As America heads toward a possible recession, economists and business leaders are wracking their brains for ways to improve the nation’s fiscal health.
For Salomon “Sol” Trujillo, the answer is simple: invest in Latino-owned businesses.
In 2019, 70-year-old Trujillo founded approach attempts, a venture capital (VC) firm that invests exclusively in Latino-owned companies. Trujillo is a general partner in L’Attitude Ventures along with former United Airlines CEO and Chairman Oscar Munoz, Kenny Blanco, Laura Moreno Lucas and company co-founder Gary Acosta.
Latinos are the fastest-growing demographic of entrepreneurs in America, with the potential to add 5.3 million new jobs and $1.5 trillion to the U.S. economy in the coming years. Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative. By 2030, McKinsey and Company It estimates that 1 in 5 American workers are Latino.
However, Latinos are the nation’s most undercapitalized growth group: In 2021, U.S. startups and companies with Latino founders received less than 2% of all venture capital funding. Bath & Company.
“Rather than trying to explain to people why this lack of investment is a problem and the opportunities in this group, I decided to build a prototype that shows how it can work,” Trujillo said on CNBC Make Item.
“We want people to see that there are many businesses that can create growth and increase the GDP of our country with the right support. »
An international business executive who served as CEO of three major global companies (US West, Orange, and Telstra), Trujillo grew weary of acquiring Latino founders. Excluded from funding and traditional network ecosystems in the VC world. He knew that if Hispanics and Latinos were fully and equally included in the American economy, the gains would be enormous.
Attitude Ventures provides capital and mentorship to the entrepreneurs the company invests in, as well as corporate connections and distribution channels for founders to grow their businesses.
The company closed its first venture funding in August. Raises over $100 million Thanks to JPMorgan Chase’s strategic anchor investment and investments from other big names in finance, including Barclays, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley.
Trujillo calls the funding an “opening salvo” that he hopes will lead to an “investment boom” targeting Latino-led businesses.
These funds have benefited dozens of organizations, including Progeny Coffee Growers in the United States; Noblera, a Mexican line of bath and body products; and Raddle, an online collaboration platform for small businesses.
Attitude Ventures hosts an annual showcase and competition where Latino startup entrepreneurs are matched with capital from long-term investors. Its most recent event, held in September, featured famous faces including former President Barack Obama and “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.
While other companies are “well-intentioned” in expressing their interest in environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing, their investment strategies do not capture the 21st century by explaining the importance of diversity and incorporating it into their work. Trujillo argues.
“Companies are raising capital and looking for opportunities in the same places as they did in the 80s and 90s. But markets and populations change, right? He says. “We found the Latino group to be the most productive group of entrepreneurs of any co-op in America… If you believe in capitalism, which I do, because I think it works 92.5% of the time, capital circulates where the growth is, it doesn’t cross over.
Trujillo says the lack of funding is partly to blame for the harmful stereotypes that still affect Hispanics and Latinos. “They say Latinos are uneducated, they’re not business people, they’re not this or that… that’s completely false,” he says.
Trujillo says the result of investing in Latino-owned businesses is a stronger U.S. economy that “benefits everyone.” The economic output of Latinos in the United States is $2.8 trillion, more than the GDP of the United Kingdom, India or France. Latino Donor Cooperation In partnership with Wells Fargo.
“What we’re doing here is not making Latino-owned businesses successful,” says Trujillo. “We know this is a smart economic strategy that will absolutely help the U.S. economy stay competitive not only now, but well into the rest of this century.”
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