The Growing Power of Latinos


By Archana Mehta

Across the United States, globalization is having an impact. Economic and demographic landscapes are
shifting as the country evolves toward a truly multicultural nation. Part of that shift is a growth in Latino-
owned businesses.

In 2017, Hispanics owned and led 4.37 million U.S. businesses that generated more than $700 billion in
revenue. Brightstar Corporation, a mobile phone and technology distributor, and Molina Healthcare, a
managed care company founded to provide healthcare for low-income families, are but two companies
founded and owned by Latinos. Both companies have revenues in the billions.

Stanford Graduate School of Business research shows that Latino entrepreneurs will make up 29 percent
of the U.S. population by 2050 (up from 17 percent today). And if Latino-owned businesses grow as fast as
the U.S. average, they could add $1.4 trillion to the U.S. economy. That’s a huge impact – and an
incredible opportunity for corporations to market to the consumers within this community.

History explains why Latinos have an inherited tendency to trade and an entrepreneurial spirit. To
understand it, you have to rewind more than 500 years to before the Spanish conquests. At the time,
many civilizations were flourishing, including the Aztecs, Mayans and Incas. What is now present-day
Mexico City comprised the Aztec cities of Tenochtitlan and Tlatelolco. Estimates vary but suggest
Tenochtitlan had a population of close to 400,000, making it one of the largest cities in the world, and at
the height of the Aztec Empire, one of the largest marketplaces on earth.

Fast-forward to 2018. Over the past four decades, Mexican businesses and consumers have experienced a
transformation thanks to more than 40 trade agreements. This transformation has pushed industries to
compete, make technological advances, embrace innovation, and connect with the largest markets in the
world. According to the World Bank’s most recent gross domestic product (GDP) data from 2017, Mexico
is the second-largest economy in Latin America and the 15th in the world.

Mexico will swear in its incoming president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on Dec. 1. As trade between
Mexico and the United States continues to evolve, one thing is certain. The trade movement has
influenced Mexican businesses in powerful ways, incentivizing them to create better communication tools
and build better commercial practices.

As the Hispanic population grows in the United States and their buying power increases, it’s critical that
businesses create strategies around marketing to this community. In the summer 2018 issue of BBB’s
TRUSTED magazine, we provide insights into the growing Latino community and how businesses can
approach doing business with them.

Archana Mehta is the Founder and CEO of AM Strategies, a marketing and communications firm based in Washington, D.C. She has spent the last 15 years helping companies with everything from marketing strategies to content development to product launches. In her “spare” time, she enjoys taking her toddler twins on adventures around the country.