This report explores what was behind the low numbers. Were Latino entrepreneurs choosing not to go into education? Were they deciding not to apply for funding from philanthropies, and why? Were they unaware of the opportunities? Were they applying, but just not getting funded?
Through a series of focus groups and individual conversations with more than 110 Latino education entrepreneurs in several cities, a story began to emerge. To supplement and validate this qualitative research, NewSchools commissioned an online survey, drawn from a national sample, to reach a broader set of Latino founders. The findings were both encouraging and sobering.
Key findings from the report:
- Latino education entrepreneurs are more likely to be juggling multiple responsibilities than other entrepreneurs. Three in four report they are employed full- or part-time at a company, while starting and running their venture.
- Latino education entrepreneurs exhibit strong enterprising qualities that are often part of a family history of entrepreneurship. Many say they were exposed to entrepreneurship by their parents, who often launched their own businesses from necessity.
- Latino education entrepreneurs have a strong calling to improve their local communities and work with students. They view their work as “helping kids succeed.” It’s a vocation, not just a job. The most common reasons cited for starting and continuing their organizations are to “improve my community” and “improve educational outcomes.”
- Low familiarity with philanthropy and limited information can discourage Latino education entrepreneurs from pursuing grant opportunities. Fewer than one in four report that funds from philanthropic organizations or investors would be available to them if they needed additional support today.
- Support from professional and community organizations can help Latino leaders make the leap into education entrepreneurship. The organizations they affiliate with most and which provide the greatest perceived benefits are Hispanic/Latino professional groups and Hispanic chambers of commerce. However, they are less familiar with non-profits focused on supporting education entrepreneurs like 4.0 Schools and Camelback among the group.
The full report delves deeper into the findings and includes potential next steps and considerations for Latino innovators and funders that could result in a pipeline of entrepreneurs that better reflects the students they serve.
“We believe talent and genius are equally distributed, but access to opportunity is not. Dramatically increasing the number of Latino education entrepreneurs will require providing investors with more knowledge about how to best find, support and capitalize Latino leaders to realize their dreams. NewSchools and other funders must work differently to nurture talent that better reflects our student population,” added Messano.
To download report CLICK HERE.