The Latino Economic Development Center is doing what it can to help Latinx and Black business owners reach their full potential despite the setbacks the COVID-19 pandemic has caused.
The District has a robust and diverse Latinx population. Nearly 80,000 people or 11.3 percent of the city’s population identify as “Hispanic or Latino,” according to 2019 Census data. Yet LEDC is one of few organizations in the District that offers bilingual programming for entrepreneurs. (Life Asset is another.)
“It’s so hard when you’re trying to learn something in this other language,” Joan Bonilla explains. He runs Quick Catering Services and recently received training from LEDC. “You don’t get everything 100 percent. It’s very, very special, the LEDC teaching in our language.”
Latinx-owned businesses are a key driver of the American economy. A 2019 Stanford University study found that the number of new Latinx-owned businesses continues to outpace the U.S. average.