Latino businesses uplifting entrepreneurs in the Minneapolis community

Latino business ownership is growing rapidly across Minnesota and local owners are using their platform to uplift more entrepreneurs in the community.

Laura Merino-Franco, Latina business owner, showcases her Colombian roots by designing jewelry.

“We create beautiful, intricate jewelry. We specialize in Filigree. It’s an ancient technique,” ​​Merino-Franco, Primitiva Collective founder, said.

Two years ago, she started her own business, Primitiva Jewelry.

She’s the brains behind the design. Then, she sends it back to Colombia and artisans bring it to life.

In May 2022, she took it a step further.

She opened up Primativa Collective, which is an uptown boutique featuring 30 female artisans across Minnesota.

“25% of us are Latinas, many of us are immigrants. So it’s incredible to see how we’re stepping up into our power,” Merino-Franco said.

According to the latest Census Data, in Minnesota, Hispanic-owned businesses increased by 60% between 2012 and 2019.

“I think representation across the board is important. Everybody should feel like Minnesota is for them,” Henry Jimenez, executive director of the Latino Economic Development Center, said. In the Latino Economic Development Center, Jimenez sees the Latino business growth first-hand.

“The Latino population here in Minnesota only continues to grow and so has the appetite of other Minnesotans and having an interest in the Latino culture and Latino food,” he said.

If it’s through food or jewelry, Merino-Franco said showcasing your culture and elevating others along the way makes entrepreneurship worth it.

“I firmly believe in the power of collective work coming together. It’s rowing the boat together. It’s something that has always felt dear to my heart,” Merino-Franco said.

On Saturday, Sept. 24 the “Taco Tour” will be back on Lake Street for the first time in five years from 11 am-4 pm The goal is to drive people to support Latino-owned businesses in the area.

Leave a Comment