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Ten Latin American Entrepreneurs to Keep on your Radar

Ten Latin American Entrepreneurs to Keep on your Radar

Posted by Juan Gavasa on February 26, 2018

Latin America is a favorable region for undertaking. Latin Americans keep a long undertaking tradition that is framed in a historic and economic context of crisis and necessities. However, the rates of generation of new enterprises continue being low if compared to other zones. According to the results published in the report ‘Condiciones Sistemáticas para el Emprendimiento Dinámico 2017 en América Latina’ (Systematic Conditions for Dynamic Undertaking in Latin America in 2017) provided by Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento, (General Sarmiento National University) Latin America offers the indicators of 26.72 % of undertakers, versus the 63,87 % reached in North America or the 53.66 % in Europe.

In Latin America, the most noticeable country in terms of undertaking is Chile. It occupies the 33rd position in the world ranking; it leads in the region with a total of 38.70 points, which places Chile slightly below Turkey (39.28) and Spain (40.52). But Chile surpasses other traditional potencies like Russia (36.79) and India (34.92). In South America, there follows Brazil which has a sum of 34.17 points in the 38th position, in the world ranking, just above Argentine which has 33.77 points and surpasses other nations like Viet Nam (33.33 points) and Morocco (33.21). In the top-five of the Latin American Undertaking we can also find Mexico, which has 32.95 points and is 42nd in the ranking, one position ahead of Costa Rica, which counts 32.81 points. From this general vision, we have intended to detail those undertaking experiences that allow illustrating some inspiring stories. We have selected ten undertakers from Latin America who, considering their trajectory and talent, you must keep at sight.

Lucas Recalde (Argentina) 

Photo: Twitter

Lucas Recalde, founded together with other three partners 3C Construcciones, (3C Constructions) which offers residence solutions of great quality, but at a minimal cost. To accomplish this objective, he developed a special industrial process in which practically there is no use of energy, and there is a cero use of water. The houses generated by 3C cost approximately the half of the mean value in similar project markets because they are created from reusable materials. That is the key. In the background there is a great social component in this enterprise because they have provided the access to worthy houses to hundreds of Argentinian families, and moreover they have done it in an ecological and sustainable way, fomenting recycling and reducing the impact on the environment.  

Alejandro Malgor (Argentina) 

Photo: Youtube

Alejandro Malgor, together with a group of friends, has developed the enterprise of Xinca sneakers which are made from recycled tires. This is all about one of the most toxic residuals for the environment and they have been able to give a daily use in a sustainable and disruptive way. These sneakers made in Mendoza and traded along Argentine, have become an authentic selling success because they have known how to combine the value of the design with the growing social care for environment. The impact of Xinca has taken its creators to develop new lines of ecologic accessories, including hard-work shoes, wallets, and caps. Xinca guarantees that the product obtained will contribute to decrease the pollution of the environment.

Melanie Wolman (Argentina) 

Melanie Wolman (right), alongside her partner Nadia Javkin. Photo: Endeavor Argentina

Melanie Wolman founded The Food Market, a marketplace in which you can find food from the country, but made by small or average producers. The business formula is very simple: this is all about offering the possibility to choose the food on- line and receive a healthy request at the house door, with the possibility of completely personalizing the order. The Food Market focuses the attention on the needs of different types of consumers, in such a way that it offers different food options for vegans, vegetarians, lactose intolerants, diabetics, celiac patients, and others. Argentine is a country full of gastronomic options, with small or average producers who allow accessing to very diverse feeding experience, but that has a limited distribution possibility. The on-line platform gets the consumer closer to these products.

Oswaldo Trava (Mexico) 

Photo: ForoTV

Oswaldo Trava, together with another Mexican undertaker InstaFit Workouts, developed an application that allows the users to access to information and tutorials about physical exercises, nutrition, psychology and healthy habits in general. Thanks to the application it is possible to train at any moment and place using routines created by professionals. The application breaks with the need to register in a gymnasium and generates individual experiences without needing a time schedule. The application has become very popular in Mexico and it is used by more than 10.000 subscribed users. It was outstood by Apple as one of the best 10 Latin American applications. Oswaldo stated that initiative once he knew about the great number of obese people in Latin America presented in the reports of Organización Mundial de la Salud (World Health Organization).

Ana Paula Azuela (Mexico) 

Photo: Twitter

The Mexican Paula Azuela has developed Voy al Doc, (Go to the Doctor´s) a kind of health marketplace that allows connecting patients and doctors and facilitates medical appointments in just a few minutes. Azuela is co-director in charge of Strategy. She has accumulated ten years of experience at The Boston Consulting Group and she has a MBA in Stanford. Her undertaking started from the need to facilitate patients the contact with adequate professionals. It has indirectly generated a kind of competition among professionals and clinics because it gives doctors from private clinics the chance to access to the patients´ demands. “Voy al Doc” also allows a patient to make an informed decision about the doctor who best adjusts to one´s needs and book appointments right away, either on the Internet or telephone or the app. For the doctors, it is a mechanism that helps them to widespread their private practice making use of the new means, apart from being a management tool of their office.

Óscar Muñoz (Chile) 

Photo: LinkedIn

Óscar Muñoz Cofré is the founder of the Enterprise Green Glass, which sells 10.000 glasses a month made from recycle bottles. This is all about a kind of undertaking that tries to contribute with sustainable solutions to the environmental problems by recycling bottles. Green Glass is supported on three main pillars: to show that crystal is not garbage, recognize and value the work of recyclers and to teach the society how to recycle. The company success has been so great that at present it exports its glasses to more than ten countries and it receives important invitations to share the experiences in Chile as well as abroad. Apart from being an enterprise with commitment with the environment, it has also facilitated the work integration of many people by means of picking and recycling bottles.

Alejandra Mustakis (Chile) 

Photo: Icare TV

She is the first woman in charge of Asociación de Emprendedores de Chile (Chilean Undertakers´ Association) and she was one of the first ones in getting into a world traditionally driven by men. Responsible of several enterprises, Mustakis has been given the Prize "Jóvenes con Éxito" (Successful Youngsters) of El Financiero. In 2008, 2009, 2013 and 2015 she was recognized among the “100 women leaders” by El Mercurio. This industrial designer and Chilean undertaker, partner and founder of several companies like: Medular, Kauel, Santiago Makerspace and iF, now focuses her efforts in this last project created as a collaborative space where projects, ideas and experiences are shared. iF is an inclusive and collaborative ecosystem formed by organizations providing undertaking and innovation in the country, universities, private enterprises, undertakers, and investors. iF puts together research, labs, incubators, business accelerators, workshops, talks, and events.

Felipe Tascón (Colombia) 

Photo: Emprendedores en crecimiento

Felipe Tascon created, together with other partners, Mesfix, a fintech undertaking that connects enterprises that have liquidity problems with a community of people interested in investments: the businessperson gets the necessary resources to buy raw material to sell to other clients, and the investors get interesting amounts of money in a short time. Also, considering that the investment in each of the bills can be done in small quantities, each investor can segment the investment in multiple bills, diversifying the risk. The creation of Mesfix came up from her own personal experience, when noticing that many small businesses had difficulties in their daily functioning to have access to liquidity with which to pay punctual payments.

Victoria Alonsopérez (Uruguay) 

Photo: MarcaPaisUruguay

Victoria Alonsopérez is an electric engineer, undertaker and innovator. She is the creator of Chipsafer, a platform that allows monitoring and locating cattle by GPS or satellite and detecting anomalies in their behavior in a remote and autonomous way. Also it prevents the scattering of sicknesses. Chipsafer was the winner in 2012 of the competition for Innovative Youngsters of the Telecommunication International Union. The innovation has won several prizes at international level. At present it is used by producers in Brazil and it is being tested in Africa, where it can be used to trace and to protect wild fauna. “With Chipsafer, one can know all the time where the animals are and to have a historical trace of the places visited” Alonsopérez said. The possibilities opened for the life quality of livestock farmers and efficacies of their work allow predicting a great future for Alonsopérez´s undertaking.

Pablo Sandoval (Uruguay) 

Pablo Sandoval, right side. Photo: Twitter

Pablo Sandoval is a SIG analyst and UAV pilot and co-founder of 21SUR Aerospace, an enterprise that provides services of tele-detection to a great scale through aerial systems with drones which go farther than the pilot´s line of vision. It uses UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) technology to map and monitor through remote sensors. Its main objective is cartography, geo reference and identifying different management zones within the area of agriculture and, at the same time, they have the compromise to contribute to the appropriate use of natural resources, the care for environment and the promotion of good agricultural practices. The enterprise works with apparatus not piloted like drones or fixed wing airplanes with an automatic pilot that makes it go to a 50 kms distance. It has multiple uses, but in Uruguay they are focused in the forest and agricultural area. The 21SUR technology allows flying for 8 hours and can cover an area of 100 kms around and permits to map a large extension in a short time.

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