According to the 2010 Census, of the 308.7 million people in the United States, 16% are of Hispanic or Latino origin. Hispanics accounted for 29% of the population in the West. Hispanic spending power was estimated at $1.2 trillion last year by HispanTelligence, and by the end of this year, Hispanic spending power is expected to be more than 15% of total spending for the entire U.S. -- not including undocumented immigrants, according to the International Franchise Association. Yet as of 2007 just 5.2% of all U.S. franchises were owned by Hispanic franchisees, the IFA said in December, citing the U.S. Census. Today that could be up to 10%, says Jose Torres, principal partner and founder of BuscaTuFranquicia.com and its English counterpart, Franchise4Hispanics.com, virtual marketplaces that connect Hispanic franchisees and franchisors. "The interest from the franchisee side has moved up significantly," says Torres, the author of the IFA article. There is "much more interest, much more requests for information, much more calls from those who want to find about more about their franchise opportunities." More Hispanic-run franchises means more access to the Hispanic community. With so much money at stake and so much interest, why aren't there more Hispanic franchisees? "Despite all these great demographics, there is still a tremendous lack of awareness and commitment to go after this market
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