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Latino Entrepreneurship

Last month, the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (CHCC) hosted their annual convention in Oakland. For three days, small business owners, service providers, and  advocates – including many CAMEO members – engaged, networked and learned how they can fit into the small business ecosystem to help small business owners succeed. I was fortunate to attend, meet our members, and learn more about the Latino business landscape. Some of my takeaways are as follows:

Latino Contributions to the United States

The 2021 LDC U.S. Latino GDP Report shared economic data about Latino contribution to the United States economy.

Macro Info 

  • The total economic output for Latino’s in the U.S. in 2019 was $2.7 trillion. That is up from $2.1 trillion in 2015 and $1.7 trillion in 2010. 
  • If Latinos in the U.S. were a country they would be the 7th largest economy in the world, tied with France. 
  • From 2010 to  2019, Latino real GDP grew 57 percent  faster than the broader U.S. economy and 70 percent faster than the non-Latino economy.
  • Three quarters  of Latinos (or 46 million)  live in ten states:  California, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York. 
  • The states with the fastest growing Latino population are California, Texas, and Florida.

Top Three Industry Sectors of the U.S. Latino GDP

  • Education & Healthcare totals $446 billion or 16.4% of the U.S. Latino GDP. 
  • Professional & Business Services totals  $327 billion (12.0% of Latino GDP)
  • Finance and Real Estate totals $252 billion (9.3% of Latino GDP).


  • In 2019, Latino consumption was at $1.85 trillion. 
  • U.S. Latinos represent a consumption market that is nearly identical in size to the entire economy of Texas. 
  • From 2010-19, Latino real consumption grew 123 percent faster than non-Latino, driven by large gains in personal income, which flow from rapid gains in educational attainment and strong labor force participation.

Advancing Entrepreneurs and Communities 

Analisa Garcia, founder of Ambitious Vibes Candle Company, started her own business when she became a single mom and had difficulty affording child care, turning her candle making hobby into a business. She met with JPMorgan and Chase’s small business consultants and they helped her with taxes and bookkeeping. The Chase business consultants also helped her create a business plan and find creative ways to bring in customers. 

The advantage to using JP Morgan and Chase banks business consulting services – or any of the CAMEO members who are mission driven to provide free-low-cost services is that the business consultants help grow your relationship with the bank or other lenders, which facilitates  access to capital. Analisa’s story shows the importance of why small business consulting is so important to the small business ecosystem.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Panel

The diversity, equity, and inclusion panel featured leaders that  improved diversity, equity, and inclusion in the work that they do.

Paul Pendegrast, Principal and Founder of the Pendergrast Consulting Group, spent 25 years working with various chambers of commerce in California. Paul wanted to create diversity in the chamber’s that led to the idea to create ethnic chambers of commerce. Paul recognized that small business owners varied based on race and background and knew that by increasing diversity of the chambers would increase small business participation. Paul believes in building connections, opportunity, and growth. Connections can help reduce costs, by sharing information on the best supply chains to find goods that are less expensive, improving the bottom line or forming partnerships or innovating on products.. 

Andres Emmanuelli, Donor Relations of Advancement Cristo Ray de la Salle East Bay High School, spoke about the importance of culture in the Latino community and should be brought into the small business conversation. Despite that  Latino’s tend to be 300% under the poverty line, the average salary is $40,000, and  tuition, room and board is expensive ($80,000), Latinos are breaking the foundation for those who could not dream of having an education. Andres said, “We may not have financial wealth, we have cultural wealth and family wealth. These assets prepare our families for the workforce and business. Schooling is able to pull the lever.” Curriculum is ethnic studies for high school (Latino and Black communities).

“Community work is very tiring so it’s great seeing people together,” he continued. “We built partnerships with health clinics and other organizations. We have committed from hiring from the community and to help pay for college to help people move up in their roles. We look at the person as a whole because an employee can’t concentrate on their work if they have other problems at home.”