Latin America catches entrepreneurship fever – BBC NewsPosted: January 27, 2014
By Gideon Long, BBC, Santiago
From Venezuela’s oil, to copper from Chile, Argentinean soybeans, bananas from Ecuador, Mexican silver, and timber from Brazil – the vast region is blessed with a fabulous array of commodities the world wants and needs.
But Latin America has been less good at exporting ideas. When it comes to entrepreneurship and innovation, the region has a poor record.
While the countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) spend an average of 2.4% of their gross domestic product (GDP) on research and development, in Chile and Mexico – the only two Latin American members of the club – the figure is 0.4%. In other countries of the region it’s even less.
But this is all starting to change.
“Until recently, entrepreneurship in Peru was a question of survival,” says Gary Urteaga, a Peruvian entrepreneur. “People started their own businesses because they couldn’t get a job. They’d sell sandwiches in the streets and wash cars.
“But now, for the first time, people are choosing to be entrepreneurs. Read more here: