A group of Indianapolis nonprofits have come together to create the Latino Business Support Network (LBSN). The network is committed to assisting Latino small business owners and entrepreneurs.
The LBSN’s primary focus is on building a stronger Latino business community in the city. Created by Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), along with the other organizations, the network collaborates to provide resources and programs.
“The Latino community is an economically resilient community. As we have attempted to close the racial wealth gap, especially in Black and Latino communities, these are often the most underserved, overlooked and undeveloped,” said Executive Director of LISC, David Hampton.
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He said the Indianapolis small business community is incredibly diverse. There are 14,000 Black businesses, 5,000 Latinx businesses and 2,000 Asian owned businesses.
His hope for the network is to create a greater commitment and investment to support the Latinx community.
“Between 2010 and 2020, the Latinx community has grown by 42% and so have Latinx businesses. However, the resources for Latinx businesses have continued to be incredibly limited,” said Hampton.
As the community grows, there is an increasing need for language access and access to capital and services to support.
The start of the network
Four organizations — Hispanic Business Council, La Plaza, Emprendedoras Latinas en Indiana and Indiana Latino Expo — have come together to form a group dedicated to supporting Latino-owned businesses in Indianapolis.
The Director of International & Latino Affairs with the City of Indianapolis, Ruth Morales, said the Latino community is the fastest growing population in Marion County.
Executive Vice President of for External Engagement at the Indiana Economic Development Corporation Salena Scardina said a lot of stories go untold around Latino business, and this network is an opportunity to change that.
“Five years ago, I started a business, and I did not know what resources were available to me here. Latino-based businesses make up the largest minority sector of our entrepreneurship small businesses, and we don’t talk about that enough,” said Scardina.
By collaborating these organizations can provide better support and increase visibility for their work.