Startup Helps Latino Entrepreneurs Get Funded, Tapping into America’s Missing $1.4 Trillion Opportunity


Between the years of 2007 and 2012, Latinos opened 86% of all the new businesses created in the US.

That’s not a stat to brush off. According to the same study – conducted by a research team at Stanford which surveyed 1,800 Latino business owners – more than half said they weren’t growing due to inadequate funding.

In fact, less than 1% of small businesses who secured funding in 2012 were Latino-owned. Experts say the problem is rooted in both financial and cultural reasons. Other funding sought by Latino entrepreneurs is in the form of personal loans or credit cards.

“Researchers [also] pointed to the lack of a pipeline between investors and Latino-owned businesses,” writes Octavio Blanco for CNN Money, attributing “a dearth of financial education” as another blocker to capital funding.

But finance experts say helping these businesses thrive through funding and support has the potential to boost the economy $1.4 trillion.



That’s where people like Sean and Kenny Salas come in, twin brothers and Harvard-educated MBA recipients. Recognizing both a billion-dollar opportunity and the ability to enable first-time loan borrowers, they founded Camino Financial – an online resource helping make the connection between Latino business owners and banks. “We establish long-term financial partnerships with our borrowers, helping them build their credit and graduate to lower interest rates loans” says their website.

The Salas’ mother lost her restaurants (of which there were 30 locations) when they were 12, making it a personal mission to “never leave a small business behind.”

“It was a combination of lack of resources, ‘know how’ and affordable capital to grow the business sustainably,” Salas says of his mother’s business.

Camino Financial aims to remedy all three with their website and advisory program which boasts video tutorials with titles like “Last Minute Tax Tips for Small Businesses,” and “Your End of the Year Business Checklist.”

To learn more about the company’s services, head here.


*Img via CNNMoney