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by José R. Mas, CEO, MasTec
The introduction of smartphones like the iPhone and Android operated mobile phones has created a new avenue for businesses to effectively reach consumers. The growth in applications (better known as “apps”) is skyrocketing and enabling businesses to cater their marketing efforts to mobile broadband users – a growing market with a high concentration of minority users.
According to a December 2010 survey conducted by Nielson, 31 percent of mobile phone users in the U.S. own smartphones. Among these users, 45 percent of Hispanics, 45 percent of Asians/Pacific Islanders and 33 percent of African Americans owned smartphones, compared to just 27 percent of White mobile phone users. The survey also shows that minorities are leading the charge in increased mobile broadband adoption rates with these groups opting for smartphones at higher rates than White users. Read the rest of this entry »
as posted by LatinoInternetJustice:
by Jorge Bauermeister
As reported by TRDaily, FCC Chairman Genachowski addressed one specific issue as “particular concern” for minorities during the Minority Media and Telecom Council’s Broadband and Social Justice Policy Summit – that issue being spectrum. Having also listened to the Chairman’s remarks at MMTC – I believe that this is certainly a worthwhile issue to highlight.
Here are the points outlined by TRDaily that I agree are important – and of which the Chairman honed in on during his speech:
- The FCC is committed to making more spectrum available for wireless broadband services, calling the issue “a particular concern for minority communities” because wireless devices “have become the primary means for accessing the Internet” for many African Americans and Latinos.
- According to Chairman Genachowski, broadband Internet access is “no longer a luxury” but is instead “a necessity for full participation in our 21st century economy.”
I am hopeful that the Commission will take greater care and time to assess important issues like spectrum since it is this very issue that serves as a building block for expanding and growing America’s wireless infrastructure and connecting minority users to this life altering service. For Hispanics, whose use of mobile broadband devices are often times the primary means for accessing the Internet – the spectrum issue is that much more important since it is a critical component for enabling providers to deliver reliable and quality services to allconsumers. Talks on this issue are now beginning to heat up in Washington, DC – only time will tell what side of the aisle the FCC will land on.
While so many in Congress and the White House seem entirely concerned about providing large loans to large, existing businesses for their development and expansion needs, we too often forget about businesses that historically produce the greatest number of jobs in the shortest amount of time: small businesses.
The following article discusses the Micro Loan program of the SBA. Keep in mind also, that, after a recent partnership with Accion, The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce is now one of these lenders and can help small (to VERY small) businesses to obtain one of these loans. Just give us a call . . .
posted at ChamberofCommerce.com:
What You Need to Know About Micro Loans
The most tangible example of the micro loan exists in the United States, but did not originate in America. Originally conceived as a way to combat poverty, economist Muhammad Yunus received the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for originally devising the program to benefit the Bangladesh poor.
Now the concept is used widely by the Small Business Administration to benefit small businesses and entrepreneurs in the purchase of improvements, inventory and equipment. These loans also provide working capital to launch small businesses. Read the rest of this entry »
by Marshall Kirby, Public Policy Analyst
For the first time since 2008, Puerto Rico will begin a general obligation bond sale. The exact figures are not yet disclosed, but the President of the Government Development Bank, Carlos Garcia, has announced that the sale of bonds will be to finance infrastructure and significant public projects. He estimates that there will up to $2.1 billion in other bond sales this year (Plans General-Obligation Sale). Portions of the bond sale will include financing projects for capital improvements in the electrical and natural gas sectors (the other portion of the project’s financing will be discussed later).
This is a significant step for the Commonwealth, as it could mark a clear financial and credit turn around from impending disaster. The island currently has a bond rating which is lower than any state in the US (Plans General-Obligation Sale). For years, the island has been mired in financial and credit issues which have led to trouble financing needed projects/programs and meeting its continuing expenditures. Read the rest of this entry »
Broadband is a medium that business owners are using to enhance productivity, expand markets, and attract new customers. This tool is of particular value to Hispanics, who are increasingly using it to launch small businesses and pursue other economic activities. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, minority-owned firms are growing four times faster than all U.S. firms and accounted for over half of the two million businesses started in the U.S. in the past decade. These trends are incredible and a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit inherent in all Hispanics. Equally as important, these new ventures are critical sources of new jobs. Small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all employers in the United States, employing half of the American labor force, and have produced between 60 and 80 percent of net new jobs in the economy over the past decade. Read the rest of this entry »
By: Marshall Kirby, Public Policy Analyst
Opti Manufacturing, based in Luquillo, Puerto Rico, won third place in the Latin American regions Entrepreneurial Spirit Award sponsored by UPS. The contest was an initiative designed to recognize small and medium size enterprises (SME’s or PYME’s in Spanish) for innovation and success. Opti Manufacturing received $10,000 from UPS and supplies from Hewlett-Packard. More than 800 businesses entered the contest representing virtually every sector of industries. Read the rest of this entry »
By Marshall Kirby, Public Policy Analyst
November 16, 2010
Several weeks ago a leading group in New York City (Community Service Society of New York) focusing on alleviating poverty published some startling findings for all stakeholders in the city, and especially the Latino and Puerto Rican community. The report was picked up by New York Times columnist Sam Dolnick and can be viewed here.
To sum up their findings, Puerto Rican youth living in the city are significantly more economically disadvantaged than Dominicans, Mexicans, and other minority groups. How are they disadvantaged? Young Puerto Rican men aged 16-24 are two times more likely to be out of school and out of the labor force as similar aged NYC Mexican men, and Puerto Rican women are also two times as likely to be out of school and the labor force as similar Dominican women. Even more troubling, a higher percentage of Puerto Rican families are living below the poverty line than are other Latino groups in NYC. It seems that with these statistics comes a perfect storm of problems for the Puerto Rican community – impoverished families along with undereducated and underemployed youth in the workforce. Read the rest of this entry »
Hispanic Business Owners, FSHCC (Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce) Member Employees and Family Members May Apply
Miami —A savings of $20,000 can go a long way in helping a family make ends meet. That kind of savings is now available to Latinos across the entire State of Florida, who are accepted into Florida International University’s Corporate Master of Business Administration program. Effective immediately, the University is offering qualifying FSHCC Members and Business Affiliates, as well as their direct family members, a $20,000 scholarship to pursue an accredited degree online from FIU’s Chapman Graduate School of Business-ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the nation’s top international business schools.
The $20,000 scholarship reduces the cost of the degree program to the student by almost half. FIU is offering the scholarship to our nation’s Hispanic Business professionals to give them an opportunity to seek an affordable and accessible high quality MBA, which in turn will help them as they pursue their career goals. By completing the 18-month online program, Read the rest of this entry »
Recently, we discussed the Census data that suggests Hispanic enterprises are growing more rapidly than non-minority businesses. Although we laud the fact that the number of Hispanic and other minority-owned businesses have increased, a closer look at the Census numbers might reveal a lesser achievement.
As the author of the following article states in his conclusion:
When reports like this one are released, how the results are framed affects the response people have to them. By presenting the results as indicating that Black and women-owned businesses grew faster than White and men-owned ones, the Census Bureau gave the impression that these businesses are doing well and [there are] no problems that require policy makers’ attention.
However, although the numbers on the face might reveal the opposite, the truth is minority-owned businesses need even more attention in order to ensure their success (a goal of The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce).
Tomorrow at 1pm, The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce will be attending a press conference commending the release of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators’ whitepaper entitled:
Broadband Opportunities and the Hispanic Community: Solutions for Expanding Broadband Access
As described by the Immigrants in USA Blog:
The policy paper is a product of NHCSL’s Broadband En Acción taskforce, which is composed of Hispanic State Legislators from across the country. The paper offers a proposed broadband regulatory framework and calls for policies that promote investment, access and digital training among the Latino community who, despite being large users of mobile technology, continue to lag behind other Americans in adopting wireline broadband and in building digital literacy skills.
In the coming days we will analyze their assessment and continue our conversation on Broadband’s potential impact for Puerto Rico and the American Entrepreneur.