Sean Murray, Publisher for Debanked recently interviewed the CEO of Lendinero, Gil Zapata to discuss the challenges in offering business financing to Hispanic Owned Businesses.
“The number of minority-owned businesses jumped nearly 46% from 2002 to 2007, according to the Minority Business Development Agency. The growth rate is three times as much as for U.S. businesses as a whole. These businesses increased 55% in revenues over that five-year period. There are a number of minority groups within this category. Latino businesses are leading the way. Latinos are the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States today. Like it or not these numbers are likely to increase due to economic blocs. The U.S. has created a number of free trade agreements with Mexico, Central America and South America. Latinos are our next door neighbors.
The SBA is the largest guarantor in the U.S. and does not offer any specific minority business loan program to Latinos. The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce offers advice to Latino business owners, but does not offer any loans. Traditional banks continue to maintain stringent guidelines for all businesses. Alternative finance companies and online lenders have a long way to go to tap into this niche market.
Alternative lenders, online lenders and peer-to-peer lenders can cater to this niche market, but it requires a lot of resources and knowledge. We can categorize Latino businesses into one broad category. However, as a Hispanic entrepreneur, my experience has been that the Latino business community is complex in nature.”
Launched in 2012, Lendinero initially launched from Miami targeting Hispanic businesses. Today, it has opened up its doors to cater to businesses from all ethnic groups and backgrounds. Lendinero provides funding when banking is not an option. Lendinero can provide a business credit decision within 24 hours and fund as fast as 7 business days.