Google for Start-ups has announced the 50 recipients receiving $100k from its $5M Latino Founders Fund. The announcement came on July 11 of this year at the Unidos U.S. Conference in San Antonio, Texas.
The funds provide a cash injection to U.S. Latino-led businesses that show great promise. These businesses will benefit greatly from the additional start-up funds as they grow their business further.
The allocated funds come from a total of $7M committed last year to Latino business owners. The recipients include organizations that help support the communities surrounding Latino-led start-ups.
Recipients of the fund are already running Latino-led businesses. They provide vital services and solutions to some of the country’s biggest problems. One great example is Camila Lopez, Co-Founder, and CEO of People Clerk. People Clerk’s mission is to create a more accessible legal system for people of different social, economic, or cultural backgrounds. In addition, the organization is committed to assisting people in navigating the small claims court process in an easy and affordable way.
Disparity in business funding for Latino entrepreneurs
According to Google and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), businesses led by Latinos represent the fastest growing business segment of all U.S. small businesses. Despite this, Latino-led enterprises only receive a reported 2% of the total U.S. venture capital funding. They also represent around 20% of America’s population.
These figures drive home how disparate the distribution of business funding is. This disparity is even starker given the scope and scale of Latino-led businesses as a percentage of the population. Furthermore, data from management consultants Bain & Co. shows that, between 2007 and 2017, Latino-led companies accounted for around half of the (net) new small business growth.
Early-stage funding (arguably the most crucial funding a business can receive) has stagnated in recent years for Latin-led firms. Still, according to Crunchbase News, the last year has seen some improvement. Early-stage funding is growing from around $800M in 2018 to $1.3Bn by 2021.
Personal mission for Google Start-Ups lead
In a recent blog, the brand marketing lead for Google Start-Ups, Daniel Navarro, expressed that a personal mission drives him. He is seeking new ways for Google to create more access and opportunity for the Latino community. This mission has been at the forefront of his work with Google since joining them in 2010.
Navarro says, ‘Most recently, I’ve been focused on how we can provide to the Latino community, where gaining access to funding – the necessary fuel to grow their companies – is a constant struggle.’
‘We know having a robust network of support is critical to Latino founders’ success. That’s why we committed $1 million to supporting organizations that are dedicated to growing the Latino start-up community.’
Navarro has also been working directly with Google’s global Black Founders Fund. The fund has provided $10 million of Google funding to 126 U.S. Black founders as cash awards. Additionally, the fund has also raised more than $75 million in follow-on funding.
Fund recipients already making a significant impact
The recipients of the Google For Start-Ups Latino fund are already running businesses that are making a significant impact. These companies are offering solutions for some of America’s biggest challenges. For example, some focus on assisting college graduates to become debt-free. Others are committed to improving the accessibility of personalized reproductive health care. Additionally, some dedicate their services to improving access to personalized care for patients with severe mental illness. You can see the complete list of awardees here.
Google for Start-up’s multi-faceted approach to supporting Latino-led businesses
In addition to providing this start-up capital to Latino-led businesses, Google for Start-ups has also recently launched VHLX. A virtual, 20-week fellowship for Latinx founders – in conjunction with Visible Hands (a venture capital firm supporting overlooked founders). This new program aims to support Latino entrepreneurs during the earliest phase of their ventures. Furthermore, a $10,000 cash injection was also awarded to these entrepreneurs to help ‘kickstart their ideas.’
Navarro closed his post by saying, ‘I hope this funding and support will not only catalyze the growth of these 50 Latino-led start-ups but also inspire other Latino entrepreneurs to dream, create and innovate to showcase the talent of our community and change the course for their families and communities in the process.’