A recent Kauffman study found that people who come to the United States are almost twice as likely to be entrepreneurs versus native-born Americans. And while their failure rate is also higher, there are some very notable success stories. Here are some of the biggest.
Latino-owned companies in the U.S. – currently estimated at 4.2 million, according to the U.S. Latino Chamber of Commerce – contribute over $668 billion to the American economy every year.
In fact, the five-year average growth rate in the number of Latino firms has been at double or triple that of the national average for the past 15 years, according to the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative (SLEI), which surveyed nearly 5,000 Latino business owners.
SLEI also found that 75% of Latino-owned firms are located in non-Latino neighborhoods and serve mostly non-Latino customers.
Average annual revenue of Latino-owned business increased from $258,702 in 2016-17 to $327,189 in 2017-18, an increase of 26.5%, according to a new study of more than 28,000 businesses conducted by Biz2Credit.
Instead of joining the family business, Pérez moved to the United States where he studied at C.W. Post College and later received a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Michigan.
Pérez worked for the city of Miami for three years as an urban planner and development consultant. In 1979, he co-founded The Related Group of Florida with investor and fellow University of Michigan alumni, Steven M. Ross.
Since the beginning, The Related Group has been at the forefront of South Florida’s development, often being the first to enter emerging or undiscovered neighborhoods.
Pérez started by building affordable, multi-family apartments in low-income neighborhoods such as Miami’s Little Havana and Homestead. In the early 1990s, he began developing condominiums, which revitalized the formerly run-down neighborhoods of Miami Beach and West Palm Beach.
The Related Group is now the leading developer of multi-family residences in the United States. Perez is ranked 316th on the Forbes 400 list with a net worth of US $2.7 billion as of October 2018
The firm has built and managed more than 90,000 apartments and condominiums and is the largest Hispanic-owned business in the United States with a development portfolio of projects worth $20 billion, and Forbes estimates his personal net worth at $3.5 billion.’
Pérez shared his real estate expertise in the book Powerhouse Principles: The Ultimate Blueprint for Real Estate Success in an Ever-Changing Market.
An avid art collector, in 2011 he pledged $35 million in cash and artwork over ten years to the Miami Art Museum, which then agreed to rename it the Perez Art Museum of Miami-Dade County.
In 2012, he and his wife signed on to Bill Gates and Warren Buffett’sGiving Pledge, which asks billionaires give at least half of their fortunes to charity.
“I never saw myself as a businessman; it was more about my desire to do things on my own and to create.”
– Jorge Pérez
Other Interesting Facts about Jorge Perez:
- The “Condo King”: Jorge Pérez is often referred to as the “Condo King” due to his significant contributions to the condominium development industry, particularly in Miami.
- Founder of Related Group: Pérez is the founder and chairman of The Related Group, one of the largest real estate development firms in the United States. The company has played a major role in shaping the Miami skyline.
- Art Enthusiast: Pérez is an avid art collector. In fact, he has one of the most extensive collections of Latin American art in the world. He has often spoken about the intersection of art and real estate, viewing them as intertwined elements of culture.
- Cuban Heritage: Born in Argentina in 1949, Pérez is of Cuban descent. He moved to the United States in the 1960s and eventually became a U.S. citizen.
- Education: Pérez holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan. His educational background has influenced his approach to real estate development with a focus on urban planning and design.
- Philanthropy: Beyond his business ventures, Pérez is involved in various philanthropic activities. He has supported causes related to education, healthcare, and the arts. Pérez and his wife have been recognized for their generous contributions to the community.
- Visionary Developer: Pérez is known for his visionary approach to development. He played a crucial role in transforming areas of Miami from neglected neighborhoods to vibrant, thriving communities.
- Book Author: Pérez co-authored a book titled “Powerhouse Principles: The Ultimate Blueprint for Real Estate Success in an Ever-Changing Market,” sharing insights and lessons from his successful career in real estate.
- Honors and Awards: Pérez has received numerous awards and honors for his contributions to the real estate industry, including being inducted into the FIU Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame.
- Impact on Miami: His impact on the Miami real estate market is so significant that Pérez is often credited with helping to transform Miami into a global city with a booming real estate market.