(CNN) – Latino-owned businesses are a powerful force fueling the U.S. economy, and an annual report on Latino entrepreneurship reveals gains, but room for improvement.
Myrna Perez is one of millions of Latino business owners playing a key role in the U.S. economy.
“It’s just a lot of hard work and dedication. I mean, I haven’t known a vacation since its inception, and that’s okay with me because this is life.”
The latest report from the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative shows the growth rate of Latino-owned businesses is higher than any other group.
“It’s amazing how we have grown. We have found that the majority of our businesses are actually Latina women,” says Ish Gayle of the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
The report also found these businesses face unique challenges.
Latino start-ups tend to stay smaller, and therefore make less money than their counterparts.
“Over 5 million Hispanic businesses now nationwide. But only really 3% of them are a million and over,” Gayle said.
The research also found that small businesses overall struggled with lack of business training and access to capital and loans.
In fact, the report found that 72 percent of owners don’t know their business credit score.
“Having to educate our community that they are actual entrepreneurs and they have access to many other resources to grow their company that’s really the key,” Gayle said.
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