Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the contributions and importance of the Hispanics and Latinos to U.S. culture and society.
The 2021 Hispanic Heritage Month observance theme, “Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope,” invites us to celebrate Hispanic Heritage and to reflect on how great our tomorrow can be if we hold onto our resilience and hope. It encourages us to reflect on all of the contributions Hispanics have made in the past and will continue to make in the future. It is also a reminder that we are stronger together — this includes the strong small business ecosystems that Hispanic and Latino entrepreneurs are building in communities across the country.
Hispanic and Latino-owned small businesses are increasingly becoming an economic force in the U.S., generating nearly $500 billion in annual revenue, and employing 3.4 million people.
According to a report published earlier this year by the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative, Hispanic and Latino-owned businesses are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. small business ecosystem. However, the same Stanford study found that despite being the fastest-growing segment of our small business ecosystem, they continue to face barriers to scaling their companies which include struggling to secure capital from banks.
ICIC’s is committed to help closing the existing opportunity gaps by connecting Hispanic and Latino-owned entrepreneurs with small business resources and promoting equitable outcomes that foster inclusive economic prosperity. In 2019, we began to offer interpreting services to support Spanish-speaking participants in our Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) program. What began with a single cohort offering Spanish-language translation services has grown to eight cohorts in cities across the country this year. In the coming year, we aim to further evolve our program with the launch of an ICCC cohort conducted entirely in Spanish that offers a curriculum and resources specifically curated to address the challenges facing Hispanic and Latino business owners.
ICIC drives inclusive economic prosperity in under-resourced communities through innovative research and programs to create jobs, income, and wealth for local residents.
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