La Nación, one of Argentina’s leading newspapers, just published an editorial on the role of Endeavor Argentina and its selected High-Impact Entrepreneurs in fostering an entrepreneurial culture. Click here to read the original article (en español).
An English translation appears below:
The Culture of Entrepreneurship
La Nación, March 5, 2011
We have enthusiastically highlighted the activity of Argentine entrepreneurs and the organizations that support their work more than once in this newspaper. Neither the entrepreneurs nor those who support them get the recognition they deserve. Society ignores the invaluable contribution of those who are building an “entrepreneurial culture” in this country.
Entrepreneurship is a social phenomenon that continues to grow in Argentina. Endeavor has selected 98 Argentine entrepreneurs whose work has created over 45,000 jobs directly and indirectly. Last year, the organization attracted over 100,000 people to mass events. It has worked to build entrepreneurial ecosystems in six provinces. It is evident once again that all of the people inspired by Endeavor are what the country needs to grow and develop sustainably.
After twelve years of focusing on entrepreneurs, Endeavor has gained invaluable insights. The Endeavor Entrepreneurs have a strong sense of what still needs to be done if our country wishes to create more positive examples: We must improve the social perception of the role of entrepreneurship; We must improve access to capital, information and networks of high-impact entrepreneurs; We must spell out the role of the public and private sectors in supporting entrepreneurship. And we must make this a national priority.
The balance for Argentina has many positives. Argentina is among the 20 most entrepreneurial countries in the world. One in seven Argentines is involved in some type of entrepreneurial activity. And six out of ten young people say they would prefer to start their own business rather than work for someone else.
However, there are also less encouraging signs. Many new ventures are neither sustainable nor scalable businesses. Only a small number focus on developing clients abroad. And the general economic context is not favorable: Short-term economic thinking, continually changing and unfriendly legislation, insufficient government programs and weak protections for intellectual property.
The world is changing too fast for us to continue ignoring the huge potential of Argentine entrepreneurs, who are building the companies today that will make for a better country tomorrow. The social, human, intellectual and cultural capital of Argentina is huge as entities such as Endeavor prove each day. The private sector is making great strides, but the public sector needs to build bridges and essential networks so that this [entrepreneurial] culture begins to assert its positive presence in every corner of our community.