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Study: Business, Family Linked for Hispanic Entrepreneurs

More than half start their businesses to have something tangible to pass to their children, versus a third of the general population.

For Hispanic entrepreneurs, business and family are closely linked, says new research.

The study, conducted by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, was released this week at the Association of Latino Professional in Finance and Accounting convention in California.

It shows family is paramount to Hispanic-owned businesses. Nearly nine in 10 (89 percent) start a business to provide financially for their families, compared to 77 percent of all business owners. More than half (55 percent) start a business to have something tangible to pass on to their children, versus 35 percent of all owners. And 31 percent wanted to provide jobs for other family members, versus 19 percent generally, says the study, titled "The Pursuit of the American Dream: The Fiscal Practices of Today’s Hispanic Business Owners."

"Hispanics have an all-encompassing view of life and success," says the report. "Their extended definition of family includes the community and both are strongly interconnected with their businesses.” (Some 54 percent reported "giving back to the community" as a driver to set up shop, compared to 21 percent of the general population.)

Hispanic-owned businesses are growing at double the national rate, according to the U.S. census. And more so than the general average, Hispanic entrepreneurs hope to keep what they've built in the family: 70 percent plan to pass their companies on to family members, compared to 54 percent overall. Perhaps not surprisingly, then, only 17 percent are concerned about transitioning ownership upon retirement, versus 32 percent.

Other findings: The major motivations to start their businesses were to pursue the American Dream, to take control of their lives, and to support their families. Hispanic entrepreneurs cited following their dreams as a motivation at double the rate of the general population. And 79 percent of Hispanics said they wanted to be their own boss, compared to 57 percent of the total business owner population.

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Last updated: Aug 12, 2011

COURTNEY RUBIN

Inc. contributing editor Courtney Rubin was for five years a London-based staff writer for People magazine. Rubin, a former senior writer for Washingtonian magazine, has written for the New York Times magazine, Time, Marie Claire, and other publications. She is the author of The Weight-Loss Diaries.




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