Costa Rica Says 'Quien Dijo Miedo'
Brenden Chaney @brendenchaney
Nov 11, 2012
With this year’s slogan Quien dijo miedo (Who is afraid?) Costa Rica is ready for Global Entrepreneurship Week. The phrase is one of the most commonly used phrases by Costa Rican entrepreneurs when they start their business; facing challenges or simply to express their courage.
GEW in Costa Rica is in its second year and is already seeing huge growth. With 70 activities and more than 10,000 estimated participants, it will more than double last year’s figures. This year’s GEW in Costa Rica has set up to put a spotlight on the successful Costa Rican entrepreneurs. They not only want to showcase the entrepreneurs to the average citizen but they also want to highlight the avenues.
This year GEW will have a number of large scale activities starting with the launch event for GEW with Costa Rican president Laura Chinchilla as a keynote speaker. Other activities include a Startup Weekend and the finals of the Business Plan Competition Yo Emprendedor, among others. Last year’s Yo Emprendedor winner will be participating in the GEW Featured Event, the Cleantech Open 2012. For this year’s GEW all of Costa Rica will celebrate with activities in rural communities, focusing in women entrepreneurs, public and private schools, universities, companies and the government.
There are a few challenges that Costa Rica faces in order to have a healthy, vibrant and efficient entrepreneurial ecosystem. There needs to be work done to get Costa Ricans to accept failure as a learning mechanism and entrepreneurship as a way of life. We need to develop funding resources to help startups get there seed capital more easily. Costa Rica also needs to improve the infrastructure and red tape bureaucracy that is slowing down entrepreneurial growth. Finally they require stronger partnerships between the private sector, government and universities to foster entrepreneurship.
While there is much to be done, Global Entrepreneurship Week 2012 is a positive affirmation that progress is occuring and that the union and the willingness between all the key players exists to improve all these aspects. All the ecosystem stakeholders are involved in the GEW this year: the Ministry of Industry and Economy, all major universities, the Association of Businessman for Development, Yo Emprendedor and many others.
Global Entrepreneurship Week is a celebration and a demonstration that Costa Rica is on the right track and thanks to GEW each day more and more Costa Ricans are going to say “¿Quien dijo miedo?”