TAMPA, Fla. — There are approximately 5 million Latino-owned businesses across the U.S. helping generate more than $800 billion dollars in revenue, but research shows that Hispanics face challenges to get their businesses up and running.

Data shows that many Hispanics face issues in trying to secure loans because of funding gaps and low credit scores.

What You Need To Know

  • Enterprising Latinas is an Education Center in Wimauma who recently received funding to help expand its micro-loan help
  • Adrian Dominican Sisters, non-profit, awarded Enterprising Latinas with $100,000 in funding for micro-loans and to go towards becoming a Community Development Finance Institution
  • Yeny Perez and Diego Jara were recipients of a micro-loan to help their business, ‘So Yummy Birrieria

In Hillsborough County, an organization called Enterprising Latinas is helping eliminate those challenges through business training and low-interest micro-loans.

Since last year, the organization has helped 19 businesses owners, including Diego Jara and his wife, Yeny Perez.

They opened a food truck business, So Yummy Birrieria, in June of last year.

“There’s still a lot we have to learn, but little by little we are going,” Jara said.

It’s taken a lot of time and dedication learning how to get their business up and running. Most of that education has come from the help of Enterprising Latinas’ education center in Wimauma.

“We started doing the business, and they offered a lot of courses,” said Yeny.

They took courses in financial management and budgeting, which is required before receiving a micro-loan from the organization.

“The loan itself really helped us out,” said Jara. “There were times where we were like, ‘okay, where are we going to get money to do this now?’”

He said they’ve invested a lot of their own money into the business, and learning how to obtain a loan was another obstacle they faced.

Enterprising Latinas is now set to expand their reach, with the help of $100,000 in funds from a non-profit based in Michigan, Adrian Dominican Sisters.

“By growing our loans, we have the opportunity to do more loans for businesses who might not have access to capital,” said Santos Morales, the Director of Economic Development for the organization.

The $100,000 in funding from the Adrian Dominican Sisters organization will also allow Enterprising Latinas to apply to become a ‘Community Development Finance Institution’ that will help serve even more people in surrounding counties.

That application process has already started, and applicants will know the status by fall of this year.