A compilation of research studies, white papers and other valuable insights for Hispanic entrepreneurs impacting businesses across the Globe, our Country and our region.
UNLEASHING THE HISPANIC BUSINESS POTENTIAL THROUGH DIGITAL INCLUSION
Latino entrepreneurs and small business owners were among the hardest hit by the pandemic, exacerbating existing inequalities. A lack of access to digital tools and critical capital caused a third of Latino-owned businesses to temporarily close or permanently shut down. Insufficient access to a digital safety net, including e-commerce channels, has continued to hamper the resilience and competitiveness of Latino businesses for the past two years.
Throughout the country and across the globe, the pandemic has made all companies part of the tech industry. As Hector Mujica of Google.org notes, “We need to stop talking about the digital economy and just talk about the economy. The economy is the digital economy. Two-thirds of jobs require basic digital skills.”
For Latino-owned businesses to experience the upward economic mobility that tech can bring— and in turn become an economic engine for their communities—the ratio of several current data points needs to change. Although Latinos now represent more than 18 percent of the U.S. population6, they only represent 7 percent of the tech workforce, just 4 percent of tech leadership7, only 2 percent of tech board members8, and 2 percent of tech startup founders. Despite the billions of dollars going into the tech industry, Latina representation in the tech field is just 0.4 percent9.
Flipping these ratios will require closing the nation’s current digital divide with massive federal investment in broadband access and the technical upscaling of
small businesses. Other actions needed to increase the tech capacity of Latino-owned businesses include:
• Capacity-building resources that are offered in Spanish and English. Skills building resources need to be culturally relevant and led by people who look and sound like the community they are targeting.