our fellow Latina businesses
- Let’s treat our clients as friends, not as a commodity
- Let’s build relationships with our clients
- Let’s focus on the philosophy of respecting and serving our clients
This is just a start. There are many other ways to encourage Latina entrepreneurship. The bottom line to a successful business comes down to treating your clients the way you would like to be treated. These are my company’s Guiding Principles:
INTEGRITY– Treat everyone with dignity, integrity, and respect. Abide by applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
EMPATHY –Strive for mutual respect and trust in relationships. Conduct business with generosity AND KINDNESS.
ACCURACY – Quality control and cultural awareness are of the utmost importance and must be applied to all work.
TRANSPARENCY – The key to strong, successful business relationships is clear, open, honest communication about work processes and expectations.
DEDICATION – All business should be conducted with patience, dedication, flexibility and an innate curiosity to help identify solutions to problems.
What other ideas do you have for encouraging Latina entrepreneurs?
“Don’t give up. The greatest obstacle to your own success is your own fear. Failure is never fun. But each time you fail, you learn something. It’s often said that one should fight to the last person standing. Hey, they’re still standing. And as a woman, I hope it’s us.” Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor