What kind of vision do we need for the world and for the American continent? How can we guarantee economic development and make sure people have access to basic needs, while working at the same time to counteract social problems like crime and discrimination? We must fight poverty with a more effective strategy for job creation, which will, in turn, shore up the progress we have made in strengthening democracy in our societies. But for job creation efforts to truly respond to the most pressing needs of our countries, we also need entrepreneurs who can launch new social and economic projects.
According to the 1734 Diccionario de autoridades , an entrepreneur (emprendedor) is "a person, who with determination and resolve, endeavors to create and execute some considerable and arduous operation." Emprender means to cream--to dare to dream about something better and to take risks. It is not only about starting businesses; it is also about exercising responsible social, political, academic, and business leadership to promote initiatives that will improve the wellbeing of people.
But how can we create the employment necessary to eliminate poverty and strengthen democratic governance? It was this question that led me to do research in Mexico in 2005 as part of the civil society contribution to the Fourth Summit of the Americas in Mar del Plata, Argentina before I became the director of the Mexican Chapter of the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT).
The research I did at that time, with the help of organizations like COPARMEX and CONACON, was research on youth, using a sample of more than 60 young Mexican leaders. I also analyzed the results of a survey administered to 1,349 young Mexican entrepreneurs and business people to ask them about their needs. This was all possible thanks to a number of civil associations, universities, and state institutes for youth.
One of the conclusions I was able to draw was that young people have faith in the next generations. They were also constantly asking for information about programs. They said that to promote lasting development in Mexico it was necessary to promote social responsibility among children, and they believed that it was important to include basic social, ecological, and entrepreneurship programs in schools.
The entrepreneurs said the country needed more initiatives to build sustainable long-term programs, and they urged the creation of a National Institute of Entrepreneurship with all the...