After scouring Quora for information on Mexican entrepreneurship (see last week’s post on this topic), I found an interesting interview with Jorge Madrigal. Jorge is the Founder and CEO of Aventura and has been in charge of various startup events in Mexico City. The interviewer is Cate Costa, who is the Founder of Venture Catalyst Consulting, described as “a small consulting firm that specializes in helping startup company founders plan and expand their new businesses.”
Given his background, I expected him to offer a very rosy view of entrepreneurship in Mexico. Instead, his thoughts seemed quite balanced and thoughtful. Here are some of my favorites:
1. What are some of the main problems with the state of Mexican entrepreneurship today?
“the most important thing lacking is a community of entrepreneurs and support for their endeavors. He doesn’t see people sharing and developing a sense of community despite major investment from the government including the creation of clusters, incubators, accelerators, etc.”
2. So why have the government’s efforts fallen short?
“The government is attempting to copy other countries’ models but, “Mexico has Mexican problems [to overcome] – not Chinese problems or U.S. problems – problems that are innate to Mexico. The biggest mistake is trying to do things exactly as they’re done in other countries.”
3. So what is an example of an obstacle specific to Mexico?
“Entrepreneurship is not accepted as a legitimate career choice. In fact, it’s often seen as a euphemism for not having a job. This is partly because there are not enough Mexican entrepreneurs serving as role models to show how you can actually make a great living through entrepreneurship and partly because the Mexican family is more economically dependent on all of its members across multiple generations than in, say, the United States, so the decision to try a startup will likely affect an entire family, not just the individual entrepreneur. Plus, when a young person is still living with his/her parents (which, different from the U.S., is often true until s/he gets married) it can be much tougher to break from this disapproval and give a startup a chance.”