Alexander Luzula | Asst. News Editor
The Center for International Business Education and Research hosted a webinar on, May 22 at 11 a.m. titled “Entrepreneurship in Central America,” focusing on sustainability and entrepreneurship in Costa Rica and Guatemala.
The event was part one of an upcoming lecture series focused on international business relations between the United States and Central America.
Moderated by CIBER Program Coordinators Jillian Avendano and Luciana Kube, the event would feature guest speakers Luis Fernando Madrigal and Marco Muralles elaborating on the business prospects in Costa Rica and Guatemala, respectively.
Madrigal, professor at Fundepos-Alma Mater University in Costa Rica and a delegate from the Costa Rica Chamber of Commerce USA, opened the event’s proceedings by outlining Costa Rican business prospects and relations with the United States, as well as the current outlook for businesses and the importance of environmental sustainability.
A small but stable country dependent primarily on agriculture and natural tourism, Madrigal emphasized the importance of international investment and diplomatic relations in Costa Rica, claiming that 67% of new jobs created are meant to serve international markets.
Madrigal also highlighted the importance of environmental sustainability in regards to establishing and maintaining independent businesses, due to Costa Rica’s dependence on the environment.
“Costa Rica has beautiful and easy forms to business, and…for many years, Costa Rica has maintained a strong position in becoming a natural laboratory for human-centric solutions, mainly focusing on a vision to create a platform for human talent,” said Madrigal.
“Prosperity through a multi-sector collaborative ecosystem and a deep commitment to the planet’s biodiversity, for which we have won international awards,” said Madrigal, emphasizing these as important aspects in particular.
Muralles, a commercial attache for Guatemala and the director of international business development for the Latin Chamber of Commerce for the United States followed afterward, discussing the state of entrepreneurship in Guatemala.
Muralles noted that in recent years, the demographics of entrepreneurs had begun to change from just young men following family footsteps, with more women of all ages stepping in to start their own businesses.
“Guatemala has great incentives to open up companies that motivate any entrepreneur to open their own company,” said Muralles.
Muralles added that the country’s resilient economy is an incentive, noting that four out of 10 independent businesses opened in Guatemala were opened with less than $650 in investment.
The presentations were followed by a question and answer period, where audience members asked for the speakers’ perspectives on expanding entrepreneurship in other regions.
“We have programs for people who don’t know how to start a business, and we have high support. We have the opportunity to make the process more supportive,” said Madrigal.
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