How 'Latina-Owned' Businesses Are Shaping the Entrepreneurial Landscape

Latina woman focused on her work projects

You might have come across the descriptor “Latina-owned,” but have you taken a moment to truly grasp the profound meaning behind these two words? This form of self-identification is gaining momentum, symbolizing a powerful and continuously expanding Latina-led movement.

The label "Latina-owned" signifies a unique intersection of gender, ethnicity, and culture, shaping a distinctive identity within the entrepreneurial landscape. It goes beyond a simple ownership tag, blending economic and social realities.

In a landscape historically dominated by men, being "Latina-owned" challenges traditional gender norms and underscores the dynamic role played by women in steering businesses and the U.S. economy toward success. It’s not widely known that Latina-owned businesses are growing the fastest among all women. Latina-owned businesses grew 164% from 2007 to 2018, which is almost three times more than the growth of women-owned businesses overall.

Latinas also come in as the second-largest group of female workers in the United States, with a total of 12.8 million Latinas in the labor force. This makes them just over 17% of the overall female workforce.

The label also grounds itself on the diversity of Latine heritage - with roots in different Latine American cultures, each with its own set of traditions. This cultural backdrop not only adds a unique flavor to the business but also establishes a connection with consumers seeking diversity in their choices and supporting businesses with authentic cultural roots.

Culturally, the "Latina-owned" label transcends mere ownership status. It’s a symbol of community, shared experiences, and empowerment. It reflects a commitment to preserving and celebrating cultural values in business practices, whether it be through products, services, or workplace environments. This cultural infusion not only distinguishes Latina-owned businesses but also fosters a sense of pride and identity among the entrepreneurs and their customers alike.

Latina women are excelling in every way – creating jobs, sparking innovation, and tuning into what U.S. consumers of all backgrounds want.

This trend also serves to lift up Latina women, giving them the spotlight they deserve and giving them the inspiration and experience to grow into leadership roles. More Latina entrepreneurs are making their mark and bringing a whole new level of representation to the table.

The path to success for Latina entrepreneurs is inherently challenging and marked by a complex interplay of racial and gender biases, including a persistent wage gap that disproportionately affects many Latina women. Moreover, limited networking, mentorship opportunities, and a constant struggle for access to loans and investments further compound these challenges. Venture capital investments have been dismal for years, with less than a half-percent of billions of dollars of capital going to Latina-led start-ups.

Foreign-born Latina entrepreneurs, in particular, face an uphill battle with challenges like language barriers and limited access to information. Providing language support, along with greater accessibility to entrepreneurial resources, can significantly help these Latina women more effectively navigate the intricate landscape of entrepreneurship.

Actively acknowledging, supporting, and investing in Latina-owned businesses is a necessary step in building true Latino economic influence and power. As the label continues to gain recognition, it becomes not just a marker of ownership but a catalyst for conversations and action around inclusion, representation, and the evolving narrative of Latina identity.

vibrant graphic design featuring two female wrestlers in action

Picture this: the grand arena hums with the electricity of expectation and the clamor of a thousand voices, all waiting for the spectacle of the age-old Mexican tradition of Lucha Libre, a wrestling style born in the heart of Mexico in the early 20th century.

The combatants aren’t mere wrestlers; they are luchadores, artists of acrobatics and theatricality, their faces hidden behind vibrant masks that carry stories older than the very sport they represent, stories rooted in the legacy of the ancient Aztecs.

Keep ReadingShow less
Women in Texas at the National Women's March, rallying against deadly abortion restrictions.
Lucy Flores

The landscape of abortion rights in the United States has become more restrictive than ever in recent history, particularly in Arizona and Florida, where recent developments represent a major setback for women’s reproductive rights. On April 9, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in a 4-to-2 decision to uphold an 1864 law banning abortion from the moment of conception. The only exception is saving the mother’s life, but there are no exceptions for rape or incest under this law.

Just a few days earlier, on April 1, the Florida Supreme Court also ruled in favor of upholding a 6-week abortion ban, which will take effect on May 1. This further reduced the legal threshold for abortions in Florida, which used to be 24 weeks of pregnancy before Republicans passed a law in 2022 banning abortions after 15 weeks. Both of these rulings have sparked intense debate and outrage about their impact on women’s rights.

Overview of the Near-Total Abortion Ban in Arizona

The Arizona Supreme Court voted to uphold an 1864 law, a law passed even before the state officially was a part of the United States of America, that makes all types of abortion illegal, including medication abortion, from the moment of conception. Though there are exceptions in cases where the mother’s life is at risk, the ban makes no exceptions for cases of rape or incest and imposes severe penalties, including imprisonment, on medical professionals performing abortions.

Medical professionals have spoken out about how dire the situation will become for women with this near-total abortion ban. Dr. Jill Gibson, chief medical director of Planned Parenthood in Arizona, told CNN that this ruling will have “absolutely unbelievable consequences for the patients in our community.” She continued by saying, “Providers need to be able to take care of their patients without fear of legal repercussions and criminalization.”

Representatives from Arizona and other states across the country have also spoken up against this near-total abortion ban.

Video by Shontel Brown Member of the United States House of Representatives on InstagramVideo by Shontel Brown Member of the United States House of Representatives on Instagram

Image by Rub\u00e9n Gallego Member of the United States House of Representatives on InstagramImage by Rubén Gallego Member of the United States House of Representatives on InstagramImage by Rubén Gallego Member of the United States House of Representatives on Instagram

Until this Arizona Supreme Court decision, abortion had been legal in the state up to 15 weeks of pregnancy. The right to abortion via Roe v. Wade prevented the enforcement of the near-total abortion ban, but since a majority vote in the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe, those opposed to abortion rights had been fighting to enforce the 160-year-old 1864 law.

This new abortion ban in Arizona is not effective immediately as the court has paused its ruling for 14 days until additional arguments are heard in a lower court about how constitutional the law is. However, the law will likely come into effect in May, a few weeks from now. Planned Parenthood Arizona, the largest abortion provider in the state, will continue serving the community until the ban is enforced.

An Overview of Florida's Six-Week Abortion Ban

The landscape of abortion in Florida has also undergone a significant change with the enforcement of a 6-week abortion ban, replacing the previous 15-week limit. This ban, similar to Arizona's, severely restricts access to abortion care and poses a significant challenge to reproductive rights in the state. Providers are bracing for a public health crisis due to the increased demand for abortion and limited options for patients.

Practically speaking, a 6-week abortion ban is a near-total abortion ban because pregnant people often don’t even realize they could be pregnant by this early stage. Combined with Florida’s strict abortion requirements, which include mandatory in-person doctor visits with a 24-hour waiting period, it’s nearly impossible for those who may want an abortion to be able to access it before 6 weeks. Not to mention that fulfilling the requirements is particularly challenging for low-income individuals.

Video by theluncheonlawyer on InstagramVideo by theluncheonlawyer on Instagram

Moreover, this Florida law also restricts telemedicine for abortion and requires that medication be provided in person, effectively eliminating mail-order options for abortion pills. While exceptions for rape and incest exist in Florida, the requirements are also strict, asking victims to provide police records or medical records. For victims who don’t always report sexual violence for many different reasons, these exceptions don’t make a difference.

The consequences of Florida’s ban extend to neighboring states with more restrictive abortion laws. For instance, residents of Alabama, facing a total ban on abortion, and Georgia, with its own 6-week abortion ban, have relied on Florida for abortion services. That will no longer be an option, further limiting care alternatives.

The Road Ahead

These recent abortion bans in Arizona and Florida are a major setback for women's rights, particularly impacting Latina women who already face barriers to accessing quality healthcare. These bans not only restrict women’s reproductive freedom but also endanger their lives.

Efforts to challenge these bans through legal means and ballot measures are ongoing, but the road ahead is uncertain. While there’s hope for overturning these abortion bans, the challenges of conservative laws and legal battles are formidable. The November ballot in both states will be crucial in determining the future of abortion rights and access for all.

graphic design highlighting Dolores Huerta 94 birthday, the iconic civil rights activist and labor leader.

Today, Dolores Huerta, one of the most important Latino icons within civil rights, is turning 94 years old. This occasion is the perfect opportunity to celebrate not only her robust life but also her immense contributions as a social justice champion. Huerta is a living legend whose tireless efforts have helped transform the landscape of civil rights, feminism, labor rights, farmworkers’ rights, and even environmental justice.

Keep ReadingShow less