Economic Mobility Episode 3 (3)

The path to starting your own company varies, with many shared experiences along the way

A conversation with Martha Montoya, founder of Agtools, and David Favela, founder of Border X Brewing

Entrepreneurship is part of the American Dream and it is booming. A record 5.4 million new businesses were started last year, as workers across the country struck out on their own, searching for a different path to a fulfilling career and economic mobility. But that road isn’t always a smooth one for some new business owners who hit roadblocks such as access to financial capital, lack of a strong social network, and other barriers to success.

In this special four-part Work in Progress podcast series – Economic Mobility Through Entrepreneurship – we’ll examine those headwinds and solutions. We’ll hear directly from entrepreneurs, and get advice from leaders in business, education, and government – to learn how starting your own business can be a fulfilling and profitable career choice and a boon to a community.  

This podcast series is made possible through the support of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

According to research by the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative, the odds of Latino-owned businesses getting loans from national banks are 60% lower than all other businesses. In 2020 Latino-owned businesses received less than 2% of the available venture capital funding in the U.S. That’s despite Latino-owned businesses pumping $470 billion into the economy. 

Nevertheless, the number of Latino-owned employer firms has grown 35% over the last decade, compared with 4.5% among white-owned businesses, with job growth outpacing even that. 

McKinsey and Company has new research showing that if Latino businesses’ access to capital was improved – and their representation in growing sectors such as tech increased – they would contribute an additional $2.3 trillion in revenue to the economy and create 750,000 new employer firms, resulting in more than six million jobs.

Martha Montoya is a Latina who comes from an entrepreneurial family, but she didn’t set out to be her own boss. She started her own tech company five years ago – Agtools – after leaving a very successful 25-year career in logistics in the global agriculture industry.

David Favela is a Latino who started his Border X Brewing company after his nephews received a home-brewing kit as a Christmas present. He kept his day job even as he and his family moved his small business from his home to three brick-and-mortar locations.

Montoya and Favela took two very different entrepreneurial paths to create a successful company of their own. They share their journeys with us in this episode, talking about financing and the can-do spirit.

Episode 251: Charting the Latino Founder’s Journey
Host & Executive Producer: Ramona Schindelheim, Editor-in-Chief, WorkingNation
Producer: Larry Buhl
Executive Producers: Joan Lynch and Melissa Panzer
Theme Music: Composed by Lee Rosevere and licensed under CC by 4.0
Download the transcript for this podcast here.
You can check out all the other podcasts at this link: Work in Progress podcasts