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Doing business in the United States and identifying a problem that may be linked to the industry or the Hispanic community has been a common denominator for these entrepreneurs. These are their stories.
The following are some of the most important organizations of Latin American entrepreneurs in the United States. Each of their stories has a message of resilience and perseverance.
This company was founded by Andres Ruzo, an entrepreneur who was born and raised in Lima, Peru. He came to the United States in 1980 to earn a bachelor's degree in engineering at Texas A&M University. He worked in multiple sectors such as oil and commercial real estate before moving to Dallas in 1992 and beginning his career as an entrepreneur.
In 1994, he founded LinkAmerica initially providing a telecommunications equipment refurbishment service. "Today the company drives sustainable solutions for U.S.-based businesses through collaboration, innovation and co-creation of value," says a statement on LinkedIn and they add, "Our lines of business include managed services solutions, critical communications solutions and equipment as a Service"; among other IT services and consulting.
About his business growth the CEO of LinkAmerica, said in an interview with Dmagazine: "First, I had seven years of fat cows; it was very easy to make money, then, after the dotcom crash and 9/11, it was seven years of lean cows. It was very bad. My clients were dying or being absorbed," a situation he faced, says the entrepreneur, by changing the business model more focused on critical communications services.
The success of this strategy led the company to rank in 2011 as the second fastest-growing Hispanic company in the U.S. in Hispanic Business Magazine's ranking.
Alexander Torrenegra, famous for his appearance on Shark Tank Colombia, is one of the most celebrated Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs based in the United States. His company is called Torre.co, an organization founded in 2017 that presents itself as a digital alternative for thousands of people around the world to find job opportunities nationally and internationally. This is how its founder put it, "At Torre we are concerned about the current crisis, so our commitment is to help as many people as we can and to do it fast."
Currently the organization has generated almost 200,000 jobs in more than 170 countries and more than one million 'genomes' or users. Companies such as Pinterest, TikTok, Google, Apple and Uber have used and endorsed the organization's management.
Its differential, users say, is that "the professional genome breaks the scheme that many platforms bring", that is, the creation of the profile for organizations around the world to see their qualities, allows adding other skills that are not usually considered in selection processes.
"We still have a lot of work ahead of us. Our growth responds to the reality of the millions of students who are unemployed today. Now our challenge is to connect that talent with job opportunities," Torre's co-founder and chief growth officer, Andrés Cajiao, told Semana.
Guillermo Perales is one of the most influential Mexicans in the United States. The success of his career, he says, is due to "hard work and a constant search for expansion". Perales earned a bachelor's degree in public accounting and auditing from Tecnológico de Monterrey and went on to earn an MBA from Texas A&M University. He founded Sun Holdings INC. in 1997. He began his journey in the franchise world with a single store and an ambitious dream.
Today Sun Holdings has more than 1,200 locations employing more than 20,000 people and generating revenues of more than $1 billion a year. Standout stores within the organization include Taco Bueno, Burger King, Popeyes, Arby's, McAlister's, IHOP, Applebee's, Papa Johns, Cici's, Golden Corral, GNC, T-Mobile and several airport restaurant outlets.
His impressive acquisitions have positioned Perales as the second largest franchise group in the United States according to Mega 99, and he is among the 101 most influential Latinos in the United States.
Perales is known in the industry as "The Rock Star" in franchising, a commitment he has carried to the fullest throughout his career, thanks to his duty to the Latin American community and new entrepreneurs making their way in the world's largest market.
This organization demonstrates how a businesswoman was able to identify a problem in the Hispanic American community in the United States and then turn it into a business opportunity.
That is the story of Martha De La Torre, Ecuadorian businesswoman and co-founder of El Clasificado, a publication that appears in print and online in both Spanish and English in the United States. Aimed at Latin Americans looking to hire services or offer their services throughout the U.S., ranging from plumbing and air conditioning, buying and selling second hand, accident attorneys and legal services, automotive service, parties, quinceañeras, weddings, etc.
"I was a CPA at Ernst & Young. Then I went to work at La Opinión, one of the largest Spanish newspapers at the time. I learned about the media business in the Hispanic market. I realized that classifieds were very important. People were looking for jobs and most of them could not afford to buy a newspaper every day. I thought, if there are free classifieds in English in the Pennysaver, why couldn't there be free classifieds in Spanish," De la Torre told Forbes.
This business works, says the entrepreneur, thanks to the print classifieds, "We make money with both the classifieds and the print ads. Our online classified ads are free, but we charge for additional sales, mainly for premium positions and updated business profiles."
Martin Salas, a Peruvian based in Miami, is an organizational expert with more than 20 years of experience successfully leading global human resources and organizational transformation projects in industries, geographies and business cycles. He founded in 2015 Chronsult a consulting firm specialized in providing organizational effectiveness and people solutions for companies and business families undergoing a transformation process.
"We guide business-owning families towards the creation and development of values, principles and protocols shared by the different generations, generating a positive impact on the governance and sustainability of the business," reads the consultancy's web portal.
Salas, says the official portal, is an Industrial Engineer from the Catholic University of Peru, has an MBA from the Booth Graduate School of the University of Chicago, a Master's Degree in Management from the Universidad Pacifico de Lima and has also completed graduate studies in Talent Management at Stanford Graduate School in Palo Alto, California.
These are some of the most prosperous companies of Latino entrepreneurs in the USA, stories that usually are not very visible, but that definitely demonstrate why doing business in the United States is viable for any entrepreneur. We just wrote about 5 Latin American entrepreneurs with successful businesses in the United States: "The American Dream": 5 successful Latino entrepreneurs in the United States.