The president’s office may be rife with anti-immigrant rhetoric, but new findings by the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative illustrate just how valuable Latino immigrants are to our country. Indeed, research shows that over 40% of $1-million-dollar Latino businesses are owned by immigrants.
Since this election season was fraught with outright lies and damaging misconceptions about so-called “bad hombres,” these findings are especially important in our current political climate. Of the 26.5 million businesses in the U.S., four million are owned by Latinos. After SLEI collected data from over 4,900 independent companies, researchers found that 40-50% of large Latino-owned companies with $1 million revenues or more than 50 employees are owned by immigrants.
In addition, data revealed that, over the last decade, Latino businesses showed a 300% higher growth rate than the national average. Between 2007 and 2015, U.S. firms grew by about 20.2%, but Latino businesses grew at an impressive 43% rate. That makes these businesses the fastest-growing sector of the entire American economy.
In collaboration with the Latino Business Action Network, SLEI has generated a comprehensive database of more than 1.3 million Latino-owned businesses throughout the nation. While these Latino companies are located all over the country, the vast majority — 75%, in fact — are located in non-Latino neighborhoods. And while only 2% of Latino-owned businesses are million-dollar businesses, they have undeniable and unprecedented growth potential.
This potential could mean big things for our economy. While some Trump supporters may have the idea that immigrants contribute very little to our society but take a lot away, this data shows that the opposite is true. Since the role of immigrants on the American economy has been a main focus of presidential policy in 2017, this research could not have come at a better time.
To that end, the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative recently hosted an event to present and discuss these findings with business leaders. Top-level CEOs, industry experts, and academic specialists from Stanford University and Stanford Graduate School of Business spoke on the current state of Latino entrepreneurship in America.
Researchers felt the event communicated just how important these immigrant-owned businesses will be to the growth of the U.S. economy. One hopes that those who need to hear their message are listening.