Last week, I attended the 15th annual Hispanic Market Advantage Conference (HMAC).

English to Spanish Raleigh at HMAC 2015 English to Spanish Raleigh at HMAC 2015

Some of the nation’s top businesses were part of this event and prominent Latinos from across the Triangle were in attendance, like Renee Chou (News Anchor, WRAL), Jose Lopez (Chief of Police, City of Durham), and keynote speaker Eligio Peña (Owner, Compare Foods).

One of the most interesting sessions at this year’s HMAC event was given by Astrid Chirinos.

Astrid Chirinos speaking at 2015 Hispanic Market Advantage Conference
Astrid Chirinos (Chief Development Executive, Latin American Development Corporation) at 2015 HMAC.

Three takeaways from Astrid Chirinos’ presentation on “Hispanic Business & Entrepreneurs Drive Growth in the New Economy”:

1. North Carolina has 858,000 Latino residents, who make an economic impact of $11.1 billion!

2. In the Southeast, North Carolina and Georgia have the highest Latino population, well over the 850,000 mark. The next closest is Tennessee at 296,000.

3. Latinos in NC have an estimated buying power of $9.5 billion. (Why is your organization still not targeting this audience?)

Facts on NC Hispanics - From HMAC 2015
Slide from “Hispanic Business & Entrepreneurs Drive Growth in the New Economy” by Astrid Chirinos

The session also made clear that Latinos aren’t just on the “C” side of B2C – they’re also rapidly rising in the business world, too. “The two fastest growing segments of US businesses are Latino and Women owned,” Chirinos explained.

HMAC’s mission involves increasing diversity, initiating business opportunities, and invoking growth. This year’s event lived up to that statement – I met with many great Latino individuals and businessmen and women, and learned valuable things about North Carolina, Latinos, and the market. I look forward to the 16th annual HMAC next year!

Elsa Jimenez is a native Spanish speaker who was born and raised in a Hispanic country. She is an accomplished lawyer and translator who has been living and working in the U.S. for many years and is also a member of the American Translators Association.

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