Latinas in Business: The Power of Seeing What’s Possible
Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.
Shoot for the moon — even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.
How many times have we heard these kinds of inspiring statements about the importance of dreaming big and setting major goals for ourselves? They’re all around us, urging us to “go for it” and be the biggest, most successful versions of ourselves.
But what is talked about far less is how to actually go about achieving our dreams. This is especially true for Latinas, who are underrepresented in mainstream stories of entrepreneurial success, even though we are the women behind so much innovation and originality in the business world.
Seeing what’s possible helps get you unstuck
This gap between dreaming and doing is where so many women, including myself, have gotten stuck. We have a vision, but we don’t know how to get from where we are to where we want to be. We need dreams to aspire to, but when it comes to business and our professional lives, we also need roadmaps on how to get there.
I know from experience that one of the best ways to start bringing your dreams into reality is to find a real-life example of someone who has walked the path you want to follow. This can be a personal mentor that you work with one-on-one or a high-profile person you never actually meet but view as a role model.
This approach works because for so many of us, we can’t really believe in the possibility of something until we see it with our own eyes. That’s why there is so much power in just seeing other people doing what we want to do. It can move us beyond our limiting beliefs and into a mindset where what we want becomes possible.
Latinas are crushing it in business and inspiring others to jump in
I dreamed of owning my own business for a long time before I ever took the first steps toward launching Good Vibes Only by Lizz LLC. It was only when I found another Latina who was living my dream that I started to believe I could do it, too. Now, my business is a reality and that Latina business owner who inspired me is my mentor.
Although my story is personal, it’s not unique. Many women face the same challenges I did and don’t know where to turn for the help and support they need.
So here is some information that I hope will not only inform you on just how much the Latinx community is doing, but also inspire you to pursue your own goals, knowing that it is entirely possible and within reach.
According to a 2020 report on the State of Latino Entrepreneurship:
- In almost every industry, Latinos are launching businesses at a much faster pace than the national average.
Latinx-owned businesses have increased by close to 34% over the last decade. All other small businesses had a growth rate of just 1%. Latinas in particular start businesses at six times the national rate. To put this into perspective, if Latinx people — including Latinas — hadn’t embraced entrepreneurship in such great numbers, the overall number of small businesses in the US would have actually shrunk from 2007 to 2012.
- Before the pandemic, Latinx-owned businesses were huge generators of revenue and employment for the economy.
Close to 400,000 Latinx-owned businesses created close to $500 billion in yearly revenue and employed just under 3.5 million people. This statistic shows just how significant a contribution the Latinx community makes to the national economy. In other words, it’s not just a few lucky businesspeople who scrape out a little bit of success. There are major moves being made by women in our community — and there is always room for more (including you) to join the ranks.
- Latina-owned businesses have seen huge growth in just the last five years.
Eight-seven percent growth, to be precise. This impressive number shows that more and more Latinas are taking the reins and starting their own businesses. Out of this large and growing group of women, there are no doubt many potential role models who can inspire you and provide a roadmap for building your own path to success.
Latinas in business are creating wealth for today and the future
One of the things that I focus on a lot in my business is promoting awareness of the connections between things. We are all united in the web of humanity, and our choices and actions create “ripples on the pond” that extend farther than we know. This applies to the world of business and money, too.
The Latina business-owners who are taking control of their own destinies aren’t just achieving their own personal dreams — they’re also building generational wealth that will establish their family’s economic security for years to come. When you consider the potential power you have to influence not just your own future, but that of your family and future generations, it can be a significant motivator to start making your dreams a reality,
Accessing the help and support we need to thrive
That’s not to say that any of this is easy or that institutional barriers don’t exist for us. They do.
We don’t get approved for loans in the same numbers as non-Latinx-owned businesses do, despite meeting the criteria. Nadia M. Velázquez, the Chair of the House Committee on Small Business, even made the following comment on the situation Latinx-owned businesses face:
“This report showcases the resiliency and dynamism of Latino entrepreneurs. COVID introduced unthinkable obstacles, but Latino small businesses still outperformed other groups. […] Despite the success of these businesses, they consistently have a harder time obtaining funding compared to non-Latino firms.”
These inequalities are real and they are unjust. But that’s why it’s important that we look for alternatives and use every tool at our disposal that will allow us to create the lives we want for ourselves. Resources such as the Latino Entrepreneurship Fund and the Accion Opportunity Fund are good places to start looking for funding and general advice and support.
Moving forward as a Latina in the business world
I hope this information has you dreaming big and considering how you can bring your visions into reality. Remember that your personal practices also play a big role in your mindset, so keep your self-care front and center as you manifest your desires. As you take your next steps, I wish you Good Vibes Only!