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The legal framework for entrepreneurs in Mexico

The Ley del Impulso Emprendedor is one of the first commitments to protect and promote new projects.

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Mexico is a fertile territory for the development of ideas, and to stimulate an influx of entrepreneurs into Mexican territory, the country's laws are continually being revised to encourage ever greater numbers of entrepreneurs to set up their projects. One year ago the Mexican employers' association (Coparmex) presented a project for legislation which would help achieve this goal –the Ley del Impulso Emprendedor or Entrepreneurs' Law– one of the first efforts to protect and promote new projects.

The project has been launched in at least a dozen of Mexico's 31 states, but its actual application presents new challenges. The statistics for 2012 highlight the need for this law: two out of every 10 graduates from Mexican universities undertake new projects, of which only 14% manage to survive for more than three years after their creation. This was one of the main arguments put forward by the Mexican employers in favor of promoting this type of laws.

The Entrepreneurs' Law has already been approved by the Coahuila regional congress in the north of the country. It contemplates the creation of a special fund for entrepreneurs and an office to provide consulting services and support for the development of the projects. Similar legislation is being promoted in at least another 10 states. The federal government has also set up a similar support project, with which it hopes to fund 2.5 million projects.

Ambitious investments

The National Entrepreneurs' Institute (Instituto Nacional del Emprendedor - Inadem) requires candidates to take a course comprising four modules, to submit proof of residence in Mexico and identification, and to pass a test with a score of at least 65 out of 100 to receive funding backed by the Mexican government. One of the most ambitious plans devised is in Guadalajara, the third largest city in the country. The Digital Creative City (CCD) set up in this town some 600 kilometers to the west of the capital of Mexico, seeks to create a similar climate to Silicon Valley, with the cooperation of local governments to support entrepreneurs in bring their projects to life.

This includes easy access to office space, along with legal advice and synergies to drive their projects. According to one forecast, investments could reach around 15 billion dollars, and at least 100 companies have expressed interest in the CCD. In October the Mayor of Guadalajara, Enrique Alfaro, visited the future facilities for the plan, which is intended to revitalize a derelict part of the city. The greatest challenge is to ensure that the promised investments actually materialize.

The local newspaper, El Informador, claims that the budget that had been announced (some 300 million pesos, 18 million dollars) has yet to be delivered. What's clear is that Mexico has been given a great opportunity which it would be a pity to pass up. The country's geographic and economic features make this the ideal destination for international entrepreneurs, and particularly for technology entrepreneurs.

“Mexico is destined to be a logistical center not only for the Americas but for the world”, said José Zozaya, chairman of the Mexican Council of Transport and Logistics at the end of November, at the 5th International Forum: Mexico, the logistics platform of the Americas held in the Mexican capital.