Latina Leaders on the Rise — New Report Tells an Inspiring Tale about Latina Entrepreneurs
We know that Latina entrepreneurs need to work exponentially harder than most. They need to overcome unique obstacles to achieve success in their professional endeavors.
But what we are now learning is that, despite the challenges Latinas face in the workforce, they are also the fastest-growing group of business owners. Latinas are leading nearly two million businesses nationwide and forming businesses six times faster than other U.S. groups.
Despite their incredible accomplishments, we know that Latinas need resources. They need support, and community to continue to reach new heights of success as they fully reach their entrepreneurial potential.
This is why we should all pay attention to the Latina Entrepreneurship Community Pulse Report from #WeAllGrow Latina and Microsoft.
According to this recent research, Latina entrepreneurs are future drivers of economic growth in this country. Yet, they still need resources and support to harness their full potential.
Numbers do not lie
The report’s findings are based on focus group conversations and responses from more than 300 #WeAllGrow community members. The participants openly shared their experiences as founders and entrepreneurs in an effort to continue propelling Latina leaders forward and help them achieve their goals.
“Latina entrepreneurs are determined to leave a mark in their communities despite facing systematic barriers and a rapidly evolving technological landscape,” shared #WeAllGrow Latina Co-CEO and Partner Vanessa Santos. “One of our goals in conducting this survey is to best understand the Latina entrepreneur and how she harnesses the power of technology to spark social and economic change,” she explained. “Given their adaptability and resilience, supporting Latina founders is in all our best interests. The findings confirm the importance of uplifting this group of entrepreneurs to build a more equitable future.”
At the end of the day, helping to drive the community of Latina entrepreneurs forward will create a ripple effect of benefits for generations to come.
“This collaboration with the #WeAllGrow Latina community helps Microsoft deepen our understanding of the state of Latina entrepreneurship, which is a critical audience in helping us fully realize our mission of empowering the world to achieve more,” echoed Sarah DiDonato, senior communications manager, Multicultural Communications at Microsoft. “We must learn directly from Latina entrepreneurs how they are using technology in their path to success. Only then can Microsoft support their business, wellbeing, and dreams.”
So, let’s dig into the key takeaways of this game-changing report.
Unique challenges Latina entrepreneurs face
According to the report, Latina entrepreneurs experience several difficulties. Most importantly, nderstanding these obstacles is an essential part of finding practical solutions to overcoming these barriers. For starters, Latina business owners shared that they often have a hard time finding mentors who can help guide their career journey meaningfully. That’s not necessarily because supportive role models don’t exist. It’s because finding the right supportive role models is a unique challenge. “It’s more than just finding support—it’s finding tailored solutions and support that understand the Latina lived experience,” the report noted.
Latina entrepreneurs expressed the significant need to have access to mentors who can relate to their nuanced cultural experiences. This includes but is not limited to, the financial obligations many Latinas are dealing with, such as commitments to take care of their home, support their family, and serve as caretakers for relatives. In fact, 64 percent of report respondents said they “attend to the care of the home,” 61 percent “support the emotional well-being of family members. Thirty-six percent “serve as a caretaker to a family member.”
Finding mentors who are available and dedicated to empowering and guiding fellow Latina entrepreneurs and who have personal experience with these same struggles is a crucial piece of the puzzle in helping Latinas succeed.
Redefining what it means to be successful and fulfilled
Speaking of success, the report found that Latinas have crafted their own definition of what success looks like. Gone are the days when success meant working yourself to the ground day and night, disregarding your needs. Latina entrepreneurs see the flaws in that system and are determined to pave their way.
“As Latina entrepreneurs, we recognize the importance of taking care of ourselves while pursuing our business dreams,” the report notes. “We aren’t afraid to prioritize our needs as individuals and are embracing ease by finding a balance between ambition and self-care, leveraging technology to streamline operations and creating more space for what matters most.”
It is clear that to Latina entrepreneurs, mental health is not an afterthought but a focus. Once upon a time, Latinas did not openly discuss mental health, and previous generations saw it as a taboo topic. However, it seems that a shift has occurred within the Latina community. In fact, 94 percent of respondents said that their mental health and well-being are of extreme importance to them. Sixty percent reported that their well-being has often affected their ability to operate their business.
In addition, for many Latina entrepreneurs, a big part of success is being financially independent. It is having the financial freedom that older generations may not have had. And so, Latina entrepreneurs have learned to innovate and hone their skills based on their lived Latina experiences, making their cultures work for them.