For a lot of first generation entrepreneurs who come over from other countries, their desire is to start and operate a business that exemplifies their cultural heritage. Many times, this means opening up a restaurant that features ethnic dishes that are indicative of their home country.
But for later generations, running a restaurant may not be their entrepreneurial desire. Instead, they may want to venture into other industry areas such as technology or manufacturing. Some of our Melbourne readers may not realize that this switch is actually happening here in Florida and has been for a number of years, especially in the Hispanic community. But they do face some setbacks, one of which was hinted at in a recent Orlando Sentinel article this month.
As one Florida entrepreneur explains, some people may make judgments about a business based on the ethnicity of the owner or their employees. If they speak with an accent or it's discovered that they are from another country, customers and other potential clients may consider them less intelligent and may not trust that the job will get done correctly. This is problematic for second- and third-generation entrepreneurs who typically want the focus to be on their education and experience rather than accent or heritage.
Though we may not like to admit it, racial bias does exist in our society. This is incredibly problematic for Hispanics and other minorities because it could mean the difference between a multimillion dollar contract and financial success, and losing customers and eventually their business. It's the latter of these two outcomes that groups like the Hispanic Business Initiative Fund are trying to avoid.
For those who do not know, HBIF consults with and provides services to Hispanic business owners who are looking to form a business or are looking to expand.
As anyone who has started their own business their own business knows, the process of forming your business and securing the necessary funds can be incredibly difficult without the right assistance from a lawyer or other business expert. When English is your second language, this process can be even more challenging. But with help from a lawyer and an organization like HBIF, Hispanic entrepreneurs can get the edge they need to make a name for themselves in whatever industry they desire.