¡Bienvenidos! Welcome!

We Are Supporting the Stabilization & Growth of Latino-Owned Businesses in Phoenix, Arizona!

The Aspen City Learning and Action Lab is represented by local Latino entrepreneurship ecosystem committees in 6 Latino-majority cities across the US - Phoenix is a member of this initiative. As part of the City Learning and Action Lab, each city’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Steering Committee (EESC) will develop an action plan for actions and strategies each city will design and begin to implement during the 12-month Lab.  


We will work with key members of our business ecosystem to stabilize and accelerate equitable small business recovery, and stimulate opportunities for long-term growth for Latino businesses and entrepreneurs in Phoenix metro and beyond. 

Leaders of the first Phoenix cohort are proud to join in this historic effort, and we are committed to advancing the quality of life of Latinos in our business communities and families with strategies that help close the wealth gap in our city. We appreciate the support of the Aspen Institute's Latinos & Society team for catalyzing our city into action. Please take a moment to learn about our goals, team, and data that will help us achieve our mission. Thank you for your support! ¡Juntos podemos más!

Our Strategic Pillars

This is a Moment for Leading Big Change

  • Establish an Anti-Displacement Strategy for businesses impacted by the light rail development.

    The light rail presents a unique opportunity to create an immediate mitigation strategy that will include funding for impending financial repercussions due to closures during development of the light rail, technical assistance for business owners, and marketing campaigns for residents in the South Corridor of Phoenix. We will leverage business leaders, local and state government, economic development agencies, and Hispanic-serving institutions.

  • Launch roadmap to reverse negative net wealth.

    We are on a mission to help Latino business owners build their balance sheet along with their income statement. This strategy will include a Latino Economic Agenda developed by leaders in financial services, business readiness programs, and investment advisors.

  • Establish more inclusive incubators and accelerators to advance Latino innovation in Phoenix.

    This strategy will map out existing business readiness programs that offer bilingual education for Spanish-preferred business owners. We will develop a centralized portal for Latino business owners to readily find organizations that can provide services to help advance entrepreneurial ideas and investments within our current ecosystem in Phoenix.

Upcoming events

We will announce our public events here.

Schedule for Cohort Members Only:

Phoenix Cohort Meetings 

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM (AZ time, via Zoom) 

Second Thursday of the Month

December 9, 2021 
January 13, 2022 
February 10, 2022 
March 10, 2022 
April 14, 2022 
May 12, 2022 
June 9, 2022 
July 14, 2022 
August 11, 2022

Join the movement!

Add your email to the mailing list to get the latest updates.

The Data in Phoenix

Phoenix is the 5th largest city in the United States. This is a moment for leading big change. Business ownership is a critical means to build community and individual wealth. Yet, there are significant ethnic gaps in the business ecosystem, and COVID-19 hit harder Latino-owned businesses.

  • 1.5 Million - Latino population in Phoenix Metro

  • 4,494 – Hispanic-Owned Businesses in Phoenix Metro (6.1% of 74,206 businesses in Phoenix Metro)

  • 45,960 – Jobs created by Hispanic-owned business (2.5% of 1.8M jobs created in Phoenix Metro)

  • $32,406 - Average salary of Hispanic workers

  • 3.1 - Hispanic business density in Phoenix Metro (Total companies per 1,000 residents of the same group, compared to 5.2 in Top 100 Metros)

  • $1.1 Million – Average annual sales of Hispanic-owned business (compared to $2.2 Million to non-Hispanic owned businesses)

  • 14% - Percentage of Hispanic-owned companies in high-paying industry sectors such as Professional Services (compared to 17.9% in non-Hispanic-owned businesses)

  • Source: Small Business Equity Toolkit, https://www.smallbusinessequitytoolkit.com/

The National Conversation

By Domenika Lynch, Executive Director, Aspen Institute Latinos & Society Program

"The fact of the matter is that Latino-owned businesses are the engine of the American economy, representing more than 3 million American jobs. What's more, the US Latino economic annual output totals 2.7 trillion, and according to the Latino Donor Collaborative 2021 report, US Latinos represent the 7th largest economy in the world. The state of the US economy and prosperity for all Americans depends on Latino entrepreneurship and our success. We must crack the code to scale Latino-owned businesses and create pathways for intergenerational wealth building."

Our Visit to DC

2021 Latino Business & Entrepreneurship Summit

Fostering Economic Resilience in Latino Cities and Communities 

October 27-28, 2021 

Fairmont Washington D.C. Georgetown 

In attendance: Edgar Olivo of Compass CBS Foundation, Michael Langely of Greater Phoenix Leadership, Lisa Urias of Arizona Community Foundation, Lorenzo Sierra of Arizona State House of Representatives LD19, Teresa Miranda of Prestamos CDFI 

Explore Summit Agenda Here

Meet The Phoenix Cohort

Our Aspen Team

The Aspen Institute Latinos and Society (AILAS) Program seeks to empower Latino communities and promote long-term economic growth and resiliency.

  • Alejandro Manzanarez, Senior Program Manager

  • Eddy Encinales, Senior Program Associate

  • Domenika Lynch, Executive Director

A word from our cohort

This is a time to lead big change...

Edgar R. Olivo

Compass CBS Foundation

As a first generation Latinx and native-Arizonan, leading this work alongside my colleagues with the support of the Aspen Institute is a dream come true. My upbringing was filled with all the challenges our Latino communities in Arizona face when they try to engage with the economy. I hope our work will demonstrate to our community that the Hispanic-serving Phoenix entrepreneur ecosystem has their back!

Proudly Supported by:

Proud Media Partners

A Playbook For Scaling Latino-Owned Business

A Report of the Aspen Institute Forum on Latino Business Growth

A Playbook for Scaling Latino-Owned Businesses is designed to support the scaling and continued growth of Latino-owned businesses (LOBs) by offering entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs), financial institutions, and other stakeholders actions they can take to offer Latino entrepreneurs greater access to financial capital, expanded markets, and support for rapid scale.

Join the movement!

Add your email to our mailing list to get the latest updates.