How the Small Business Administration Is Helping Hispanic Entrepreneurs Make Big Strides

Carol Espinosa

Editor’s note: A version of this blog first appeared in Mediaplanet’s Hispanic Heritage campaign, September 2019.

As an immigrant to the United States, Carol Espinosa is living the American dream of business ownership and financial independence. She launched Freedom Interiors in Kansas City in 2011 to fulfill her vision of founding a design firm that creates customized workspaces using technology and collaboration. Espinosa’s dream is not just to own her own business but to break the generational poverty cycle in her family and community.

As the associate administrator for the Office of Entrepreneurial Development at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), I, along with my office, provide support to entrepreneurs like Espinosa. Of the 30 million small businesses in the United States, 3.3 million are Hispanic-owned, according to the SBA Office of Advocacy. Hispanic-owned small businesses generate $474 billion in annual sales. That is an enormous impact made on our nation’s economy.

Support from above

The SBA helped Espinosa by providing her business with an SBA-backed loan to purchase fixed assets, which helped to bolster the business. “The consultative advice I received allowed me to purchase and renovate my building, which now serves as our office and showroom. We also established a working capital line of credit that has helped us access the furniture and appliances to make the building a true display of our work for clients.”

Espinosa’s company has grown from one employee to a team of 12, who brought in $6.8 million in revenue in 2018 alone. Her journey was also supported by other SBA resources, including Small Business Development Center training and the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program, which helps socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs through financial assistance, mentoring and management, and technical assistance. Her business blossomed after proving its capability in the 8(a) program. With the help of the SBA loan, the company moved from a 500 square-foot incubator space to a 7,000 square-foot space in 2017.

Dreams become realities

This is the kind of vision and dream that the SBA supports. Our mission to help small businesses start, grow, expand, and recover from disasters drives the work that we do. The agency makes assistance available to entrepreneurs at every level and stage of their businesses. As the nation’s go-to resource for Hispanic entrepreneurs, the SBA stands ready to provide them with the needed support. The agency offers its services through a network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations that can help with assessing business readiness, registering as a government contractor, writing a business plan, securing financing, and more.

The SBA provides expert advice, business coaching, mentoring, and training to help Hispanic entrepreneurs overcome barriers to success, including a Spanish language resource guide and fact sheets in Spanish. Because knowing where to start can be challenging, working with a mentor or counselor from SCORE, a Small Business Development Center, Women’s Business Center, or a Veterans Business Outreach Center can help guide entrepreneurs to the next steps. These resources are available across communities to help with all aspects of starting, growing, or expanding a business. We’re excited about the achievements and potential of businesses like Carol Espinosa’s and we are eager to serve other Hispanic entrepreneurs who are starting and growing their own businesses. And they won’t have to do it alone – the SBA is on their side.

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