As we move into National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15th – October 15th), we’re recognizing and celebrating the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States. Here at Valley, we’re specifically honoring the Hispanic women who have risen above numerous challenges to start their own businesses.
According to the 2018 State of Women-owned Businesses Report by American Express, 400 Hispanic women-owned businesses are launched each day, making Latina-owned businesses one of the fastest growing sectors of entrepreneurship in the U.S. This is all the more impressive due to the many obstacles these women face.
- A Double Bias – Hispanic women, even in 2021, still often face a dual bias in the business world based on both gender and race. This can make it more difficult to enlist allies, find funding, form partnerships, and more. Additionally, female Hispanic entrepreneurs may find themselves as a distinct minority in whatever industry they are in, and feel intimidated, talked down to, or discouraged by the lack of support and encouragement.
- Difficulty Networking – Networking events may also be predominantly attended by white males – a “boys’ club” which can prevent Hispanic women from making the valuable business connections they need to succeed. Because there is a lack of representation in this space, it can be difficult to find other Hispanic female entrepreneurs to network with – especially in male dominated industries.
- Lack of Mentorship – According to Inc., 48% of female business owners lack mentors and advisors, and that number is likely significantly higher for women of color. Mentorship is extremely valuable to businesses – especially those just starting out – providing much-needed guidance, resources, and connections.
- Reduced Access to Funding – A recent report on The State of Online Small Business Lending confirmed that female entrepreneurs are less likely to apply for business funding than men, less likely to receive the full funding they do apply for, receive – on average – $35,000 less than men do, and, when approved, tend to receive shorter term loans at higher interest rates.
At Valley, we’re working hard to level the playing field for Hispanic women business owners, offering SBA loans and other business financing options to provide the needed access to capital to get your business off the ground.
Additionally, Valley’s Women in Business program connects and empowers professional women by providing networking and educational opportunities that enrich the professional lives of women at every stage of their career. Women in Business collaborates with thought leaders in the community and fosters connections between members by hosting social and educational events that provide opportunities for growth, learning and networking.