The Latino population in the United States is growing at an amazing rate. Latinos in the US now make up around 23% of the total U.S. population and in order to address the needs of this emerging sector of Americans, a solid group of Latino business leaders need to lead the way. It’s important that the Latino business community focus on issues like education, banking, investing, consumer spending, and corporate responsibility. A Latino business strategy should be a priority, so the Latino community can grow and prosper within the current structure of the U.S. economy. Latino buying power is now over $863 billion dollars in the U.S., yet the number of people who have bank accounts in the Latino community is a very low number.
There are over 1.6 million Latino-owned businesses in the U.S. which contribute $222 billion dollars to the U.S. economy. Leaders like Robert Menendez of New Jersey have been opening the doors of Congress to Latino business leaders, so that a healthy dialogue can take place regarding all the issues that face the Latino community.
One group that is bringing more awareness to the Latino community is the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce who annually recognizes people in the Latino business community with an annual award. People like Alberto Mendoza who is the President and CEO of the Coalition for Clean Air, is one Latino leader who is making a huge impact on the Latino community, as well as everyone in the country, by addressing the issues that have been created by business pollution and personal consumption. Roger Rivera, Chairman President and founder of the National Hispanic Environment Council, is working to improve one of the most important issues facing our country; the environment.
The list of leaders in the Latino business community is getting longer, but there is a lot of work to do. People like Frank Herrera President of HERO Logistics and Chef Lorena Garcia make an impact on Latino business community every day by doing what they love to do, which sets an example for the Latino business community.
Another great group that is working to bring about change in the Latino community is the New American Alliance. This a group of business and nonprofit leaders who meet yearly in a think tank environment and focus on the deep-rooted problems that face the Latino business community and the entire Latino community. Tony Castro is Chairman and the board has some impressive Latino members. A few of the members are: Henry Cisneros, President of Univision Communications, Norma and Hector Orci, Owners of LA Agencia de Orci and Associates, Dr. Mario Molina, President of Molina Medical Centers, Moctesuma Esparza, executive producer of Esparza & Katz Productions and Frank Sanchez of Sanchez Family Corp. They develop strategies and also give financial support to educational programs for Latino youths, plus they work with investors to channel pension fund money into Latino businesses as well as several other projects. This group is also forming a political action committee to address political issues around the country.
Even as indicators reveal increased participation and integration of Latinos in all facets of U.S. entrepreneurial activity and the economy, the participation of Latinos on corporate boards, in leadership and executive roles, and in the finance industry continues to lag, so it’s important that Latino business leaders continue to emerge to keep up with the growth of the Latino population.