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Journal of Small Business Management 2008 46(2), pp. 242–262
Hispanic Immigrant Entrepreneurs in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Area: Motivations for Entry into and Outcomes of Self-Employment* by Rachel S. Shinnar and Cheri A. Young
This study examined business ownership among foreign-born Hispanic entrepreneurs. Through semistructured face-to-face interviews, the researchers examined motivations to enter business ownership as well as different business practices and the possible relationship between these practices and viability. It appears that in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, pull factors have a stronger impact on entrepreneurship than do push factors, drawing individuals into entrepreneurship. In addition, the importance of preparing a business plan and investing in advertising for business viability is identified.
Introduction Census data show that the Hispanic minority is underrepresented among
business owners in North America. In 2002, Hispanics represented 13.3 percent of the U.S. population (Ramirez and De la Cruz 2003) but comprised only 4
*The researchers would like to thank the University of Nevada Las Vegas, which made this research possible through an Applied Research Initiative grant. Thanks are also given to Rebeca Raijman of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Haifa, Israel, who shared her interview protocol with us. The researchers would also like to thank Ana Siefert of the Nevada Micro-enterprise Initiative, whose help was invaluable. Finally, thanks are also given to Ana Gomez, Irma Varela, and Elena Champaner, the research assistants who were involved in data collection and analysis and without whose hard work this project would not have been completed. Rachel S. Shinnar is assistant professor and faculty fellow in the Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University, having received her doctorate in hospitality administration from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Cheri A. Young is associate professor in the College of Hotel Administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, having received her doctorate in hotel administration and organizational behavior from Cornell University. Address correspondence to: Rachel S. Shinnar, Appalachian State University, Walker College of Business, ASU Box 32089, Boone, NC 28608-2089. Tel: 828-262-7314. Fax: 828-262-8685. E-mail: [email protected]
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percent of business owners (Bergman 2005), holding the lowest selfemployment rates among minorityowned businesses, ahead only of African Americans (Fairlie 2004). In Nevada, data expose an even larger gap: only 5.1 percent of firms are owned by Hispanic individuals, whereas Hispanics represent close to 20 percent of the population in this state (Salyers and Strang 2001). This imbalance spurred our interest in, and subsequent investigation of, the motivations of Hispanics to enter business ownership. Our study was exploratory in nature and focused on foreign-born Hispanic business owners in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. Through structured, face-to-face interviews with foreign-born Hispanic entrepreneurs, we investigated two issues. First, we inquired about the motivations to enter business ownership. Are Hispanic immigrants attracted toward entrepreneurship because of the positive outcomes they associate with it, or do they see entrepreneurship as the best option for them given limited opportunities in the primary job sector? Second, we looked at various business practices, including activities engaged in prior to business start-up (e.g., preparation of a business plan, selection of legal definition, and selection of an accountant) and ongoing practices once the business was running (e.g., monthly budgeting, supplier payments, and advertising), in order to assess their impact on business viability. How do Hispanic immigrants manage their businesses, and what impact does this have on the viability of their enterprises? In the absence of profitability data, we assessed viability by contacting the business owners interviewed approximately one year after the initial interviews were conducted so as to determine which of the initially interviewed businesses were still operating. The choice to focus on foreign-born Hispanics rather than Hispanics in general is attributed to demographic dif-
ferences between the two groups and their potential relevance to our research questions. Native and foreign-born Hispanics may have different motivations to enter self-employment; for example, native-born individuals typically do not have to overcome the challenges of migration, which often involves loss of human and social capital gained abroad, such as foreign-earned credentials and an individual “network of contacts and other business associates” (Mata and Pendakur 1999, p. 380). English proficiency is also less likely to be a barrier for gaining employment in the primary labor market for native-born individuals when compared with foreign-born individuals. Census (2000) data indicate that among native-born Hispanics in Nevada, only 8.8 percent spoke English “not well” or “not at all” compared with 45.8 percent of foreign-born Hispanics. Finally, there is some evidence that when compared with native-born Hispanics, foreign-born Hispanics are more likely to enter business ownership (Mata and Pendakur 1999; Borjas 1980) and be concentrated in different types of businesses (Borjas 1980). In the following, first we discuss the different motivations to enter business ownership identified in past studies, both contextual/environmental as well as individual factors. Second, we describe several business practices (e.g., planning, budgeting, and financing) and their importance to business viability. Third, we present our methodology as well as our findings and compare them with previous studies, taking into consideration the context in which we conducted our study. We conclude by describing the limitations of our study, offering some recommendations, and identifying areas for future research.
Motivations to Enter Self-Employment In a 2003 public address, Secretary of Labor Elaine E. Chao stressed the
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importance of supporting minorityowned businesses as a way of “ensuring that the Hispanic . . . communities are vibrant, prosperous and become even more integral to the U.S. workforce” (Nguyen 2003). The desire to promote self-employment among minorities is driven not only because it has the potential of increasing equality among various groups in the American society. Selfemployment is also seen as a way out of poverty and is being promoted by several states and the federal government as a way off the welfare and unemployment insurance rolls (Fairlie and Meyer 1996). De Freitas (1991) cites an additional benefit of self-employment: its positive multiplier effect. This effect occurs when entrepreneurship within an immigrant community improves employment levels by creating entry-level jobs for new arrivals, as well as providing training to individuals who hope to one day establish their own businesses (De Freitas 1991). The motivations to enter business ownership are often grouped into two categories; referred to as push versus pull factors (Bates 1997; Fairlie 1996; De Freitas 1991). Pull factors focus on the positive aspects of self-employment, which turn it into an attractive endeavor, entered into by choice (Fairlie and Meyer 1996)—what De Freitas (1991) calls mobility motives. Push factors, in contrast, explain entry into self-employment as a last resort, caused by one’s exclusion from the primary job market (Feldman, Koberg, and Dean 1991)—what De Freitas (1991) calls escape motives. Individual characteristics and the geographic area in which one is located can also act as push or pull factors.
Push Factors Push factors include factors that block opportunities to pursue wage and salary employment in the primary job market, forcing immigrants into self-employment as a way out of poverty. Disadvantage
theory (Light 1979) explains how chronic unemployment, low wages, and labor market discrimination push religious and ethnic minorities into self-employment. Similarly, Alvarez (1990) discusses labor market theory in the context of immigrant labor, dividing it into a primary sector, which includes large companies, government jobs, and the like, and a secondary sector, which includes more peripheral, smaller companies. Wages, working conditions, and benefits are more attractive in the primary sector than in the secondary sector, which is characterized by “high turnover rates, lowpaying, low-skill jobs that lack structured opportunities for promotions within the firm [and] low returns on human capital” (Sanders and Nee 1987 as cited in Zuiker 1998). Immigrants, who tend to be excluded from the primary job market, develop an alternative to this less desirable secondary job market through business ownership. This approach sees immigrant groups as being pushed into self-employment, given their low prospective returns in wage/salary work, because of discrimination, language barriers, incompatible education or training, and blocked promotional paths (Bates 1997; Fairlie and Meyer 1996; De Freitas 1991; Light 1979). For example, Feldman, Koberg, and Dean (1991) reported that almost 30 percent of their minority sample (n = 424) mentioned negative push factors as a reason for leaving their prior employment and entering self-employment.
Pull Factors For minorities and immigrants, selfemployment appears more attractive than the wage and salary sector because they feel it promises higher earnings, enhanced professional standing, a greater sense of independence, and a flexible schedule to accommodate family needs (Zuiker 1998). The importance of independence was also identified among
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“Hispanic and African American teens interested in entrepreneurship [who] were most motivated by factors related to autonomy” (Wilson, Marlino, and Kickul 2004, p. 191). In addition, selfemployment is often seen as a way to achieve upward mobility and a way to “accelerate socioeconomic adaptation and progress” (De Freitas 1991, p. 171). This perception is often based on individual human capital characteristics. Human capital is measured through variables such as age, education, English proficiency, work experience, and tenure in the United States (Bohon 2001). For immigrants, human capital acquired in the home country is often not transferable to the primary job market within the United States but can be applied toward self-employment: “Many well-educated immigrants opt for self-employment as an avenue to economic mobility in the United States, if they perceive that their lack of proficiency in English limits their labor market opportunities” (Tienda and Raijman 2004, p. 11) A significant pull factor for minority business owners is the ethnic enclave. An ethnic enclave is a metropolitan area in which businesses owned and operated by immigrants from the same country of origin or direct descendants are concentrated. In fact, Hispanics are more likely to be self-employed in areas that have larger Hispanic populations (Borjas 1980). Ethnic enclaves make entrepreneurship more appealing because they offer a source of both low-cost workers and spatially concentrated consumers. First, the ethnic enclave provides the entrepreneur with a linguistically isolated labor pool with skills that can be more efficiently tapped into by co-ethnic rather than majority group entrepreneurs (Evans 1989). Employing undocumented individuals is a unique source of low-cost labor workers that immigrant ethnic employers are likely to rely on (Hansen and Cardenas 1988). Second, concentrations of a relatively homogeneous ethnic
group create an increased demand for services and ethnic products catering to customers from the old country, offering many opportunities for entrepreneurship (Tienda and Raijman 2004; Bohon 2001; Logan, Alba, and McNulty 1994). The impact of a vibrant immigrant community on individual entrepreneurship has already been identified by Raijman and Tienda (Tienda and Raijman 2004; Raijman 2001, 1996; Raijman and Tienda 2000) in their study of ethnic entrepreneurship in a Mexican immigrant neighborhood in Chicago. The ethnic enclaves within the Las Vegas metropolitan area are likely to act as a pull factor in that they offer fertile ground for business development among Hispanics (Berns 2002). Given the 753 percent hypergrowth of the Hispanic population in the city between 1980 and 2000 (Suro 2002), there are many opportunities for entrepreneurs to provide goods and services to new arrivals as well as benefit from the expanding and readily available labor pool within the Hispanic community.
Individual Characteristics Individual characteristics may also act as pull or push factors. For example, role models can act as pull factors in that having a role model has been shown to play an important part in the drive to enter self-employment (Shim and Eastlick 1998; Butler and Herring 1991; Balkin 1989; Dadzie and Cho 1989). A family member or close relative who has a business, or did so in the past, can serve as a role model and increase the likelihood of self-employment as “entrepreneurs often . . . come from families in which a parent owns a business” (Feldman, Koberg, and Dean 1991, p. 16). Previous census data-based research studies also show that business owners are more likely to be married because family members provide a source of trusted workers (Bates 1997; Fairlie and Meyer 1996; Butler and Herring 1991;
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Borjas 1980). In addition, when family members are informally employed in the business, no employment taxes are paid, which represents another source of costsaving. Finally, having preschool-aged children increased the likelihood of business ownership among women (Carr 1996), given the added flexibility gained from being one’s own boss. Other individual characteristics acting as pull and push factors include marital status, age, U.S. tenure, gender, and education. This is based on Knight’s (1933) career theory, which argues that certain human variables, such as special abilities gained through education and past work experience, would act as motivators to enter self-employment. Age—and consequently tenure in the United States—have been linked to Hispanic immigrant self-employment (Carr 1996; Borjas 1980). Older individuals are more likely to enter self-employment, possibly a result of skill and capital acquisition over the years, the establishment of a reputation, and possibly because younger workers are less likely to have financial capital for start-up or the ability to qualify for bank loans (De Freitas 1991). Furthermore, years spent in the United States increase the immigrant’s ability to acquire additional education and English skills (Bohon 2001). Most researchers (e.g., Olson, ZuikerSolis, and Montalto 2000; Fairlie and Meyer 1996; Raijman 1996; De Freitas 1991; Borjas 1980) agree that education is positively correlated with entrepreneurship among minorities and/or immigrants (for an exception, see Butler and Herring 1991), whether they examine census data (Olson, Zuiker-Solis, and Montalto 2000; Fairlie and Meyer 1996; Butler and Herring 1991; De Freitas 1991; Borjas 1980) or collect their own samples (Raijman 1996). Borjas (1980) believes that higher education has a positive relationship with immigrant selfemployment because of immigrants’ inability to transfer education and certifi-
cations across countries (because of licensing requirements and the language barrier) and use them to gain employment in the primary job market. Additionally, when census data on Hispanic entrepreneurs were compared with those of Hispanic wage earners, the entrepreneurs were more likely to have a bachelor’s degree or higher (Olson, Zuiker-Solis, and Montalto 2000). Similarly, De Freitas (1991) states that “better educated persons may be more inclined to set up a business to the extent that schooling provides: (1) quantitative and other businessrelated skills; (2) information about the local economy and consumption habits; and (3) higher savings, made possible by the higher incomes obtained, on average, by more educated workers” (p. 169). Finally, 60.5 percent of the foreign-born Hispanic entrepreneurs interviewed in Raijman’s (1996) sample of business owners in Chicago (n = 35) had foreignearned academic degrees. Gender also impacts individual selfemployment in that men are more likely to be self-employed than women (Butler and Herring 1991) and to enter business ownership for different motives (Carr 1996). Although this is also true for both majority- and minority-owned business, the differences are more significant for Hispanic business owners (Census 2001). This difference is possibly the result of Latin American culture, in which gender roles are more clearly defined and conformed to than in North America (Hofstede 2001). In summary, being older, married, and male are variables likely to act as pull factors into self-employment for minorities and immigrants.
Business Practices An additional area that merits attention—beyond the motivations to enter business ownership among Hispanic immigrant entrepreneurs—is the ways Hispanic immigrant entrepreneurs manage their businesses and how this impacts their success and the viability of
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their enterprises. Business practices to be examined here include preparatory steps prior to business start-up, such as preparing a business plan and obtaining financing, as well as ongoing decisionmaking such as budgeting, advertising, and reliance on the assistance of professionals.
Planning Professionals in the field seem to agree on the importance of creating a well-detailed business plan prior to entry into business ownership (Crane and Sohl 2004; Solovic 2004; Shelette 2002). Business planning and cash budgeting are indicators that financial loan institutions look at to assess business viability. Business plans are often required by financial institutions in loan applications (A. Siefert, personal communication, March 2002; Gardner 1997). This type of planning includes, for example, cost assessment of business start-up as well as necessary cash flow for business expenses, such as advertising and other spending. The extent to which Hispanic business owners prepare formal written business plans is unclear. In his study with Mexican American and AngloAmerican entrepreneurs (n = 163), Vincent (1996) found that Mexican American entrepreneurs were less likely to formulate strategic plans for evaluating the success or failure of a potential business venture than Anglo-Americans. As Hispanic immigrants tend to distrust and avoid financial institutions (JohnsonElie 2002; Zengerle 2001), they are less likely to be motivated to produce a formal business plan. Financing There is evidence that Hispanic entrepreneurs tend to rely on informal funding sources for business start-up rather than banks and venture capital (Huck et al. 1999; Feldman, Koberg, and Dean 1991). Informal funding includes personal savings and/or loans from
family and friends. This reliance on informal sources may be attributed to the higher rates of denials for Hispanic loan applicants, which may deter individuals from approaching financial institutions in order obtain loans (Harrington 2004; Nixon 1998). In fact, obtaining financing for start-up and capital for growth has been listed as one of the biggest challenges for minority-owned businesses (Weber 2006).
Reliance on Professionals When possible, Hispanic immigrants prefer working with co-ethnic professionals, such as accountants or suppliers (Tienda and Raijman 2004). They also tend to prefer personal consultation with professionals over written sources of information (Triana, Welsch, and Young 1984). This preference could stem from a language barrier, which makes communication with co-ethnic professionals simpler. In addition, when making decisions such as choosing the legal entity for their business (e.g., choosing between sole proprietor and partnership), Hispanics may rely heavily on the recommendations of those professionals (Triana, Welsch, and Young 1984).
Viability When comparing census data on income for self-employed Hispanics with wage earners, Olson, Zuiker-Solis, and Montalto (2000) found that selfemployed Hispanics had incomes 33 percent higher than the mean income for Hispanic wage earners. However, when controlling for personal differences, they determined that some of the income gap was because of significant differences in worker characteristics, such as age, U.S. tenure, and number of hours worked, rather than differences based on varying rates of return between the two sectors (self-employment and wage earners). In addition, using 1990 census data, Zuiker (1998) found that 56.3 percent of selfemployed Hispanic households in the
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Southwest had earnings above the poverty threshold whereas 43.7 percent remained below that threshold. When compared with Hispanic business owners whose earnings were below the poverty level, Hispanic business owners whose earnings were above the poverty threshold were more likely to be male, have a business located within a city, have—on average—more years of schooling, and have a bachelor’s degree. They were also more likely to be married, with their spouse present, but have a smaller family (Zuiker 1998). In addition, Hispanic business owners whose earnings were above the poverty threshold were more likely to work longer hours, have an additional source of income, be fluent in English, and be U.S. citizens (Zuiker 1998). Viability and success are often measured in terms of financial outcomes (Zuiker 1998). However, obtaining profitability data can be problematic because business owners may be reluctant to disclose such information, possibly because of fear of the government, taxation, or competition. Furthermore, lack of standardization in record keeping may make comparative analyses difficult. In the absence of profitability data, we followed Zuiker’s (1998) suggestion and used survival as a proxy of success. In this study, survival was assessed by contacting the business owners interviewed approximately one year after the initial interviews were conducted so as to determine which of the initially interviewed businesses were still operating.
Methodology As mentioned in the introduction, we chose to focus our study on Hispanic immigrant entrepreneurs because of the within-group variability of the Hispanic population. When doing research on Hispanics in the United States, it is important to recognize that this population is not entirely homogeneous. One should be careful not to group together
two individuals merely because they are of Hispanic origin. For example, a descendant of Mexican braceros, who no longer speaks Spanish, should not be considered in the same way as an undocumented Mexican who has just arrived in the country (Marín and Marín 1991). Foreign-born and U.S.-born Hispanics may differ in areas such as English proficiency, educational attainment, and attitudes toward financial institutions, just to name a few. Therefore, in order to control some of the variability among our study participants, we limited our study to Hispanic immigrant entrepreneurs. A phone survey of Hispanic households in the Las Vegas metropolitan area was conducted to identify Hispanic business owners. In order to randomly select Hispanic households, the 639 most frequently occurring heavily Hispanic surnames, as identified in the 1990 Census (Word and Perkins 1996), were counted in the Las Vegas January 2002 phone book. Out of these 639 names identified in the census, 8 names did not appear, which resulted in 631 names being selected. Those 631 names included 29,865 households, out of which we randomly selected approximately 1 percent (n = 276) to be screened. These households were contacted by phone and went through a screening phone interview out of which a total of four business owners were identified. The four business owners were invited to participate in a face-to-face interview and were asked, once the interview was completed, to provide a referral to a foreign-born Hispanic individual who was a business owner. This resulted in a snowball sample of 79 additional interviews with other immigrant Hispanic business owners, bringing our sample to a total of 83 interviews and 80 separate businesses (in three businesses both partners were interviewed). Interviews were conducted in Spanish and lasted an average of 30 minutes. Inter-
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viewees were contacted a second time approximately one year after the initial interviews were completed. This allowed us to identify businesses that had closed down and to examine the possible antecedents to business closure. The referral, or snowball sampling method, is a way of handling the problem of a proportionately small target population (Welch 1975). Our challenge was to select Hispanic immigrant business owners out of the total community of Hispanic individuals residing in Clark county—the largest county in the Las Vegas metropolitan statistical area— which in 2002 numbered over 385,000 people or 23.5 percent of the population (Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition 2002). Although this method does not allow for random sampling, it is recommended when resources to screen an entire population are not available (Welch 1975). We chose to conduct interviews rather than surveys for two main reasons. First, interviews allow for better data collection from a population that is unfamiliar with survey research and frequently has limited English skills. Second, through interviews, one is able to build a rapport with each interviewee, building trust and establishing a positive relationship. Based on the Hispanic cultural value of simpatiá, Marín and Marín (1991) recommend that a researcher engage in some “small talk” before and after the interview so as to facilitate the respondent’s satisfaction and cooperation. In addition, given that all the interviews were conducted in Spanish (interviewers were fluent in Spanish; two native speakers and two nonnative speakers) could have assisted in gaining participants’ trust and increasing emotional comfort (Hastings 2003). Our four interviewers were instructed to initiate contact by sharing some information about themselves, revealing their national origin, and explaining why they were interested in Hispanic business owners. They also
explained to potential participants why this research was important and how each individual, through his or her participation, may contribute to the effort of increasing Hispanic business ownership in North America. Interviewers were foreign-born graduate students, one Mexican, one Argentine, one Brazilian, and one Israeli. They were instructed on interview etiquette and conducted a practice interview together to gain experience in the phrasing of potentially sensitive questions. Although interviewees did not receive any monetary compensation for their participation, a small token of appreciation was given at the end of each interview.
Protocol Development A structured interview protocol (see Appendix A) was created based on a similar study conducted in Chicago (Raijman 1996) and on expert input provided by the director of a state nonprofit agency that provides training and start-up loans to microenterprises of lowincome individuals. The first part of the interview served to collect information on the type of business, size, opening date, ownership, and the like. A separate section of the protocol (not included) covered demographic questions. The remaining questions delved into motivations to enter business ownership, preparatory steps, and actual management practices once the business was open. The interview protocol was pilottested with a Mexican immigrant business owner who was a personal acquaintance of one of the interviewers. This allowed us to assess sensitive questions and preferred order of topics. As a result of the pilot interview, one question regarding income tax was removed because we believed it would create discomfort for the interviewees. We intended to ask whether the individual filed income tax and reported a profit or loss. Sometimes small business owners file a tax return purposely showing a
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loss, unaware that this could hurt their prospects of obtaining bank loans in the future (A. Siefert, personal communication, March 2002). We decided to remove this question because of its sensitive nature. A similar question regarding employment tax, which was retained in the protocol (see Appendix A), ended up causing some discomfort and did not yield clear results, predominantly because respondents were reluctant to touch on the issue.
Data Analysis Interviews were tape-recorded (aside from the 35 who preferred not to be tape-recorded), and interviewers took notes during the interview. Each interview was transcribed separately by the interviewer who completed it. Transcriptions were completed within 48 hours of the actual interview. For the interviews that were not tape-recorded, write-ups were done immediately following the interview, relying on interviewer memory and copious notes. The interviews were coded and quantified where possible. Lee (1999, p. 121) recommends to “count the countable” by categorizing interview data into the most important themes as quantifiable categories or codes (binary or categorical). The coding process was completed by two research assistants, who evaluated each interview transcript separately to ensure consistency. Differences were few, and each discrepancy was discussed to increase interrater reliability (Lee 1999). This assisted in the cross-validation of the typology of recurring themes, which is the recommended approach when analyzing qualitative data (Miles and Huberman 1984).
Results Descriptive Statistics The 83 business owners interviewed were 67.5 percent male and 32.5 percent female. About 74 percent were married, and 64.6 percent had dependent children
living at home. Their average number of years of education was 11.5: 36.5 percent had less than a high school diploma, 27.5 percent were high school graduates, and 36 percent had more than a high school diploma. The average age of our sample was 41.6 years, and the average tenure in the United States was 20.5 years. On average, 35 percent of the respondents rated their English speaking proficiency as average or below, whereas 65 percent stated it was above average. In terms of English writing proficiency, 39.5 percent rated themselves as average or below and 60.5 percent as above average. Finally, national origin distribution was 67.9 percent Mexican, 7.5 percent Salvadoran, 4.9 percent Argentine, 4.9 percent Cuban, 3.7 percent Colombian, 3.7 percent Guatemalan, and 7.4 percent other Latin Americans. Demographically, our sample fits the profile of the typical Hispanic business owner defined in previous studies as more likely to be a married, educated, older male. The business owners in our sample were mostly male (65 percent), married (74 percent), and on average 41.6 years old. This is significantly older than the median age of Hispanics in the United States, which is 24.7 years (Guzmán 2001). In terms of education, only 36.5 percent of our sample had less than a high school diploma, thus, having more schooling than the average Hispanic immigrant. According to census data, approximately 50 percent of the U.S. Hispanic population, 25 and over, have less than a high school diploma (Guzmán 2001). In summary, based on our sample, it appears that Hispanic immigrant business owners are more likely to be older men who are married and have higher-than-average levels of education. The 80 businesses covered in our study (in three of the businesses, two owners were interviewed) included eating and drinking places (21 percent); food (17 percent) and general merchan-
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dise (13 percent) stores; personal services (13 percent); miscellaneous retail (8 percent); legal services (7 percent); furniture stores (5 percent); and other services (e.g., auto repair, miscellaneous repair, and health) (14 percent). Only 3.6 percent of our sample was in food manufacturing, which is consistent with census data showing Hispanic-owned firms (foreign and native-born combined) to be concentrated mostly in retail and services (Census 2001). This is not surprising given Borjas’ (1980) finding that in ethnic enclaves “self-employed immigrant workers are significantly more likely to be in a retail trade job than native-born self employed workers . . . [such as] variety stores, grocery stores, and eating and drinking places” (p. 487). Finally, most of our interviewees were sole proprietors (45.1 percent), some were corporations (34.1 percent), and few ran their business as a partnership (15.9 percent), which is consistent with Vincent’s (1996) findings. In terms of prior occupation, about a quarter of our interviewees were formally employed in businesses similar to those they decided to open (25.3 percent). This seems to indicate that employment in a small business serves as a preparatory step for first-time entrepreneurs, which is what Feldman, Koberg, and Dean (1991) call the “incubator organizations”. Such employment serves as a way to gain the necessary knowledge, skills, and training prior to venturing into business ownership. Another 6 percent were informally self-employed, for example selling various goods door-todoor for several years before opening a general merchandise store. This path to self-employment has been identified as a common pathway specifically for Mexican immigrant entrepreneurs in the Chicago metropolitan area (Raijman and Tienda 2000). Approximately 7.2 percent had a different business prior to the current one and 12 percent were employ-
ees in a business different from the one they went into. The remaining 49.5 percent were employed in different combinations of the four previously mentioned prior occupations, such as being both informally and formally selfemployed, or employed as a wage/salary worker in a similar or different type of business from the one into which the individual eventually went.
Motivations to Enter Self-Employment For more than half of our respondents, pull factors were more important than push factors in the decision to enter business ownership. The lesser effect of push factors and the greater prevalence of pull factors may be attributed to the Las Vegas environment, which offers: (1) the attractive markets of Hispanic ethnic enclaves; and (2) the abundance of unionized jobs for semi and low-skilled workers (with limited English proficiency) in the hospitality industry. Although these jobs could be characterized as secondary sector-type work, they offer a living wage and benefits (health care insurance and pension plans) comparable to the primary sector. Many immigrants find employment within this industry, which is apparent from the high numbers of immigrants in the ranks of the city’s Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union, representing approximately 45,000 of the city’s hotel workers (D. Taylor, personal communication, January 2002). In fact, of the 14 percent of our interviewees who had health insurance, almost all received it from their spouses’ employment, or their own second job held, in the hospitality industry. Carr (1996) believes that the ability to receive health insurance elsewhere may act as a motivator to become self-employed. Based on her examination of census data on male and female entrepreneurs, she believes that women whose spouses’ employment offers a pension and health insurance
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benefits are more likely to become selfemployed (Carr 1996). This issue is likely to also have been important for our study participants, two-thirds (64.6 percent) of whom had at least one dependent child living at home. Although Hispanics are underrepresented in the managerial ranks of the hospitality industry (Benston 2003; Thomas 1995), this blocked path to upward mobility (Shinnar 2004) may not always act as a push factor toward business ownership. In fact, evidence suggests that although Hispanics are “more likely to report labor market disadvantage as a reason for becoming self-employed than white business owners” (Raijman and Tienda 2000, p. 699), this is, however, not the case when compared to other more educated minority groups (Raijman and Tienda 2000). In a later study, Tienda and Raijman (2004) add that “Hispanic entrepreneurs do not perceive business ownership as a strategy for overcoming labor market disadvantages. Rather, for them the independence business ownership affords is a more salient reason for becoming self employed” (p. 12). In our interview protocol, the question regarding motivations for entry into business ownership was open-ended, which allowed participants to list as many issues that had been most salient in their decision to start a business. Once a response was given, the interviewer read a list of additional options to the participant (see Appendix A, question 5). Approximately 40 percent of our respondents mentioned push factor motivations to enter self-employment. These included “difficulties in a previous job” and “feelings of disadvantage in U.S. labor market” (14.4 percent mentioned difficulties in a previous job, 13.2 percent expressed feelings of disadvantage in U.S. labor market, and 12 percent mentioned both feelings of disadvantage and difficulties). Lack of English skills as a motivator was expressed by only 6 percent of our sample and inability to
transfer skills because of language barriers and licensing was mentioned by only 2.4 percent. Our respondents mentioned pull factors in addition to the previously mentioned push factors. Some of the pull factors mentioned most frequently were: • • • • • • • • • •
Always wanted a business (75.9 percent) Had the relevant skills (72.3 percent) Wanted to make more money (77.1 percent) Wanted the flexibility (66.3 percent) Had a business previously (50.6 percent) The opportunity presented itself (48.2 percent) Wanted to involve family members (44.6 percent) Wanted to be my own boss (30.1 percent) It was recommended by others (37.7 percent) Offers a better quality of life (22.9 percent)
Other, less frequently mentioned motivators included: the opportunity to serve the Latino community (18.1 percent), the ability to offer a better future to one’s family (10.8 percent), social prestige (10.8 percent), independence (10.8 percent), personal pride (8.4 percent), personal progress (8.4 percent), and financial freedom (6 percent). The ethnic enclave appeared to act as a significant pull factor because it provides multiple opportunities for businesses within the community to serve the growing Hispanic population. The importance of the ethnic enclave to the business owners interviewed is clear in the figures describing existing clientele and the clientele being targeted in advertising, the employee base, as well as current suppliers. Over 60 percent of our respondents said that 90 percent or more of their customers were Hispanic. In
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addition, of those who advertised, most (70.3 percent) targeted only the Hispanic community whereas less than a third (29.7 percent) targeted the entire market and less than half (41 percent) had their business listed in the local yellow pages. In terms of sources of labor, 46 percent of our study participants had 100 percent Hispanic employees. This number is especially telling, considering the fact that 49 percent of our sample had no employees except for the owner and his or her family. Having family members work in one’s business allows for financial flexibility, which is best described in the words of one of our interviewees: “You don’t have to pay them if you don’t make a profit, like when business is slow.” Role models also seemed to play an important role as 58 percent of our respondents had a family member or close relative who was or had been a business owner. Finally, 79 percent said that at least half of their suppliers were Hispanic.
Business Practices Planning and Financing Similar to Vincent’s (1996) observation in his study with Mexican American and Anglo-American entrepreneurs (n = 163), few (26.8 percent) of our respondents prepared a business plan prior to opening their businesses. This may be because most of them (61.3 percent) financed their businesses using personal savings. Some (12 percent) used family loans or a combination of family loans and personal savings (11 percent). Only 6.1 percent used bank loans whereas 3.6 percent used personal credit cards and 6 percent refinanced their homes to round up sufficient capital for business start-up. The small portion of individuals using bank loans may explain the relatively low number who prepared a business plan. In order to address other aspects of financial planning and decision-making, we examined whether respondents pre-
pared a monthly budget, the way in which they paid their suppliers, and the extent to which they advertised. A little over half of our respondents (57 percent) prepared monthly budgets once they opened their businesses. In terms of decision-making regarding payments to suppliers, a majority of our respondents (57.1 percent) paid suppliers cash upon delivery (COD), 15.7 percent had some sort of net payment plan of between 7 to 30 days or more, and about 27.1 percent paid suppliers in both ways (COD and NET), which further shows limited capital leverage. We assessed the degree to which business owners advertised and what avenues they used to do so. We found that 25.3 percent did not advertise at all and 74.7 percent advertised to various degrees. Of those who advertised, the advertising venues used most frequently were: print media (mostly Spanish language) (43 percent), flyers (31.6 percent), radio (30.4 percent), Spanish language TV (21.5 percent), and business cards (12.7 percent). Some business owners relied only on word of mouth (8.4 percent), which we did not include as advertising because it does not require a monetary expense, even if—within the ethnic enclave—this method could be very effective.
Reliance on Professionals We wanted to assess the degree to which Hispanic immigrants rely on professionals to run their businesses and consult them in terms of decision-making regarding selection of legal definitions and other ongoing decision-making. We also examined whether they prefer those professionals to be co-ethnic. In terms of selecting the legal definition of the business, a decision which influences tax status and other legal issues, we found that about half (48.6 percent) selected the legal definition on their own. Only 37.8 percent consulted with a lawyer, an accountant, or someone at city hall,
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whereas 12.2 percent consulted with friends who had some knowledge on the subject. Reliance on professionals was more significant in ongoing decisionmaking. Most (61.4 percent) of our respondents used an accountant, 18.1 percent used an accountant for taxes only, and only 20.5 percent used no accountant at all. Of those who used an accountant (all the time and for taxes only), 65 percent had a co-ethnic accountant and 71.8 percent selected this accountant based on a referral. For legal assistance, 25.6 percent used a lawyer, 11 percent used prepaid legal services, and 63.4 percent used no legal services. Of those who used lawyers, 23.8 percent had co-ethnic lawyers, the majority of whom (67.6 percent) were selected based on a referral. Although it may be possible that other business owners of majority and minority groups rely on accountants in the financial management of their business, Hispanic immigrant business owners clearly prefer working with accountants who are co-ethnic. This preference may stem from the fact that “it is easier to communicate with [members of their co-ethnic group] and to establish a basis of trust” (Tienda and Raijman 2004, p. 15). Advice of one’s friends appears to play an important role as well. This is apparent in the choice of legal definition of one’s business as well as the significant number of professionals who were selected based on a personal recommendation. This is not surprising given the importance of interpersonal relations in the Hispanic culture (Marín and Marín 1991). The preference to work with co-ethnic individuals was apparent in the selection of an accountant but did not seem to be the case with lawyers. We are unable to offer an explanation for the difference in ethnicity preference when choosing lawyers versus accountants—it may simply be a question of the availability of Hispanic lawyers. According to Department of Labor statistics, 6.7
percent of the accountants in the United States are Hispanic or Latino, but only 3.4 percent of lawyers are (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2004).
Viability When interviewees were contacted again, approximately one year after the initial interviews were completed, we found that out of the 80 businesses, 11 were no longer in business. Those that closed were in business, on average, for 3.1 years (S.D. 2.6 years; ranging from 2 to 8.4 years). Although our sample was too small for statistical tests, it appears that there was some relationship between preparing a business plan and viability (see Table 1). In fact, of the 11 business owners who closed their enterprise, 10 had not prepared a business plan. There also seemed to be a relationship between advertising and viability. Allocating funds for advertising is an important part of the financial planning of one’s business (A. Siefert, personal communication, March 2002). Although we did not ask how much was spent on advertising, we assessed the degree to which business owners advertised their enterprise and what avenues they used to do so. It appeared that those who did not advertise were more likely to be out of business than those who did—of the 11 who went out of business, six did not do any advertising (see Table 1).
Recommendations Some of our recommendations come from our respondents themselves. At the end of each interview, respondents were asked: “If you were to start a business today, what would you do differently?” Of those who, based on their personal experience, shared advice with us, 33 percent recommended preparing a business plan, 19 percent recommended seeking legal consultation, 16 percent mentioned that a location must be carefully selected, 9 percent recommended seeking financial consultation, and 12
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Table 1 Cross-Tabulation In Business
Prepared Business Plana Engage in Advertisingb
Out of Business
21 50 54 14
25.6 61.0 68.4 17.7
1 10 5 6
1.2 12.2 6.3 7.6
Yes No Some None
n = 82. n = 79 (variation in n is attributed to missing values).
percent stressed the importance of spending time on financial planning. Based on our findings, we second these recommendations. Financial planning, preparing a business plan, and allocating funds for advertising appear to have a direct impact on viability. Previous research found Hispanic immigrants to be distrustful of banks and financial institutions (Johnson-Elie 2002; Zengerle 2001). This seems to be true for a large number of our respondents as well, given that only 6.1 percent used bank loans as a source for start-up capital. Higher frequency of loan denial rates among Hispanics when compared with non-Hispanic whites (Harrington 2004; Nixon 1998) could be an added deterrent for approaching banks when looking for start-up loans. An encouraging finding is that when asked whether they would consider seeking financing in the future, the following behavioral intentions emerged: 45 percent said they would definitely take a bank loan if they could, 12 percent said they would consider it, 20 percent said they would try to avoid it, and only 19 percent said they would avoid it at all cost. This change in attitude could be a result of added trust gained through experience in working with financial institutions and the estab-
lishment of credit history, which would facilitate loan approvals. Those wishing to approach Hispanic entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs (e.g., financial institutions, business economic development centers, those offering microloans for business start-up, the small business administration, or even career counselors) would benefit from actively seeking out Hispanic business owners and providing information and assistance to them. Such a proactive approach to recruit new Hispanic clients was taken by Mitchell Bank in Milwaukee. This institution opened a branch in a local high school, located in a predominantly Hispanic area, in its effort to develop trust with the Hispanic consumer, getting to the parents through their children who attended the school (Johnson-Elie 2002). Similarly, agencies working to increase Hispanic business ownership could bring their information, in Spanish, into the community rather than wait for Hispanics to come to them. This could be done through visits to community centers, churches, or special events for the Hispanic community as well as through various radio stations. In fact, a “Hispanic Consumer study shows radio [to be] the . . . favorite, over TV and newspaper, among Hispanics” (Burleson
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2006, p. 21). An additional way for banks to approach Hispanic business owners could be through their co-ethnic accountants. Hispanics appear to prefer co-ethnic accountants possibly because it allows them to communicate in their own language or because they find cross-cultural communication more challenging. This was stated clearly by one of our interviewees who said: “With a Spanishspeaking accountant it is easier for me to understand him and I also know that he understands me, because when I speak English I have a heavy accent and I am never sure Americans understand me.” Making information available and accessible in Spanish and employing bilingual personnel could make Hispanic immigrant entrepreneurs feel more comfortable with seeking information regarding the opportunities available to them.
Limitations Given the sensitivity of this information, we decided not to ask for profitability data and used viability as a proxy of success. It would be beneficial, even if difficult, to obtain profitability figures as well as exact spending on advertising and the degree of reinvestment in order to provide more specific recommendations. Using a survey questionnaire, where anonymity can be provided, may increase respondents’ willingness to disclose such information. As we chose to conduct interviews, we were limited in the number of businesses we could cover. However, based on our experience with our respondents, interviews allowed for better data collection. We were able to explain questions to respondents when there was doubt and could collect data from some individuals who had limited literacy levels. A second limitation may have been the fact that two of the four interviewers, although fluent in Spanish, were not of Hispanic origin; one was Israeli and the other Brazilian. This may have caused
some intercultural communication barriers of which the interviewers were unaware. Past research has shown that when interviewers differ in their physical or social characteristics from the interviewees, some bias may be introduced into responses, impacting the quality of data received (Bailey 1994). For example, when asking MexicanAmericans about their education and income, ethnicity of interviewer effects have been shown. For example, “when interviewed by an Anglo, MexicanAmericans reported higher educational attainment and family income than when interviewed by a Mexican-American” (Bailey 1994, p. 182). However, we feel that even though two of our interviewers were not of Hispanic origin, their Spanish proficiency and immigrant status positively contributed to the establishment of trust with study participants. A third limitation could possibly lie in the method we chose for selecting interviewees. The first four interviewees were identified through phone interviews of individuals whose surnames were part of the 1990 Census list of the most frequently occurring heavily Hispanic surnames (Word and Perkins 1996). This possibly excluded potential Hispanic immigrant participants whose surnames are not included on this list (because their surnames are not heavily Hispanic), as well as those who have unlisted phone number, or no phone numbers at all. In addition, given that the remaining 79 were contacted through snowball sampling, some bias may have been introduced. One possible bias that may result from snowball sampling is that isolated members of the community will be undersampled, whereas others who may have more extensive contacts and acquaintances are oversampled (Welch 1975). This could lead to “biases in education, social class, and income level of the respondents since people with higher education and income are more likely to have wider circles of friends and
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greater participation in various groups” (Welch 1975, p. 238). It is possible that bias was introduced into our sample if business owners preferred to refer us to other business owners who they felt were successful. Bias could also have resulted in more referral to male business owners rather than female business owners. It appears, however, that given the diversity of our sample in terms of national origin, educational attainment, gender, and type of business, it is not strongly biased. Finally, this sample has been drawn from a single metropolitan area. Las Vegas may represent a unique environment given the relative abundance of jobs that offer pay and benefits competitive with jobs in the primary job sector. For these reasons, the motivations to enter business ownership in this area could be somewhat different than in other areas of the country. Therefore, our findings may not be directly generalizable to other areas of the country.
Summary and Areas for Future Research Our study offers some answers as to the reasons for Hispanic immigrant entry into self-employment in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. Push factors appear to be of importance given that they were mentioned by 40 percent of our sample. However, the Hispanic immigrants interviewed in this study were more often pulled into business ownership rather than pushed into it. This is contrary to past studies, which have favored the point of view that self-employment is used as a coping mechanism for being pushed out of, or lacking equal opportunities in, the primary job market (Bates 1997; Fairlie and Meyer 1996; De Freitas 1991; Light 1979), but is consistent with Tienda and Raijman’s (2004) most recent research in an immigrant community in Chicago. Possibly, the presence of immigrant communities and/or ethnic
enclaves can act as a strong motivator for entrepreneurship, increasing the salience of pull factors. In the future, rather than simply allowing respondents to list all the factors that were important in making the decision to enter business ownership, it would be beneficial to rank the factors in order of importance. It would also be beneficial to compare the importance of push and pull factors in areas where there are no ethnic enclaves or large immigrant communities, such as rural areas or small towns. Finally, it is possible that higher-educated individuals who suffer more from the inability to transport human capital into the U.S. labor market are more likely to report push factors as motivators. There is some evidence that individuals with higher education have increased perceptions of discrimination (Brodie et al. 2002). It is thus possible that more highly educated individuals would more often report being pushed toward entrepreneurship, although this remains to be examined in future studies. Our examination of business practices and viability gave some indication as to the possible link between preparation of a business plan and advertising and survival. A stronger argument could be made by collecting quantitative data on profitability so as to be able to link this information to various business practices. In addition, it would also be of interest to examine whether the amount spent on advertising as well as one’s targeting the market at large rather than focusing solely on the ethnic enclave in advertising effort, has an impact on business profitability. However, although financial outcomes are the traditional way of measuring success, it would be beneficial to assess the degree to which Hispanic entrepreneurs choose to enter business ownership based on intangible rewards, such as pride and social recognition. A final question raised in this study relates to the attitude change reported by our respon-
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dents in terms of obtaining bank loans. Additional attitudinal changes in other areas, such as capital leverage or advertising outside the ethnic enclave, remain to be identified.
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Huck, Paul, Sherrie L. W. Rhine, Robert Townsend, and Philip Bond (1999). “How Do Minorities Fund Small Business Start-Ups?” Region 13(3), 10–12, 26. Johnson-Elie, Tannette (2002). “Spurring Interest in Banks.” www.jsonline.com/ bym/biz2biz/apr02/39321.asp (accessed on August 19, 2003). Knight, Frank H. (1933). Risk, Uncertainty and Profit. London: London School of Economics and Political Science. Lee, Thomas W. (1999). Using Qualitative Methods in Organizational Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Light, Ivan (1979). “Disadvantaged Minorities in Self-Employment,” International Journal of Comparative Sociology 20(1–2), 31–45. Logan, John R., Richard D. Alba, and Thomas L. McNulty (1994). “Ethnic Economies in Metropolitan Regions: Miami and Beyond,” Social Forces 72(3), 691–724. Marín, Gerardo, and Barbara VanOss Marín (1991). Research with Hispanic Populations. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Mata, Fernando, and Ravi Pendakur (1999). “Immigration, Labor Force Integration and the Pursuit of SelfEmployment,” International Migration Review 33(2), 378–402. Miles, Matthew B., and Michael A. Huberman (1984). Qualitative Data Analysis: A Sourcebook of New Methods. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Nguyen, Mina (2003). “U.S. Department of Labor News Release: Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao Co-Hosts Conference to Strengthen Economic Development of Minority Communities.” http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/ press/opa/OPA2003515.htm (accessed on August 25, 2004). Nixon, R. (1998). “Application Denied,” Hispanic 11(11), 30–33. Olson, Patricia D., Virginia Zuiker-Solis, and Catherine Phillips-Montalto
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(2000). “Self-Employed Hispanics and Hispanic Wage Earners: Differences in Earnings,” Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences 22(1), 114–130. Raijman, Rebeca (1996). “Pathways to Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship in an Immigrant Community in Chicago,” Doctoral Dissertation, Department of Sociology, University of Chicago (UMI No. 9711213). ——— (2001). “Mexican Immigrants and Informal Self-Employment in Chicago,” Human Organizations 60(1), 47–55. Raijman, Rebeca, and Marta Tienda (2000). “Immigrants’ Pathways to Business Ownership: A Comparative Ethnic Perspective,” International Migration Review 34, 681–705. Ramirez, Roberto R., and Patricia G. De la Cruz (2003). “The Hispanic Population in the United States: March 2002.” http://www.census.gov/prod/ 2003pubs/p20-545.pdf (accessed on April 13, 2005). Salyers, Eddie, and Valerie Strang. (2001). “U.S. Businesses Owned by Hispanics Top 1 Million: California, Texas, Florida Lead States Census Bureau Reports.” http://www.census. gov / Press-Release/www/ 2001 /cb0153.html (accessed on October 10, 2001). Shelette, Stewart K. (2002). “Formal Business Planning and Small Business Success,” Journal of American Academy of Business 2(1), 42–46. Shim, Soyeon, and Mary Ann Eastlick (1998). “Characteristics of Hispanics Female Business Owners: An Exploratory Study,” Journal of Small Business Management 36(3), 18– 34. Shinnar, Rachel S. (2004). “Bursting the Bubble from the Inside: Individual and Environmental Barriers to Upward Mobility among Mexican Immigrants,” Doctoral Dissertation, Department of Hotel Administration, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
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Appendix A Structured Business Owner Interview Interviewer: Introduce yourself and explain objective of the research and importance/contribution of participation. Begin with consent form and request permission to tape-record. 1. What type of business do you own? 2. When did you open your business? 3. Who is the owner of the business? What is the legal entity of the business? (sole proprietor, corporation, partnership, etc.) Who selected this legal definition? How did you select this legal definition? 4. What are your annual gross sales? (Interviewer: If respondent does not want to provide exact figure, offer following ranges: (a) less than 10,000, (b) 10,000– 50,000, (c) 50,000–75,000, (d) 75,000–100,000or (e) 100,000 and over). 5. What was your motivation to start your business? (Interviewer: Allow respondent to list as many options as apply) To make sure I left nothing out, was any of the following a factor in your decision to open a business: It was recommended by others The opportunity presented itself I felt disadvantage in US labor market I had difficulties in previous job I wanted to make more money I always wanted a business I wanted flexibility of self-employment I had a business previously I inherited the business I had the had relevant skills I wanted to involve family member in business 6. How did you select the type/line of business? 7. Did you have any prior business experience? 8. What was your occupation prior to current business? (Interviewer: assess whether prior experience was informal business ownership, or work in a similar business and if so was this business owned by a co-ethnic) 9. Did any family member own a business in the past/ own a business in the present? (Interviewer: ask if this business was/is in the US or elsewhere) 10. How did you start your business? (self started, bought existing business, inherited, etc.) 11. How did you obtain start-up capital? (personal funds/family loans/financial institutions) 12. Did you use the help of any agency/organization? If so, what type of help? 13. If you were going to open a business today, where would you go for financing?
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14. What were some of the problems/difficulties you encountered before you opened your business? What are some of the problems/difficulties you encounter now, as you are running it? 15. Do you do any marketing/advertising? (Interviewer: ask where they advertise) Are you listed in the yellow pages? What do you do in order to find new customers? 16. Who does your accounting? (Interviewer: if does accounting alone—ask what method is used (computerized, by hand). If using an accountant—ask if co-ethnic and how he/she was selected (yellow pages, referral, etc.) If you needed an accountant today, how would you select one? 17. Do you use the services of an attorney? (Interviewer: if using an attorney—ask if co-ethnic and how he/she was selected (yellow pages, referral, etc.) If you needed a lawyer today, how would you select one? 18. Did you prepare a business plan? (Interviewer ask why business plan was prepared) 19. Do you prepare a monthly budget? (Interviewer: Make sure to ask if budget is prepared monthly) 20. Who are the majority of your clients/customers (are they mostly co-ethnic?) 21. Who are your suppliers? (are they mostly co-ethnic?) How do you pay your suppliers? 22. How many employees do you have? Who are your employees? (Interviewer: ask if they are family members. If not family members ask if co-ethnic) 23. How do you pay your employees? (Interviewer: ask about payroll services and employment tax) 24. Are you saving for retirement? 25. Are you investing in your business—inverting profits for growth? (Interviewer: differentiate between merely restocking merchandise and actual investment such as new equipment, remodeling, etc.) 26. Do you have a second source of income? (Interviewer: ask about second job or spouse employment or any other income). 27. What is your vision for your business? Do you have a succession plan? 28. If you were to start a business today, what would you do differently? 29. What advice would you give someone who was about to open a business? Thank you for your time and help with this project. Would you be willing to refer us to another Hispanic small business owner who your think would be willing to participate in our study?