The impact of Hispanic businesses in Maryland

09/18/2023| Amanda Winters

The impact of Hispanic businesses in Maryland

09/18/2023 | Amanda Winters

Maryland prides itself on being one of the most diverse states in the country. The numbers don’t lie—we’re #1 for diversity on the East Coast; #1 for gender equality; and #2 for minority entrepreneurs. Not only do these facts help bring incredible cultural experiences to our state, they also bring a booming business community.

According to the latest Census Bureau data, Hispanics make up nearly 12 percent of the state’s population, with an estimated 730,000 residents. And with more than 58,000 Hispanic-owned businesses operating in Maryland, it’s no wonder why Governor Wes Moore promised to bring more power to Latinos  in his administration.

As part of National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 - October 15, 2023, check out these Hispanic & Latino-led businesses in Maryland as well as a variety of resources to help your business succeed.

Local Latino & Hispanic business leaders

Inspirational business leaders can be found in every region of Maryland. Here are some movers and shakers paving the way for the Latino & Hispanic communities.

  • Diversity is key for Gov. Moore’s administration. Dr. Laura Herrera Scott, secretary of the Maryland Department of Health ; Rafael López, secretary of the Maryland Department of Human Services ; and Yolanda Maria Martinez, special secretary of the Governor’s Office of Small, Minority, and Women Business Affairs  were all tapped for leadership positions in the governor’s cabinet this year.
  • As a veteran, business owner, and Latin American, Jennifer N. Rios  brings more than 15 years of experience to MoCo’s Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the National Small Business Association. She also serves as the president and chairwoman of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Prince George’s County formed earlier this year.
  • Cool & Associates  is led by Veronica Cool, who has frequently been named one of the top women to watch and Hispanic leaders in Maryland. Her organization published the first toolkit for Hispanic Heritage Month, guiding others on how to build strong connections with the Latino community.
  • As director of business development at CSSi LifeSciences , Ernesto Chanona works with early-stage biotech companies looking to commercialize medical devices. Ernesto’s experience spans the life sciences industry, having previously worked with the Maryland Department of Commerce's life sciences office and also as a trained cancer immunologist through the National Institutes of Health.
  • After receiving an education in Bogota, Colombia and running an IT firm that worked throughout Latin America, Sandra Carolina Seldes brought more than 20 years of experience to Maryland and began her career as ITnova’s  CEO in Anne Arundel County.
  • As a member of the University System of Maryland Foundation  board, Jose Antonio Tijerino is giving back to the community and his alma mater in Maryland. Jose currently serves as the president and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation , a Washington D.C. nonprofit geared towards education, workforce, social impact, and culture.

Build your business in Maryland

Looking to form a business in Maryland, or already operating your own? Learn about the following resources to help you succeed.

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