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THINGS WE'RE THINKING ABOUT (TWTA).

Our Things We’re Thinking About (™) (TWTA) Blog is intended to not only share information and resources, but primarily to spark civic dialogue and civic education. Just as the blog name implies, what we share are things we at Strong & Starlike are thinking about, discussing, and researching. What is shared is not intended to serve as any type of counseling or legal advice.

The State of Latina-Owned Businesses


The first project I worked on focused on understanding the current state of Latina-owned businesses in the US, including data, statistics, and an overview of where Latina-businesses owners stand today in the US economy.


At first, I decided to look into Census data and statistics to better understand where Latina-owned businesses were from a statistical point of view. This included looking at business totals per sector, annual gross receipts, employment data, and annual revenue. As well as past data to understand how Latina-owned businesses have grown in the past few years. After establishing a base for understanding where Latina businesses were, I began honing in on specific topics of interest within the Latina-owned business space. Such as their access to financing and credit, the impact of COVID-19, their role within the “informal economy”, and the business incubators or accelerator programs that exist to help Latina businesses grow.


After taking all the data and information from my research, I then condensed it all into a short 2-page fact sheet, providing an extensive overview of where Latina businesses stand today.



Gerardo Fact Sheet
.pdf
Download PDF • 93KB


Being from a Latino/Hispanic background, researching this topic felt very personal to me. As it provided me with a new perspective on Latina entrepreneurs within my community. After gaining an understanding of the challenges and barriers Latina entrepreneurs face, it became clear that the US, while moving in the right direction. However, there is still a long path forward in supporting this rapidly growing segment of the economy.


State Legislation Impacting Minority-Owned Businesses


Another one of the projects I had the chance to work on over the summer, was creating a comprehensive database of state legislations introduced, passed, and/or enacted impacting minority-owned businesses from May 25, 2020, to the present. This project was the most comprehensive and extensive I did, but it also presented me with a wide range of challenges to overcome and opportunities to learn about each state’s commitment to minority businesses.


The biggest takeaways after digging through countless pages of state legislation, I came to a few conclusions with regards to how states introduce and approach legislation for minority businesses:


  1. State legislations approach to providing aid and support for minority businesses typically takes two forms: grant programs (general or specific) or training/certification.

  2. Most legislation delegates criteria for how these resources will be accessed, managed and administered to specific departments. Typically, departments of economic development or departments of minority/women economic development (if they have been created).

  3. Many programs do exist (to varying degrees); however, many are not targeted toward minority communities and business owners, which may leave many businesses without the knowledge of said opportunities and may not provide them with the most effective means of


Each opportunity I had to dive deep into a specific topic was a great chance for me to learn more about issues that I only had surface level knowledge of before. For instance, being from a Latino background, I understood what Latina business owners faced and dealt with when trying to start, grow, and expand their businesses. However, seeing those realities presented in raw national data and trends, made those facts much clearer.


Moreover, many of the projects I had the chance to work on are topics that are extremely relevant to today’s economy and the lives of real individuals. By understanding the challenges, and situations that many entrepreneurs and communities face, I gained a new understanding of the importance of efforts toward economic inclusivity and growth, and how essential they are to help those communities and businesses in need.

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