The Latina Women & The Informal Microenterprise

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Olmeda, Ivette
Latina Women and Informal Microenterprise; International and Area Studies; Macroeconomics; Other Social and Behavioral Sciences; Urban Studies and Planning
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ABSTRACTTHE LATINA WOMEN & THE INFORMAL MICROENTERPRISEIvette Olmeda The informal economy refers to economic transactions that are not generally recorded through formal business compliance systems such as licensing, taxes, permitting and others. Informal economic activities are primarily completed through cash transactions. This research explores the perceptions, intentions, and motivations of Latina women to operate informal microenterprises in an open market. The research consisted of interviews with five Latina women from Worcester, Massachusetts to gather information and ultimately understand why they are not entering formal entrepreneurship systems. The interviews supported existing research in which women state that they operate these microenterprises to bring in additional sources of income for their homes. A second aspect of the research demonstrates that these women also choose to run these microenterprises due to barriers to entering the workforce such as language, childcare, formal education, and credentials. The research summarizes and reflects on these women’s cases, experiences, and perceptions about formalizing their microenterprises. The analysis of the data and interviews with participants and existing resources lead to recommendations that clearly outline the gaps in services to meet the needs of Latina women who currently operate informal microenterprises.