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Who is the next game-changer?

A recent poll finds more minorities are interested in starting their own businesses

Posted: January 27, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: January 27, 2014 2:00 a.m.

Homayoun Daryani, owner of the Persia Lounge in Newhall, poses for a portrait in his business on Thursday. Signal photo by Charlie Kaijo.


Who will be the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs? If you judge by who has the most interest in starting a new business, a new Gallup poll suggests it may likely be a minority.

“About half of all racial and ethnic minority students (50 percent) say they plan to start their own business, compared with 37 percent of white students,” says the Gallup-Hope Index.

Just a few years ago in 2011, the share of non-whites who said “I plan to start my own business” was 54 percent and whites was 39 percent.

Bill Miranda, chief executive officer of the Santa Clarita Valley Latino Chamber of Commerce, says he thinks he knows one reason why entrepreneurship resonates with minorities.

“Part of the reason is because it’s an obstacle in climbing the corporate ladder. It’s not as easy to climb the corporate ladder if you have an accent, if you don’t have the corporate look,” he said during a recent interview.

“For Latinos to be truly successful” in the corporate world, he said, “we have to get into the board of directors of corporations, and then we have to start hiring people like us.”

Meantime, running one’s own business will likely continue to appeal to minorities, he said.

Homayoun Daryani, who owns Persia Restaurant in Saugus and recently opened Persia Lounge in Newhall, says ownership of one’s own business is a drive and requires 24/7 dedication.

“Back home I always had my own business,” he said during a recent Santa Clarita Chamber of Commerce mixer at Persia Lounge. “And coming here (to the United States), I worked for my brother in New York — still, I couldn’t do it. I had to have my own business.”

“We started a small deli market and opened our restaurant, and now we opened our second location,” said Daryani, whose enterprise was recently named Medium Business of the Year for 2013 by the Chamber.

Both Daryani and Miranda said young people considering entrepreneurship had better be ready for hard work and delayed rewards.

“The advice I would give to a young entrepreneur is, No. 1, no one understand that owning a business is like having a child,” Miranda said.

“You are responsible for that business, that is your business, you’ve got to feed it, change it, nurture it, take care of it. If you don’t, you’re going to lose your child,” He said.

“No. 2, there will be days when you will say, ‘This isn’t going to work. It’s just not going to work. It’s too hard.’
“The successful get past that. They change ‘can’ts’ to ‘cans.’ They change ‘won’t’ to ‘will.’ The successful people ask for help. They put their egos aside.”

Daryani agreed.

“If you’re not there for a smallbusiness, your business will be done,” he said. He also recommended reaching out to the community.

“The only thing I can say, especially with small business, is getting involved with the community,” Daryani said. “That’s what I did with the Chamber.”

“It doesn’t matter how small you are — you can always be a part of something.”

Gallup’s report found that less than half of students are learning about how to start a business.

“It is crucial to identify these students early and cultivate their entrepreneurial energy if Americans expect to maintain the global advantage in entrepreneurship the U.S. has enjoyed,” the report says.

“Creating opportunities for young minority entrepreneurs may provide a much-needed foundation for helping such businesses flourish.”

Deseret News Service contributed to this story.


ricketzz: Posted: January 27, 2014 6:32 a.m.

Career Mobility, the ability to advance by hard work and cunning that was once the hallmark of the American dream, has never been lower than it is right now. In fact, Career Mobility in the USA is the lowest among all advanced countries.

"Look out kid, they keep it all hid." -Bob Dylan

scvforall: Posted: January 27, 2014 8:04 a.m.

To keep Santa Clarita small business thriving we all need to commit to shopping local and whenever possible buy from a small business, not a big box.

25 Score, our new incubator, etc. all help local business to thrive.

cj64: Posted: January 27, 2014 8:56 a.m.

The recent billboard proposal has an interesting side effect on putting local companies out of business.

’Those billboards represent 70 percent of Edwards’ revenue they will not be able to recover,’’ said Ed Bernstein, owner of 25 Score.

Bernstein said the deal sets a dangerous precedent for the actions of local government, when a city can pass an ordinance that drives a company out of business and then proceeds to get in on the business of that particular fallen private entity.

‘’It would be like if the city said they didn’t like Subway® Sandwiches, so they canceled all leases from Subway®, and then proceeded to replace Subway® with a deli sponsored by city hall,’’ Bernstein said.

Indy: Posted: January 27, 2014 4:10 p.m.

The media like to hype up the ‘small business’ dream from the republican party as if this will solve our unemployment problem.

The reality of being a ‘Steve Jobs’ or ‘Bill Gates’ is millions to 1.

And why it’s great to help young people learn about being an entrepreneur, the reality is that 95% of small businesses fail by their third year.

Why so horrific an outcome?

Part of it’s the inability to gain ‘market share’ to cover expenses.

Along the same lines, if the number of ‘like kind’ competitors is already great, their combined experience makes it difficult to gain that market share as well.

Another issue is the ‘entrance cost’ for a given market. Even if you can afford same, the reality again, is very slight that you’ll still be there in 3 years.

So while it’s wonderful to promote small business as a campaign slogan, it’s still a very difficult process including the ‘hard work’ part of it. I would temper those considering such a move including really doing their homework on a business plan including why existing customers would want to deal with ‘new’ business versus a business they’ve been using for an extended period of time.

ricketzz: Posted: January 28, 2014 6:49 a.m.

It is virtually impossible to crack an established industry as the Corporation uses duopoly to create illusion of choice; while simultaneously the duopoly works together to bar any new entrants.

As the Millennials are so fond of noting: This game is rigged.

chico: Posted: January 28, 2014 8:33 a.m.

I say we give every millennial a shiny new corporation.

It might be worth the investment.

Carlitos: Posted: January 29, 2014 5:01 a.m.

The city sponsored deli's will be called Phony Balonie and feature sliced tofu.

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