Though the glass ceiling for women does still exist, things are slowly but surely changing for the better. Society, as a whole, is being more vocal about supporting minority business owners and women-owned businesses. Another noticeable trend is female business owners making conscious efforts to help their fellow aspiring businesswomen, and there are a lot of resources for Hispanic women to help them on their entrepreneurial journeys.
Latino Americans now make up the greatest minority population in the United States, at 17%. Many areas of the country have much higher percentages of Latinos, and the “support your own” mindset is very strong in the Hispanic-American community, especially with women.
Still, challenges are aplenty, and getting some more help along the way is a recipe for success. Here are four tips for Hispanic-American women on entrepreneurial paths.
Poor money management often leads to business failures, and when starting off in a new business, money seems to disappear very quickly. There are many different types of entrepreneurs, and though actual business start-up costs can vary from zero dollars to hundreds of thousands, legalities exist for everyone, and these legalities often come with a pretty stiff price tag. Funding can help with these surprise costs, and is getting easier to find for Latin women.
Wells Fargo is a household name with a committed effort to support and empower minority-owned businesses, and are also sought out because of their connections to alternative grants and lenders if they can’t provide funding themselves. Kapor Capitol, Accion, and Astia all work extensively with minority business owners as well. Grants are even better than loans, and many exist for Latina women.
Learn from Trailblazers
Women own almost half of Latin-owned businesses in the U.S., and learning from those who have paved a path similar to the one you want to pave is a great recipe for success, as well. Some of these women may be too busy to directly help you out, but good for them! Reading about these women, and discussing them with other individuals like yourself can be almost as beneficial as the first-hand conversations. There is a lot of internet literature available on Hispanic-American women who have made names for themselves through their business endeavors and moved to educating the next group of entrepreneurs.
Be Hard on Yourself… but Not Too Hard
Holding yourself accountable as a businesswoman is paramount for success, especially if you plan on employing other people. It’s the harsh truth that it’s harder to be successful in many sectors of the world of commerce as a woman and as a Hispanic-American. Taking responsibility for your mistakes and immediately correcting them keeps the team mindset going forward and also makes any potential clients and colleagues add respect they may not have had simply because you’re not a white male.
On the other side of this self-accountability, though, is celebrating your accomplishments and wearing your pride. This also is even more important when other team members jump onboard. It’s a long climb, and celebrating small victories is important for team motivation.
Use Social Media
Facebook advertising was a multi-billion-dollar industry last year, and other similar services offer opportunities to market your product. In addition to having your own business pages on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc., it’s also worth looking into ways to market through other people, and once such opportunity is with brand influencer marketing. Some social media influencers have billions of followers, and one post saying “I like this product” can open up a huge number of eyes to your company. Of course, it gets more expensive with people who have more followers, but finding people who are popular in the niche your product or service is trying to reach can create a very large return on a relatively small investment.
It may be cliché, but none of these tips will help you if you don’t wholly believe in yourself. There has never been a better time to be a Hispanic-American woman pursuing a business in the United States, and take advantage of all the help that exists.