Hispanic and Latino Americans make up an incredibly diverse group of cultures. They comprise nearly 60 million people and represent Americans with cultural ties to all Spanish-speaking and Latin American countries and dependencies. It should come as no surprise that their contributions to the business world have been rich and varied!
Latino entrepreneurship in the Americas began over 500 years ago before our country was even founded. Some of the first Latino-owned enterprises in the United States included ranching, farming, and shop ownership.
Today, many of our country’s most innovative and disruptive entrepreneurs are from Hispanic and Latino backgrounds.
Although best known today as the COO of SoftBank International and former CEO of Sprint, the Bolivian-born Claure earned his billions by founding Brightstar Corp in Miami in 1997 and turning it into an empire. Brightstar began as a global wireless distribution and services provider, and is now the global leader of end-to-end device lifecycle management systems.
Alberto "Beto" Perez
Beto Perez invented Zumba in his hometown of Cali, Columbia after showing up to teach a fitness class and forgetting his videotapes. After some initial success, Perez moved from his native Columbia to Miami to pursue the American dream, and the rest is history. Zumba is now one of the most successful fitness disciplines in the world. Perez’s innovative distribution model is often credited for Zumba’s success and staying power.
Many Hispanic and Latino Americans have found success in franchising. As recently as 2018, Hispanic Americans accounted for 10% of all franchise business owners, compared to 7% of non-franchised business owners, per an International Franchise Association (IFA) report. However, Hispanic and Latino Americans are still underrepresented in the franchise space relative to their demographic size. This presents an excellent opportunity for Hispanic and Latino business owners as our economy rebounds.
Here at FranFund, this month is especially important to us, given our Fort Worth, Texas location, and our commitment to diversity and inclusion. We celebrate Hispanic and Latino Americans’ contributions to our country’s culture, and we encourage you to do the same. Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!