Latin American Immigrant Entrepreneurs in the United States: Characteristics and Contributions

Immigrant entrepreneurship is a significant contributor to economic growth in many countries, including the United States. Latin American immigrants have been an essential part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the United States. Let’s examine the characteristics of immigrant entrepreneurs from Latin America, highlighting the differences between individuals from Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean.

According to the Kauffman Index of Startup Activity, the rate of entrepreneurship among immigrant Latinos in the United States is 0.53% per month, which is higher than that of non-immigrant Latinos (0.37%) and non-Latino immigrants (0.28%). This indicates that immigrant Latinos are more likely to start their own businesses.

Mexico is the largest source of Latin American immigrants in the United States, with an estimated 11.2 million immigrants in 2020. Mexican immigrant entrepreneurs have been essential in the growth of the small business sector in the United States, particularly in industries such as construction, retail, and food services.

The language barrier is often a challenge for Mexican immigrant entrepreneurs, as many speak Spanish as their primary language. However, some entrepreneurs have overcome this barrier by hiring bilingual employees or learning English themselves.

South American countries, such as Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador, have seen a significant increase in the number of immigrants coming to the United States in recent years. These immigrants have brought with them an entrepreneurial spirit, with many starting businesses in the retail, hospitality, and construction industries.

One significant difference between South American immigrant entrepreneurs and those from Mexico is the language barrier. While Spanish is the primary language for many immigrants from both regions, South American countries also have a significant number of Portuguese speakers, particularly from Brazil.

The Caribbean is home to several countries that have sent significant numbers of immigrants to the United States, including the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Jamaica. Caribbean immigrants have made significant contributions to the U.S. economy, particularly in the hospitality, healthcare, and transportation industries.

One notable difference between Caribbean immigrant entrepreneurs and those from Mexico and South America is their cultural influence. Caribbean immigrants often bring with them their unique cultural traditions, which can be seen in the food, music, and art in their businesses.

In conclusion, Latin American immigrant entrepreneurs have been vital to the growth of the U.S. economy, particularly in the small business sector. While there are some differences between immigrant entrepreneurs from Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean, such as language and cultural influences, they all share a common drive to succeed in their business ventures. Policymakers should continue to support and encourage immigrant entrepreneurship as it is essential to the country’s economic growth and development.

Understanding the Terminology

The terms “Hispanic” and “Latino” are often used interchangeably, but they have different meanings.

Hispanic refers to people who are descendants of Spanish-speaking countries, including Spain and countries in Latin America, such as Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and others. It also includes people from Spain itself, regardless of race or ethnicity.

Latino refers to people from Latin America, including countries where Spanish, Portuguese, or French is spoken. This includes countries like Mexico, Brazil, and Haiti. The term “Latino” is often used to refer to people with cultural or ancestral ties to Latin America, regardless of their race or ethnicity.

While there is some overlap between the two terms, Hispanic refers specifically to people with a connection to Spanish-speaking countries, while Latino is a broader term that encompasses all countries in Latin America. It’s important to note that not all people from Latin America are Hispanic, and not all Hispanics are from Latin America. For example, people from Spain are considered Hispanic, but not Latino.

Acceler8Success Group Immigrant Business Services

Aligned with all aspects of Acceler8Success Group comprehensive services & resources is a select team of highly experienced multi-lingual business development professionals led by Acceler8Success Group president, Erik Premont.

Erik’s proficiency in French, Spanish and Portuguese is an asset in assisting immigrants from Canada, Latin America, and various European countries. Also conversant in Italian, German and Russian, and with even a slight understanding of other languages and cultures, Erik has helped immigrants from all corners of the world explore business ownership and franchise opportunities within the United States.

For more information or a referral to an Immigration Attorney, please reach out directly to Erik Premont at

Ask Erik about the Hispanic Entrepreneur Initiative.

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All my best,

Paul Segreto, CEO & Founder, Acceler8Success Group