Today during the Southwest Business Summit, The LIBRE Institute will release a new study titled La Oportunidad: The Growing Importance of Hispanic Entrepreneurs and How States Can Benefit. Authored by Naomi López Bauman, the study shows how state-level policy decisions affect Hispanic entrepreneurship levels. States with a high proportion of Hispanic-owned businesses may be those holding back the rates of Hispanic entrepreneurship the most. Given the propensity of Hispanics to start businesses at twice the rate of native-born Americans, entrepreneurs must educate themselves regarding the policies that affect their businesses, and lawmakers must have sound information regarding the effects of policies they implement.
Among the key points are:
- Between 1997 and 2007, the number of Hispanic-owned firms increased from 1.1 million to 2.3 million for an impressive increase of 101.8 percent. A 2014 report issued by Geoscape and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce predicts that the number of Hispanic-owned businesses would reach 3.2 million in 2014.
- In terms of Hispanic entrepreneurial activity, Florida was well-above the Hispanic average of 0.38%. Texas was average. And New Mexico was well below-average.
- Occupational licensing requirements in low-income occupations may be leading some states to have a significantly lower Hispanic entrepreneurial index than others. State-level policy decisions could be crucial to explaining why some states see many more Latinos starting their own firms.
- Policymakers should carefully examine the utility of the government-created obstacles that increase the barriers to entry to entrepreneurship, especially those that disproportionately tend to discourage Hispanic entrepreneurship.
The Southwest Business Summit features national and regional distinguished panellists who will share insight on energy, trade with Mexico, regulations and unique business opportunities and challenges that affect small business in the Southwest.The event is hosted by The LIBRE Institute and The Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Hispanic Chambers, trade groups and business organizations from across the Southwest and New Mexico. Keynote speakers include New Mexico Lt. Governor, John Sanchez; Coach Jim White, featured in the film “Mcfarland USA;” and LIBRE Institute President, Daniel Garza.