McCombs study identifies challenges faced by Hispanic business owners

Alex Raisch

A new survey by the McCombs School of Business has identified specific challenges faced by Hispanic business owners in Texas.

The study was performed by mail-in survey to Hispanic businesses in Texas between July 2011 and August 2012. The survey was done to benefit the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce and was presented to them Aug. 17 at a conference in San Antonio.

Renee Hopkins, a spokeswoman for the McCombs School of Business, said the ultimate goal of the study was to identify how to help expand the employment opportunities Hispanic businesses offer.

“The reason we did the study is because Hispanic-owned businesses play such a large part in the Texas economy, and to help that demographic create more employment in the state we had to understand it’s challenges,” Hopkins said.

One of the main challenges the study identified was that while many of these business owners have education beyond high school, their employees do not have sufficient training to perform their duties. 24 percent of respondents indicated a need for team leadership training, and 16 percent indicated a need for business or customer relations training.

Matt Montes, an accounting and sports management senior, said he wasn’t surprised to hear Hispanic businesses face challenges that others don’t.

“Hispanics face obstacles throughout their lives. It makes accomplishing specific goals that much more exciting,” Montes said.

The survey showed that if improvements were made to get rid of these obstacles, the Texas economy would see sustained growth along with lower unemployment for Hispanic employees, which supports census results that show business owners tend to hire more employees in their own ethnic groups.