- Kate Hornsby For the AJC
As of 2012, there were more than four million Hispanic-owned businesses in the U.S. bringing in a combined sum of $144 billion in extra yearly revenue, raising last year's total to $661 billion.
You might think that with this increase in revenue and the growth of Hispanic-owned businesses, a major metroplitan city like Atlanta would rank highly as one of the best cities for Hispanic entrepreneurs, but that's not exactly true.
WalletHub analyzed the Hispanic business climate for a 150 of the country's largest cities using 19 key metrics in the categories of Hispanic business-friendliness and Hispanic purchasing power.
Atlanta came in at No. 56 in the overall ranking, but had a Hispanic business friendliness ranking of 24 and a Hispanic purchasing power ranking of 112. The city of Augusta fared even worse with an overall ranking of No. 31 and a business friendliness ranking of 81. The city's Hispanic purchasing power, however, was an impressive 6.
Although U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President Javier Palomarez describes Hispanic entrepreneurs as "America's business future," you may wonder why Atlanta isn't ranking higher on the list. The reason may lie within the fact that while other cities, such as Knoxville, Tennessee and even Columbus, Ga. are showing some of the highest Hispanic population growths, Atlanta is actually having one of the slowest population growths in the country. In fact, Pew Research showed that in DeKalb County in suburban Atlanta, the Hispanic population actually declined in 2014, down 4 percent from the population of 2010.
Advice for prospective entrepreneurs
While Atlanta may not have the best business friendly ranking, Hispanic entrepreneurs can still make their way to success. Mark T Schenkel, Senior Vice President for Small Business & Entrepreneurship in the United States, and Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Jack C Massey College of Business at Belmont University offers the advice that starting a business venture is much more about choice than income. He suggests that prospective entrepreneurs should research local support opportunities and adopt a strong orientation toward a "lean" or "bootstrapping" when it comes to early-stage investments. He believes that this can help entrepreneurs preserve flexibility and personal wealth in the process.View full experience