Each year around this time―Hispanic Heritage Month―we collectively celebrate the economic, cultural, and social contributions of the Hispanic-Latino community to our nation. We honor the work of past generations who have provided children and future generations with more opportunities.
A community as diverse as the world, we strive to build a future where there are no barriers to success, and at Bank of America, we’re doing our part to make an impact by helping build Hispanic wealth. -latino in Houston.
The numbers are clear: the 2020 census found that the Hispano-Latino population in the United States grew to 62.1 million, or 18.7% of the total US population and just over half ( 51.1%) of population growth between 2010 and 2020. Hispano-Latinos now open more small businesses than any other group in the country and are also the fastest growing demographic of small business owners across the country. It’s no surprise that Spanish-Latin economic power continues to grow year after year. According to Nielsen Scarborough, the number of Hispanic businesses in Houston has grown 85% since 2013.
Invest in business
Investing in Hispano-Latino wealth means supporting entrepreneurs so they are set to succeed. Early-stage funding is critical to growing a new business, especially when Hispanic-Latino entrepreneurs still face gaps in financial literacy and business education, funding, and networking opportunities.
According to data from Crunchbase, startups founded by Latinos accounted for just 2.1% of venture capital investments in the United States last year. It is unjustifiable.
As part of our commitment to advancing racial equality and economic opportunity, we have committed $350 million to minority and women-led businesses through capital investments by venture capital funds mission-oriented. Of the funds we have in our portfolio, one in four is led by Hispanic-Latino managers, providing capital that will help entrepreneurs and small business owners grow their business, create jobs and improve financial stability. .
An important part of creating opportunities for Hispano-Latinos to build wealth, whether as business owners or employees, is ensuring young people recognize higher education as a path to success. . This means partnering with colleges and universities and investing in job creation, skills building and support services for students. Locally, we do this with EMERGE Fellowship and with the University of Houston College of Medicine. When we invest in students, we invest in future professionals and business leaders who will create Hispanic-Latino wealth and contribute to Houston’s economy and culture. It’s something we can celebrate together for years to come.
Investing in sustainable home ownership
Sustainable home ownership is a sustainable investment for future generations and circulates capital in the community. The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) recently released data showing an increase in homeownership among Latinos, from 47.5% in 2019 to 48.4% in 2021, the level the highest since the mid-2000s. Through the Community Homeownership Commitment, which offers low down payment loans and closing cost grants, families can take their savings and turn them into lasting legacies. It is a pillar allowing families to build up a heritage.
Here in Houston, we also support organizations that help with homeownership, like Tejano Center, Avenue CDC, and Houston Habitat for Humanity. Building equity in a Hispanic-Latino home increases the amount of capital families can use now or in the future to help build our Houston economy.
Over the past decade, the rate of Hispano-Latino economic development has greatly exceeded rates among non-Hispanics. Supporting and honoring our Hispanic-Latino customers isn’t just a month-long initiative, it’s a long-term, generational investment in America and we’re proud to be investing in a stronger economy for Houston now and for years to come. coming.
Rick Jaramillo is the Market Director of Bank of America Houston.