News Column

Study: Strong Values Spark Hispanic Startups

March 20, 2013

Staff -- HispanicBusiness.com

hispanic startup

Phoenix's economic recovery continues to be one of the strongest in the country. However, many Hispanic-owned businesses may be lacking resources and tools to help them create a more solid future for themselves and their families, according to a study sponsored by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual).

Gonzalo A. de la Melena Jr., president and CEO, Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, will moderate a panel to discuss the study at the Ritz-Carlton on March 21.

"Future planning for Latino business owners in Phoenix is vitally important to ensure that this vibrant segment of the business community continues to grow and thrive into the next generations and further," de la Melena said in a statement.

The study, Business Owner Perspectives: 2011 Insights in an Uncertain Economy, showed that:

-- Eighty-nine percent of respondents started their businesses to provide financially for their families (vs. 77 percent of general population business owners)
-- Thirty-one percent want to provide jobs for other family members (vs. 19 percent)
-- Fifty-four percent report that "giving back to the community" is a motivation for starting their businesses (vs. 21 percent).

But Hispanic business owners are worried about meeting both their business and personal financial goals, the study shows. Three in 10 have trouble with everyday business expenses; immediate business concerns prevent 23 percent from planning for retirement, compared to 16 percent of business owners overall; and 18 percent say they don't know where to go for assistance, compared to 12 percent.

"In our 40-year history, there has never been a greater economic or business need than now to build future Latino business leaders," said Manny Espinoza, ALPFA CEO.

Although 70 percent of Hispanics surveyed say they want to leave their business to a family member, only 17 percent are concerned about the transition process, and 62 percent haven't told their designated successor that they will be taking over the business, according to the study.

"As business owners, (Hispanics) put incredible pressure on their shoulders to succeed, not just for themselves, but for the good of their families," said Vlasta Duffy, general agent of MassMutual Arizona in Scottsdale. "They just need to understand the advantages of having a formal succession plan, the information and tools to help them improve their ability to reach that dream."

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