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Latino Entrepreneurs: Thriving Year-Round with TikTok

President and CEO

Hispanic Heritage Month may have drawn to a close, but the legacy and vibrant contributions of Latinos in America is ever present, especially in small business. Latinos run over five million small businesses, generating an impressive $800 billion for the nation’s economy each year and providing employment for approximately 3 million people.

Entrepreneurship is in our blood. With nearly one in four new businesses being Hispanic owned and Latinos being the youngest segment of entrepreneurs and customer base, the future of America is in our hands. From generation to generation, we’ve taken hold of success in our own capable hands through self-reliance, resourcefulness, vision and ganas. The path to the American Dream may be winding and rough, but it’s also paved with dedication, innovative ideas, and cultural pride.

Unfortunately, that road often lacks the resources we need to grow our business. When combined with rising costs, starting and growing a business seems like an impossible goal. According to a study by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, 89% of our community’s business leaders recognize the pressure of inflation on their ventures.

Advertising is one of the best ways new businesses can grow, but traditional channels like TV and billboards can be prohibitively expensive. This has a disproportionate impact on Latino small businesses, because they are traditionally under-resourced to promote our brands, our services, and our stories.

There is a powerful tool at our disposal. For small businesses, social media platforms offer a unique opportunity to authentically connect with customers, tell their stories, and grow their brand, and TikTok has emerged as the best platform for businesses to reach younger generations and grow. This is one of the reasons why the Hispanic Heritage Foundation has partnered with the platform to offer workshops, networking opportunities and Creciendo con TikTok, an investment fund for Latino small business owners.

Across the country, TikTok has enabled Latino entrepreneurs to build businesses, create jobs and strengthen their communities. In Phoenix, Jaz Sears of AZ Taco King grew her business from a cart in a parking lot to three brick and mortar restaurants generating $1.4 million in sales the first year thanks to her food going viral on TikTok.

In New York. Tai Adaya launched her company Habit Skin Co in 2020 and set out to develop the next generation of sunscreen. She used TikTok to promote her company in its early days, and after a cult-like following developed on TikTok, Habit was discovered by Sephora, which now carries Tai’s products in stores across the country.

These visionary Latina entrepreneurs are not alone because TikTok is where people of all ages actively seek out and support small businesses, with 58% of the TikTok community saying that they discovered a product or business on the platform and 44% saying they immediately bought it.

TikTok is also where the Latino community comes together to connect and share – videos with the hashtag #Latino has over 67 billion views.

We can build momentum for Latino small businesses by leveraging free effective resources like TikTok. We must also provide resources to entrepreneurs to give them the boost they need. Entrepreneurs don’t just build businesses, they have a chance to end generational poverty, grow personal wealth, and drive innovation, in addition to creating jobs and growing America’s economy.

As Small Business Administrator Isabel Guzman put it, “You wear so many hats as an entrepreneur out there.  Making sure that you supplement your skill set with others who are offering services … is so important.” So, let’s rally behind our Latino entrepreneurs, during and beyond Hispanic Heritage Month, and provide them with the tools they need to flourish.

Yes, we got this.  Grow with us!

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