Latino Small Businesses and the American Dream: Community Social Work Practice and Economic and Social Development

in Research, SSW News Releases
October 14th, 2011

Latino Small Businesses and the American DreamLatino small businesses provide social, economic, and cultural comfort to their communities. They are also excellent facilitators of community capacity—a major component of effective social work practice. Social work practitioners have a vested interest in seeing such businesses grow, not only among Latinos but all communities of color. Reviewing the latest research on formal and informal economies within urban communities of color, Professor Melvin Delgado lays out the demographic foundations for a richer collaboration between theory and practice in his newest publication, Latino Small Businesses and the American Dream: Community Social Work Practice and Economic and Social Development.


Professor Melvin Delgado

Delgado deploys numerous case studies to cement the link between indigenous small businesses and community well-being. Whether regulated or unregulated, these establishments hire from within and promote immigrant self-employment. Latino small businesses often provide jobs for those whose criminal and mental health backgrounds intimidate conventional businesses. Recently estimated to be the largest group of color running small businesses in the United States, Latino owners top two million, with the number expected to double within the next few years. Joining an understanding of these institutions with the kind of practice that enables their social and economic improvement, Delgado explains how to identify and mobilize the kinds of resources that best spur their development.

Melvin Delgado is professor and chair of the macro-practice specialty at the Boston University School of Social Work. The author of nineteen books, including Social Work Practice with Latinos: A Cultural Assets Paradigm and Social Work Practice with Immigrant and Refugee Youth in the United States, his research focuses on community-capacity enhancement, Latino populations and other marginalized groups.

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