Hispanic Entrepreneurs a Key to Boost to Economy, Says Report

The skyline in Miami, Florida.Thomas Eisenhuth / Thomas Eisenhuth/picture-allianc

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The number of Hispanic entrepreneurs - many of them immigrants - has grown dramatically in recent decades and has helped grow the economy during the recession, according to a new report released Tuesday.

The number of Latino entrepreneurs more than tripled from 1990 to 2012, from 577,000 to more than 2.0 million, adding new entrepreneurs almost 10 times faster than the overall population and outstripping the population growth among working-age Hispanics.

At the same time, the number of Hispanic immigrant entrepreneurs more than quadrupled, reaching 1.4 million. Mexican immigrants accounted for 765,000 entrepreneurs during this time; by 2012, 1 in 10 Mexican immigrants were self-employed.

The report found that just between 2010 and 2012, the total number of Americans starting their own businesses had dropped by about a quarter million people, yet the number of self-employed Hispanics grew by 160,000.

The report was a collaboration between the Partnership for a New Economy and the Latino Donor Collaborative. The Partnership for a New Economy is a bipartisan organization formed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, among others, who make an "economic case" for immigration reform. The Latino Donor Collaborative aims to "reshape the perception of Latinos as part of the American social mainstream," and counts as one of its founders former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros.

In 2007, Hispanic-owned businesses contributed more than $350 billion to the U.S. economy, says the report, arguing immigration reform would expand on this.

"Making America more friendly and welcoming to Hispanic immigrant entrepreneurs will make it likely that in the coming years that figure looks like little more than the starting point for future growth," it concluded.