Making a living – entrepreneurship in Colombia

While in Germany the State is trying to motivate people to start tbeir own business by creating financial incentives, it seems that in Colombia many people run their own (family) business – often already as a teenager.

This difference may be rooted in the culture – Germans may tend to be more scared to take any kind of risk; Or in the bucraucracy involved in starting a business in Germany – whereas in Colombia informal businesses are very common; or in the necessity of being an entrepreneur, which is probably higher in Colombia than in Germany where the State usually covers your basic needs if you dont have an income; Or, most likely, it is a mixture of all.

But independently from the reason, I am impressed by the live stories of many of the people I got to know while living in Colombia: Some were already running their own little store with the age of 12; Others left their families at the same age because their wasn´t enough to eat for everyone so they made their own living and even managed to finance their studies. Others are stories of single mothers who, to sustain their families, worked in everything – from cutting hair to producing and selling handicraft, preparing and selling fast food, fixing clothes or selling fruits or chewing gum in the street. Many families I got to know at one point in their live had a little restaurant or a food stand. And also people that are formally employed tend to have their own little business aside.

If I compare theblog 8 - foto 3 people I know here that run their own business with those that do so in Germany, I guess the percantage would be 20:1, if not more. However, I know many people in Germany who would like to start their own coffee shop, book shop or restaurant but are just scared to try. So maybe, these Germans could learn something from the initiative, creativity and inovation of Colombian entrepreneurs.

Katharina