This week I had the honor of participating in a panel discussion at the Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit in San Francisco on the entrepreneurial and investment landscape in Latin America, which was moderated by the CEO of GigaOM Paul Warlborsky and featured a number of Latin American entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capitalists and regional experts.
Entrepreneurship is growing rapidly across Latin America, most notably in Brazil, where an estimated one in eight adults is an entrepreneur. However, with the incredible opportunity that currently exists in these emerging nations, comes tremendous obstacles including lack of capital, mentors and networks. What was so fascinating to me about the session was the interdependence and interconnectivity that exists between Silicon Valley and Latin America.
In fact, Carlos Baradello, the Associate Dean at USF (who is also an angel investor in Argentina), summed it up best in saying that while a lot of innovation happens in Silicon Valley, it is not about location it’s about mindset – and this entrepreneurial and transformative mentality is exactly what I continue to come across time and time again when interacting with Dell’s Latin American SMB customers. It got me to thinking how, in today’s world, technology is a key driver of innovation and the ways in which Dell can serve as a strategic advisor and partner to these budding companies.
In working directly with more than 10 million businesses worldwide, Dell has come to understand the needs of entrepreneurs and we offer not just the technology solutions necessary for success and scalable growth, but also the competitive financing and leasing options designed to close the gap between our customers’ technology needs and their cash flow.
Growing businesses face a number of unique challenges along the way and Dell recognizes the importance of networking for entrepreneurs. This drives our continued support for organizations like Endeavor and inspires the establishment of a number of programs including Dell’s Women Powering Business initiative. Through events like the 2011 Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network in Brazil earlier this month and our LinkedIn community, we’ve created a venue for these like-minded individuals to exchange ideas, build confidence and even to raise capital and do business with one another.