Latin America: Where the world's jobs are
Lauded for its economic stability and entrepreneurial opportunities, interns and career changers alike are looking to Latin America to launch their careers.
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So far the company has placed dozens of interns in law firms, fashion companies, banks, and government offices in Colombia and Argentina. Intern Latin America is now expanding into Chile and plans to do the same in Mexico and Brazil, which just surpassed the United Kingdom as the world's sixth-largest economy.Skip to next paragraph
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"We see Brazil and Mexico as two definite places to be," Lloyd says. "People are well aware that the opportunities outside the UK might far surpass the opportunities inside the UK. They want to get exposure to that."
The economic rise of Brazil makes it an obvious choice, he says, and Mexico has a pioneer-feel to it. "Mexico is going through a somewhat difficult time with the security situation," he says, "[But] Mexico would be highly attractive for a young, ambitious student."
Career changers also welcome
Latin America is appealing to those not just starting, but hoping to switch to new careers. Jeremy Melul of France went to college at Stanford in California, business school in Madrid, and started his career in finance in Brussels. But when he got the idea to start his own business, he, like Roberts, looked to Chile, where the economy is expected to grow by 6.3 percent this year according to United Nations statistics.
He and a partner founded Jogabo.com, a website that connects soccer fans for pickup games in cities around the world. He, too, applied for a grant with Start-Up Chile, and says that in addition to the seed capital, the program has allowed him "access to top people quick" through meetings with local business leaders, and office space. So far, 200 entrepreneurs from 30 different countries have traveled to Chile to try to get their ideas off the ground through Start-Up Chile. The program aims to fund 1,000 entrepreneurs by 2014, and not only benefits the grantees – 80 percent of whom are foreigners – but is a boon to Chile, too, says spokeswoman Brenna Loury.
"Historically, Chile has been very closed off from the rest of the world. The government thought that maybe if we imported entrepreneurs with global experience, they could inspire Chileans with a similar mind-set," she says.
But critics say the program does not address a key obstacle facing Chile and the rest of the region. Ricardo Israel, a professor of political science at the Autonomous University of Chile, says in Latin America, one thing stifling growth is the concentration of power in the hands of a few families running virtual monopolies.
"The result of economic liberalization has been a large concentration of market power and a profound inequality," Mr. Israel says. If an entrepreneurial culture is lacking, he says, it's because "for those who don't have adequate connections, it's very difficult to get access to capital."
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