Business as Usual: Challenges to Entrepreneurship in Mexico

This paper was written by 2015-16 V&C Young Scholar Award recipient Mckayla Henderson, a '16 graduate of Biola University.

In 2011, Mexico ranked as the hardest working industrialized country in the world; its workers averaged 45 hours per week, an additional 519 hours annually more than the typical American worker. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) conducted in 2014, 19 percent of the Mexican population is actively involved in entrepreneurial endeavors, placing it above the average for Latin American countries. Mexico is consistently noted in the minds of global investors, as it is a country rich in natural resources and is in close proximity to the US market. Additionally, its government has publically made strides toward market-opening reforms, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

With the country’s eager population and governmental strides, why is it that these entrepreneurial initiatives and endeavors have not expanded more? Ultimately, though statistics may show that entrepreneurship abounds in Mexico, what they do not portray is that the vast majority of these enterprises are concentrated among low-risk, low-value added endeavors that require minimum investments of capital. Additionally, studies many times leave out the fact that most attempts to open a business are met with stringent and expensive legal requirements that often leave the entrepreneur operating small, under-the-table businesses. This paper takes a comprehensive look at the complexity of Mexican entrepreneurship, both through research and field study to see the stories behind the statistics. Ultimately, this project seeks to understand why Mexico’s seemingly strong entrepreneurial endeavors has not significantly aided its population and economic well-being through studying the nation’s economic and government systems as well as its cultural tendencies. This paper reviews the obstacles facing entrepreneurship in Mexico for business people of all economic levels, and ultimately concludes that in order to better foster an entrepreneurial environment, the country needs to understand key economic, socio-cultural, and political factors pertaining to business ownership.

Read the full paper at this link: business-as-usual-challenges-to-entrepreneurship-in-mexico-final

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