Listening to Latino Business Owners
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My study, Listening to Latino Business Owners, confirms the varied needs of Latino business owners for business assistance in the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area. The findings identify problem areas for which services are needed to increase the likelihood of Latino businesses? success and growth. In addition, barriers which prevent Latinos and Latinas from taking full advantage of business-learning opportunities that are available were found to include: a lack of comfort with the various structures of doing business, few service providers who speak Spanish, unclear expectations for various learning formats, and technology access. In addition, I explore the issue of trust as it relates to Latino business owners and service providers who are not Latino. Findings suggest that experts may move too quickly to providing advice, counsel, and problem solving, thus alienating Latinos. I also explore feelings of discrimination and prejudice against Latinos and how Latino business owners handle these issues. Finally, I recommend six new opportunities to meet current needs of Latino business owners which include a focus on the duality of community and company, family business and its unique needs within this particular culture, and appropriate programming that addresses the problems encountered starting a business, later in operations, and during business growth.