Category Archives: Career Insights
Jaime Sosa is CEO of Prival Bank and graduated from the Global Executive MBA program at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business in 2006. He also serves on Fuqua’s Latin America Regional Advisory Board. Sosa says the first thing anyone trying to do business in Central America needs to understand is that it is a very fragmented region: Six countries, all with different business cultures, drivers and legal framework. He says personal relationships are paramount in the industry and take time and effort to develop.
Sosa shares further insights in this Fuqua Q&A.
Q: What challenges are common across the region?
The current environment for countries that are heavily dependent on commodities is extremely challenging, while others have more favorable economic climates. However, a common theme in a lot of countries in the region is bureaucracy, red tape and corruption. One development that we have seen in the last year is the great effort being made across the region to control and prosecute corruption. This will help the long-term development of the region and the growth of business. but right now one must be very careful to choose the right partners and have the right compliance in place to avoid any contingent liabilities.
Gonzalo Costa has seen the growth of entrepreneurship in Latin America first-hand through more than a decade of working in venture capital and consulting. In 2011, he co-founded NXTP Labs, the most active early-stage investment fund focused on technology startups across Latin America. He is a managing partner based in Buenos Aires.
Gonzalo graduated from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business Daytime MBA program in 2001. He shared entrepreneurial and regional insights in a Fuqua Q&A.
Q) What is some basic advice you give startups in Latin America?
First, focus on solving a real problem or need—the bigger it is, the better. The concept of ‘entrepreneurship’ is very trendy these days, and that is a great thing. I am a firm believer that entrepreneurs are changing the world. However, many first-time entrepreneurs get excited about the buzz in certain markets and lose sight that in order to build a successful startup, addressing an actual need is key.