CHICAGO — Chicago’s small businesses have always been a big part of thriving neighborhoods. In the Little Village community, you can find a string of them generating millions of dollars each year.

Now a group of investors is working to make sure many Latino-owned businesses have the ability to keep growing. 

Right now, Latinos own five million businesses across the country, but few are able to scale their companies and start-ups into multi-million dollar ventures.

Angeles Investors was created to give many Hispanic start-ups the ability to acquire capital and grow their business. 

David Olivencia is the CEO of Angeles Investors.

“If you look at our community -hard working, innovative, energetic,” he said. “The grit that we put into the businesses, there’s an opportunity to make a definite return on investment.”

A recent Stanford University study found that “Latino owned businesses have lower approval rates than White businesses when requesting loans above $50,000.” 

It’s also estimated that only 2% of venture capital has been going to Latino-led businesses.

Ricardo Regalado, Route co-founder says many first-generation Latinos don’t have the network needed to grow their business. 

“When people talk about family friends, we are the family friends,” he said. “I didn’t have a network like that.”

He’s been able to grow his network with the help of Angeles Investors.  Each year – the funding group recognizes the top funders and venture capital firms investing in Hispanic and LatinX startups as an effort to continue building awareness about Latino businesses.