Today, swathes of workers are abandoning their full-time jobs to try their hand at starting their own company.
And while parting ways with traditional 9-to-5 employment can be a tough transition for anyone, for Latinx entrepreneurs, the entrepreneurial landscape can be especially challenging to traverse.
According to the Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Latinx entrepreneurs are a rising force in the entrepreneurial space, but still face significant challenges when it comes to raising capital.
According to Stanford GSB, Latinx-owned businesses currently outpace the post-recession growth rate of all other demographic groups, yet Latinx founders still struggle to gain access to capital compared to their white counterparts. This is especially true for Latinas, who received just 0.4% of $400 billion in venture capital funding between 2009 and 2017, according to recent reports.
Still, despite the odds faced by some Latinx entrepreneurs, things are improving. The amount of Latinx-owned businesses is continuing to expand, and the existence of initiatives such as Pipeline Angels, Backstage Capital, and Digital Undivided, among others, are all contributing greatly to the success of not just Latinx entrepreneurs but marginalized founders across a spectrum of identities.
Below, we chatted with five Latinx entrepreneurs across several different industries, career stages, and identities to shed some light on their journeys as Latinx founders, share some of the biggest obstacles they have faced or witnessed so far, and provide some words of wisdom to new or aspiring Latinx entrepreneurs.