There are many things entrepreneurs can do in Latin America to succeed in business, from seeking sound advice to incorporating new technology. Randall Castillo Ortega is a successful businessman and entrepreneur in Costa Rica. He shares the key keys to success she has learned along the way.
Many Latin American countries experienced difficult economic times in the middle and late 20th centuries, but have been experiencing growth recently. While higher wages have resulted in better wages for workers, they are still significantly less than wages in the USA. The number of people living below the poverty line (less than US$4 per day) has declined over the past decade, thanks to greater investment in the industrial sectors in which many people work.
A mentor or coach who is strong and knowledgeable can be a businessperson’s greatest weapon. Coaching is the best way to start and grow a business. As the coach introduces entrepreneurs to beneficial, new contacts, he or she can also help them lead and establish credibility.
Coaches can help business visionaries start their first venture by helping them to overcome obstacles that may seem unfavorable. Castillo explains, “A coach can help you decide what to do. A connector is someone who believes you have the potential and will help you connect with those who can best benefit you. It can open doors that you might not have expected. This is particularly important in business, where women entrepreneurs historically have less access to solid systems.”
Entrepreneurs may benefit from targeted support through accelerators and educational programs. These programs can be invaluable in helping entrepreneurs learn the basics of raising capital, creating strategies, and compensation models, as they also help them scale their businesses. These programs can help to expand business networks and create new contacts that will support the company’s growth. Accelerators can provide guidance and funding on a global scale that would not be possible otherwise.
Access to capital is crucial for entrepreneur success. Adds Castillo, “Without capital, you can’t prepare to stun all the world. You can’t develop.” A study by the Multilateral Investment Fund showed that 70% of small and medium-sized business owners in Latin America and the Caribbean are not receiving credit services.
Social media is one of the best ways to spread the word about a startup. Castillo asserts, “Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Instagram are powerful marketing tools. Entrepreneurs need to be more assertive and show their progress in order to grow the business. For example, a professional LinkedIn profile can tell a lot about you as a person and how committed you are to your business. You have to be active and aggressive in promoting the businesses and yourself.” While social media circles are dominated by friends and family, it is important to have separate professional and personal profiles.
A paradigm shift is underway that sees more Latin American entrepreneurs launch their own ventures and perform better. This trend is expected to continue and eventually level the playing field. However, those who truly desire to succeed will only follow the guidance of experts who have already made it. The availability of talented people and higher smartphone penetration are creating opportunities for tech-driven business ideas. Latin America’s startups are well-equipped with the technology and the support they need to achieve their goals.
It’s not just for the wealthy anymore to start a business that is successful. This is especially true in Latin America. Because of their expanding economies and favorable business environments, entrepreneurship is on the rise across all Latin American countries. This trend is unlikely to change anytime soon.