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Crisis-Resistant Startup Tips From Venezuela

Crisis-Resistant Startup Tips From Venezuela

Posted by PanamericanWorld on December 16, 2015

Venezuela is one of the world’s toughest places to start a business. The nation finished 186 of 189 nations in this year’s World Bank Group Doing Business rankings, owed to its runaway inflation, record-breaking recession, mass shortages and corruption.

But that hasn’t stopped local entrepreneurs from founding growing companies. On the contrary, Venezuelans continue to launch promising businesses amid the country’s crisis, and Venezuela maintains one of the highest rates of entrepreneurship in the world.

I spoke to women of Caracas’ newly-minted startups to uncover three unexpected strategies for getting a business off the ground in even the most adverse of circumstances.

Crises prompt consumers to change habits, but they don’t necessarily choose products typically considered “inferior goods.”

Fabiana Casado’s opened her store Merei this year to offer healthy, locally-produced foods in downtown Caracas, a city where arepas and burgers rule. Casado saw an opportunity to introduce artisanal products into the market amid shortages of typical grocery list items. Her customers may come in to try almond milk during a dairy shortage, then come back as they develop a taste for nutritious, artisanal foods like yuca crackers and natural jams.

Carolina Gil of Mi Barranco also sees a growing health trend in Caracas, noting that people are getting more active during the day as crime rates extinguish the city’s nightlife. Mi Barranco offers customers direct delivery of fresh, raw products harvested from a family ranch–and the added benefit of skipping supermarket lines than can stretch around the block during shortages.

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