Latin America's Entrepreneurial Ecosystem as Explored by BBVA Spark

Latin America's Entrepreneurial Ecosystem as Explored by BBVA Spark

Latin America stands out as a promising stage of opportunities in the global panorama, where creativity and innovation converge to shape a vibrant future. From the emergence of unicorns to the growth of key events, every aspect of this ecosystem reflects the perseverance and ingenuity of a region in constant evolution. Through data, trends, and experiences, we will explore the emerging potential and challenges that define Latin America's business environment in the global innovation scene.

Latin America and the Potential of its Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

From the enormous potential represented by Latin America, with a population of over 660 million inhabitants and a combined GDP of over $6 trillion, to the progressive digitalization that has increased Internet penetration from 43% in 2012 to 78% in 2022, the region positions itself as a breeding ground for innovation and entrepreneurship. In a recent study conducted by BBVA SPARK, regional initiatives such as Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance strengthen connections between countries, while strategic proximity to the United States and Europe offers additional expansion opportunities. Despite persistent challenges such as financial inclusion and inequality, the growth of the Latin American entrepreneurial ecosystem is undeniable.

Ranking of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Latam

In a scenario where entrepreneurship flourishes, certain cities stand out as epicenters of activity. Here's a list of these cities:

  • Sao Paulo
  • Mexico City
  • Bogota
  • Santiago de Chile
  • Buenos Aires

These cities led the ranking of entrepreneurial ecosystems in Latin America. They provide a conducive environment for the development and growth of startups, attracting investments and talent. Their position in the ranking reflects not only the number of emerging companies but also their quality and growth potential.

The Region's Top Events

The Latin American entrepreneurial scene thrives on a variety of key events that set the region's agenda. Some of the events are the following:

  1. FINNOSUMMIT - Mexico City, Mexico: As the largest Fintech collaboration platform in Latin America, FINNOSUMMIT convenes entrepreneurs, financial executives, and influential investors to explore and implement new opportunities for industry transformation. Over the past decade, it has become an indispensable gathering, fostering connections and catalyzing innovation in financial technology and insurance.
  2. Vamos Latam Summit - Brazil: With over 4,000 founders, investors, and operators in attendance, Vamos Latam Summit spices up the future of entrepreneurship in Latin America. This summit serves as a melting pot of insights, ideas, and networking opportunities, offering attendees the chance to glean wisdom from some of the biggest names in the startup ecosystem.
  3. Volcano Innovation Summit - Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala: This global initiative aims to bridge Latin America with the wider network of innovation, science, and culture. Held in the historic city of Antigua Guatemala, the summit brings together business leaders, entrepreneurs, and creative minds to engage in cross-disciplinary conversations and draw inspiration from diverse perspectives.
  4. VC Latam Summit - Miami, USA: Organized by venture capital and private equity associations from twelve countries, the VC Latam Summit promotes Latin America as a prime destination for venture capital investment. By facilitating dialogue and collaboration between key players from both the LATAM and Miami VC ecosystems, the summit aims to propel the region towards greater economic prosperity through investment opportunities.

The Boom of Latin American Unicorns

With 31 unicorns trotting across the region, from Brazil to Mexico, the growth and diversification of startups in Latin America are evident. Companies like QuintoAndar, C6banck, and Creditas in Brazil, and Kavak, Bitso, and Clip in Mexico, are leading the charge in sectors such as proptech, fintech, e-commerce, and cryptocurrencies, demonstrating the versatility and innovation that characterize the Latin American entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Their success is a testament to the talent, determination, and creativity that abound in Latin America, signaling an exciting and promising future for the region's entrepreneurial ecosystem. With a continued commitment to innovation and adequate support, Latin America is poised to continue setting trends and leaving an indelible mark on the world of entrepreneurship.