They say work hard, and you will succeed. However, oftentimes in the Latinx community, that means putting in double the effort. Although Latinos employ enormous contributions in the worlds of business, arts, sports and music, there isn’t enough recognition of how they have influenced and continue to drive the nation’s economy. In efforts to make that change, L’ATTITUDE—a business-based national initiative focused on helping executives understand the new mainstream economy and the role Latinos play in it—is taking charge and is taking support from celebrities such as Ana Navarro, Zoe Saldana and Emilio Estefan among others.
The founders behind the concept are Solomon ‘Sol’ Trujillo and Gary Acosta, who spoke with HOLA! USA about Latino entrepreneurship and how they play a major role in the new economic world. As the only annual event of its kind, L’ATTITUDE is focused on how U.S. Latinos are fueling the economic growth of America, and gathers a world-class lineup of CEOs, economists, business leaders, educators, entrepreneurs, journalists and politicians.
During these events, recognizable names in all kinds of industries have gathered to discuss the economic opportunities in the U.S. made possible by the new mainstream economy thus enlightening the public and future entrepreneurs. Keep reading to find out how this powerful duo is paving the way for the Latinx community in the business arena.
HOLA! USA: What is Latino Force and how is it impacting America’s mainstream economy?
Sol Trujillo: “It is contributing over $2.13 trillion to America’s GDP. That’s roughly the size of India and larger than Canada. Since 2005, 29 percent of America’s growth in real income has been from U.S. Latinos. As a result, their purchasing power is growing 70 percent faster than non-Latinos.”
How do you see the future of Latino entrepreneurs in the U.S.?
“The future of Latino entrepreneurship is very bright, given the fact that in this decade, 86 percent of all net new businesses were formed by Latinos, and especially millennials have a high entrepreneurship ambition. Now America needs to make access to capital more readily available to these entrepreneurs so they can scale their businesses to their full potential, further enhancing the American economy.”
You mentioned millennials. What are three things that companies can do right now to help Latinx employees thrive and excel?
“Deploy business strategies for growth that include U.S. Latinos on boards of directors, executive teams, marketing staff, and the employee base. It means understanding and marketing to U.S. Latino consumers. Also providing credit to U.S. Latino-owned businesses.”
What mentorship advice would you give to young Latinx professionals who want to succeed in corporate America?
Guy Acosta: “Emulate a successful person you admire and be prepared to outwork the competition.”
ST: “Be ready to compete in all dimensions. Hard work, preparation, and focus on results are critical. Doing it with principles, ethics, and values. Always finding ways to give back, being willing to take risks and always leading by example. Finally, control your own destiny by the choices you make on your brand, the competencies you develop, the aspects that make you more attractive to customers, employers, investors, partners, etc.”
What role do Latinas play in this economy, and how are they performing?
“Latinas are more likely than other females to have bought a first home in the past year. They are starting businesses across America at a rapid pace. From 2007 to 2012 for instance, Latina-owned companies increased 87 percent and may represent America’s most powerful economic consumer force.”
What can we do to encourage and educate the individual consumer on why the future of the economy is going to be fueled by the Latinx community?
ST: "We have an economy in transition moving from the 20th century to the 21st century. We are unique as an older developed economy where we have a cohort, the Latinos, who are willing to work at all layers of our economy and serve our country. Our country is so blessed thanks to our forefathers, who knew welcoming others to pursue the ‘American Dream’ would and could be our nation’s ‘fountain of youth.’ We can’t let anyone or anything destroy it. We owe it to our children and grandchildren."
How can Latinos further participate in creating an economic boom?
"U.S. Latinos have to be involved in their communities, be vocal about the candidates that recognize Latinos are leading the new mainstream economy, register to vote, and go to the polls without fail to elect people who care about America’s continued economic growth, and support the critical role Latinos play in that growth.”