The conditions are ripe for an economic renaissance in South America and especially for US Latinos. Latinos delivered Barack Obama the Presidency of the United States of America and are driving major economic growth in the US at all levels. Latinos in the US might hold the key to a new kind of global economic power not bound by geography but by culture.
The growth is staggering. Millions of people in South and Central America are joining the middle class. This combined with a newly found political power in the United States, makes the Latino market in the US and abroad very attractive to entrepreneurs and investors. Developing countries have many problems that can only be solved by the local entrepreneurs so the opportunity remains basically untapped.
Latinos in the US are driving growth. 20 to 40% of YOY revenue growth in major retailers like Walmart or Target will be driven by Latinos. 1.1 million latinos will turn 18 every year for the next 20 years. As Solomon Trujillo said while addressing bright Latinos at Stanford, we are the new mainstream. We are creators, trendsetters, artists, teachers, entrepreneurs, etc.
In the past two years (2011/2012), massive changes have attracted top tier investors to Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Peru and Colombia. Chile has created a bold entrepreneurial program (Startup Chile) that is starting to challenge Silicon Valley as an alternative to start a company. 500Startups has gone into Mexico by acquiring Mexican.vc, a firm that incubates innovative startups in Mexico, and has started to fund entrepreneurs rapidly.
This is great for our company, but there’s a problem with the ecosystem.
A great majority of the innovation coming from Latinos in the US and abroad still attempts to target the mainstream. The demographic that has become the standard in marketing presentations is the young white male between the ages of 24 to 35. So much talent from the Latino community is going into preaching to the status-quo rather than breaking it apart and defining a new path. Please, don’t misunderstand my words. I believe Latinos should and need to work in all types of professional fields.
I am talking to the entrepreneurs. You have the chance to create anything you want. Maybe, in the ideation stage, you could look around and make our own demographic a priority. Some will succeed and that will be the example to follow and to truly create the new mainstream.
Go build, we will follow.