Las empresas y negocios creadas por latinos en Estados Unidos son un motor para la economía de aquél país, sin embargo, hasta hace poco tiempo no se podía sostener con cifras exactas dicha importancia, pues ningún organismo o institución se dedicaba a recabar información sobre las empresas latinas en particular.

Hasta hace algunos años, si se quería conocer la importancia de alguna empresa o negocio creada por latinos, solo se podía acudir a consultar a organismos estatales. Sin embargo, en 2012 surgió un proyecto de la Universidad de Stanford dedicado a estudiar exclusivamente a las empresas latinas.

Como uno de sus primeros logros, el proyecto, denominado Iniciativa Empresarial Latina de Stanford (SLEI, por sus siglas en inglés), fue poder reunir una base de datos de cerca de 1.5 millones de empresas latinas. Con estos datos, SLEI piensa publicar cada año un reporte sobre el estado de las empresas latinas, así como su aporte a la economía estadounidense.

En su primer reporte, SLEI señala que las empresas latinas son un motor importante para la economía, aunque pueden multiplicar su aporte de forma importante. Asimismo, expone que hay dos factores clave que muestran ese potencial: 1) los latinos están creando negocios a un ritmo más acelerado que el resto de la población; y 2) si logran hacer crecer esas compañías igual que otros grupos demográficos, pueden aportar $1.3 billones de dólares más cada año a la economía.

Doug Rivers, profesor de ciencias políticas en Stanford y quien diseñó un estudio a profundidad sobre los emprendimientos latinos para este proyecto, dijo al respecto que “los latinos no son una carga para la economía estadounidense” y aseguró que “en realidad es al revés”.

Para elaborar este primer reporte, más de 2 mil empresas respondieron cuestionarios sobre sus negocios, crecimiento y obstáculos que encuentran. La conclusión obtenida fue que el rápido crecimiento de la población latina se ha dado junto con “una explosión en la cantidad de negocios de dueños latinos”.

Sin embargo, SLEI apunta que los emprendedores y empresarios latinos necesitan ayuda, pues subrayan que existe una brecha importante entre las ventas promedio de las empresas de dueños latinos y las del resto de las compañías estadounidenses.

Según el reporte, si las empresas latinas hubieran igualado las ventas promedio de las compañías no latinas en 2012, la economía estadounidense hubiera generado 1.38 billones de dólares más.

El principal obstáculo para el crecimiento de las empresas latinas, apunta SLEI, es que sólo venden a latinos y se concentran en sectores económicos de crecimiento bajo. Además, algunos otros inconvenientes encontrados fueron:

-Falta de acceso a crédito bancario y capital de riesgo que permita invertir para crecer.
-Predominancia de empresas de propiedad familiar que no dejan entrar socios externos.
-Motivaciones de los emprendedores latinos, que muchas veces inician un negocio para tener algo que dejar a su familia y no para explotar una oportunidad de mercado muy atractiva.
-Escasez de mentores que guíen a los emprendedores en el mundo de los negocios.

SLEI surgió como una alianza entre la Universidad de Stanford y el grupo Latino Business Action Network (LBAN), la cual fue creada por el profesor Jerry Porras y varios graduados latinos de Stanford.

Puedes leer el primer reporte completo del SLEI haciendo click aquí.


Fuente: Latino Entrepreneurship

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