Anjli Raval – FT, 04/08/2012
The word “entrepreneur” – empreendedor in Portuguese – only truly entered everyday language in Brazil a decade ago. A career as “a businessman” once carried negative connotations and it was frequently the occupation of villains in the country’s television dramas.
Traditionally, taking risks was frowned upon in Latin American countries; the stigma of failure was too great. This meant few people – particularly those without a hefty financial cushion – went on to start their own businesses. Today, however, a growing number of people are considering entrepreneurship as a career path.
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“You have to have the capacity to take that risk,” says Fernando Fabre, president of Endeavor Global, the non-profit organisation that is fostering a culture of global entrepreneurship in emerging markets. “It’s a lot easier to take risks in Silicon Valley where you have advisers, talent scouts and venture capitalists. Even if you fail, you will have people to hire you. Not to generalise, but in Latin American countries you were gambling your money, your house, your children’s education.”