How Enterprise is Inspiring Mexico’s Next Generation

Excerpt from: DIPNOTE | By: Thomas Lersten | December 8, 2015

There is no doubt entrepreneurship is part of our DNA as U.S. citizens, but we certainly don’t have a monopoly on innovative ideas and creativity. I learned this and much more during my recent trip to Nuevo Laredo and Monterrey, Mexico, to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW).

Nuevo Laredo continues to face security challenges, but that hasn’t stopped the community from pursuing economic freedom. And why not? Nuevo Laredo sits on the border across from Laredo, Texas, and is a major transit point for Mexican exports to the United States –- in fact, approximately forty percent of those exports pass through the city, almost 14,000 truck crossings daily back and forth.

I had the great pleasure to participate in a “pitch competition” at the Universidad Tecnología de Nuevo Laredo, where I listened to students’ entrepreneurial start-up ideas. Their energy and enthusiasm were truly infectious. Capitalizing on Nuevo Laredo’s trailer traffic, one student presented her business plan to manufacture solar panels to power refrigerated trucks.

Visiting both sides of the border, I was struck by the deep level of engagement between Laredo and Nuevo Laredo. I met with students and faculty at Texas A&M International University, on the Laredo side of the border, which promotes student exchanges with counterparts in Nuevo Laredo. It’s a similar dynamic between the business communities, which generate new commercial enterprises and foster entrepreneurship.

In Monterrey, I participated in the annual Start Up Nations Summit, an event organized by the Global Entrepreneurship Network. Perfectly situated in Monterrey, a vibrant commercial hub and hotbed of Mexican entrepreneurship and innovation, the Summit brought together over 70 policymakers and advisors from countries as diverse as Norway and South Africa.

For me, the event also brought home the close degree of entrepreneurial collaboration between the United States and Mexico, exemplified by the many discussions concerning the Mexico-U.S. Entrepreneurship and Innovation Council (MUSEIC). The Council is made up of 12 leaders from each country that represent government, academia, NGOs, as well as private sector accelerators and investors. MUSEIC aims to strengthen the economic relationship between the U.S. and Mexico by taking a dynamic approach to promoting economic opportunities for the citizens of both countries.

Efforts like these are bringing key stakeholders on both sides together to address shared challenges and identify future solutions through innovative enterprises. After hearing directly from future leaders during my trip, I am more hopeful than ever that entrepreneurship will have a significant impact on economic growth.


Photo Source: GEN

Photo Source: GEN