Jennifer Lopez on $14 billion loans to Latino entrepreneurs
Jennifer Lopez gives back to the Latinx community. In June, the 53-year-old star pledged to help disburse $14 billion in loans and six million hours of financial training to 600,000 Latino entrepreneurs by 2030, as part of his new partnership with the nonprofit microfinance organization Grameen America, per an interview with Entrepreneur magazine published on October 4. As she is a Latina entrepreneur herself, it’s a cause close to Lopez’s heart, having previously joined forces with Goldman Sachs in 2021 for an initiative called Limitless Labs aimed at uplifting Latinas in business and providing them with the resources they need to succeed.
“In front of Goldman Sachs, I said, ‘I know you’ve done this for African American women entrepreneurs. And now, what about Latinas? ‘” Lopez told Entrepreneur. She continued: “Over the past 10 years, Latin American businesses have grown by 44%, compared to 4% in other [demographics], and yet we remain about 60% less likely to receive loans from national banks. Overall, women only receive 4% of loans from traditional banks. We get, like, $1 out of every $23. And obviously, for women of color, it’s even lower.” Not to mention the average pay gap, in which Latinas earn just 57% of what their white counterparts do, according to the American Association of Universities. Women.
“I think, honestly, we just haven’t had the opportunities that other people have had in this country,” Lopez said, explaining why she’s so passionate about the project. “But also…I think there’s a bit of the thought that I was talking about earlier – the way I felt when I was riding. It felt like I was just lucky to have everything I had. I think there’s a bit of ‘being grateful’ in our culture. Be grateful for what you have instead of striving for more,” Lopez continued.
Now, she’s on a personal mission to offset these massive disparities and give more Latinas the money, mentorship, and financial literacy they need to thrive. “I think this new generation is, like, Wait a minute . . . I am part of the fabric, the wealth and the growth of this country. I contribute in a really significant way,'” she says.
As Grameen’s national ambassador, Lopez says her primary goal is to create “pathways to employment and leadership opportunities,” per People. “Being Latino in this country has always been a matter of pride for me. I am humbled and beyond grateful to partner with Grameen America,” Lopez added in a statement to the publication. “This partnership will create equality, inclusiveness and opportunity for Latina businesswomen. It will change the fabric of America!”