5 Hispanic Business Leaders You Need To Know
The 60 million Hispanics living in the United States actively contribute across almost every industry and, as such, are an integral part of the American economy. In fact, over the last decade, Hispanic entrepreneurs have opened more companies than any other group. Among them are these five extremely successful businesspeople who have built empires in the United States.
Alberto “Beto” Perez – Founder of Zumba Fitness
Mr. Perez started as an aerobics instructor in Columbia before moving to the US to pursue the “American Dream.” He convinced his employers to let him introduce some new exercise routines into their fitness classes and in less than a decade, had Zumba infomercials, a fashion brand, and a training and licensing program with instructors around the world.
Sofia Vergara – Actress and Co-founder of Latino World Entertainment
Another native Columbian, Ms. Vergara has been the highest-paid actress on television for almost a decade. She then used her fortune to help others break into the business by co-founding a media and talent agency, Latino World Entertainment.
Cesar Millan – The “Dog Whisperer”
Born in Mexico, Mr. Millan’s success is a story of persistence leading to success for other aspiring Hispanic entrepreneurs to follow. His renowned dog training skills, documented in books and demonstrated on television, drove his success. But after a series of poor financial decisions, he lost millions. Determined to rebuild, his passion for animals and success drove him to rebuild.
Maria Contreras-Sweet – Banker and Obama Administration Official
Ms. Contrreras-Sweet has founded two successful businesses. First, ProAmerica, the first Latino-owned California-based commercial bank and aspired to serve small businesses, nonprofits, and other Hispanic entrepreneurs. She also founded a marketing firm with such high-profile clients and Coca-Cola and Walt Disney. Her success led to her appointment as the head of the US Small Business Administration in the Obama White House.
Tony Jimenez – Veteran and Founder of MicroTech
Mr. Jimenez spent more than two decades in the military, including working with the Department of Defense on its information technology platforms. Like many other veterans, he continued to use the skills he learned in his service in the private sector by starting MicroTech. The IT company is now a major government contractor providing network and cloud platforms and cybersecurity services.
These five stories are only a tiny portion of the talented Hispanic entrepreneurs that add so much to the US economy. As this group of small business owners continues to grow over the next decade, we can look forward to many more leadership and success stories in the future.