Latin America catches entrepreneurship fever – BBC News

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25650181

By Gideon Long, BBC, Santiago

People listening to entrepreneurs pitching ideas at LAB 4+ summit
Attendees at the recent LAB 4+ summit of entrepreneurs in Santiago, Chile
 
For generations, the countries of Latin America have relied on the export of raw materials for their wealth.

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.

Latin Americans just don’t invent much. The region is home to 8% of the global population and yet, in 2010, just 2.6% of the world’s applications for patent registration were filed from here.

Changing culture

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:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25650181

 


One Comment on “Latin America catches entrepreneurship fever – BBC News”

  1. […] Latin America catches entrepreneurship fever – BBC News | the … http://innovationrainforest.com/http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25650181By Gideon Long, BBC, SantiagoAttendees at the recent LAB 4+ summit of entrepreneurs in Santiago, Chile For generations, the countries of Latin America have relied on the … […]


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