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Start-up Latin America

Promoting Innovation in the Region

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This report reviews the policy mix to support knowledge-based start-ups in six countries in Latin America, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. It discusses role of public policies in supporting the creation of start-ups, it presents an overview of the rationale and scope of state intervention and it summarises the experience of OECD countries, focusing on Australia, Finland and Israel. The report provides a comparative assessment of the experience of the six Latin American countries. Following the literature and the experience of countries it develops a taxonomy of instruments targeted to promote entrepreneurship and it compares the policy mix available in the different countries in Latin America. It also identifies recommendations to improve the policy framework for start-up promotion in Latin America. Country notes are available for each of the six studied countries. The report has been elaborated in the framework of the Development Centre's policy dialogue on innovation policies in Latin America.

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Foreword and acknowledgements

OECD Development Centre

Supporting innovation and productive development is a key tool in the development strategies of open, global economies. Although developing countries still do not have the same capacities as OECD countries to introduce innovations into markets, they have become significantly more entrepreneurial over the last decade. This is partly because of their recent high economic growth, driven by China’s entry into global markets and the growing demand of their new middle classes. Amid renewed interest in innovation, these countries are seeing an upsurge of new technology-based companies with a high growth potential, which is leaving its mark on both private-sector initiatives and public policies. Nevertheless, there is still little evidence showing the speed at which start-ups are being created in developing countries and how they are being supported by public policy.

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