Guatemala which is nestled below Mexico is home to 17 million people (2017 estimates). It is most likely that a majority of the people in this world will not be able to locate the country on the world map. Even fewer people will be aware about the three decade civil war fought between the government of Guatemala and different leftist groups between 1960 to 1996.
The civil war left close to 250,00 people dead and it is estimated that more than 70% of the victims belonged to the indigenous populations. The end of the civil war two decades ago brought new challenges to Guatemalan civil society, namely drug cartels and criminal syndicates. Central America is today home to some of the most violent cities in the world and Guatemalan cities top these lists.
So why would a startup want to operate in such an environment ?
It is precisely because these challenges present opportunities for social entrepreneurs looking to make an impact. The abdication of the state and failure of political groups offers an unprecedented opportunity for startups, social enterprises, NGO’s and religious organizations looking for a challenge task.
It is this contrarian thinking that helped Kingo, a renewable energy startup based in Guatemala raise close to US$ 8 million ( Rs 50 Crore approximately) last year. The company provides electricity to Guatemalan households that are not connected to the power-grid. Guatemala’s GDP per capita is higher than that of India as and when the cycle of violence will eventually end, it could bring about a peace dividend in the form of an economic boom.
Check out these articles below on why you should consider starting up in Guatemala.
- Founders and funders to watch in Central America and the Caribbean
- Why Digital Nomads and Startups should head to Antigua in Guatemala
- Startups in Guatemala City
- World’s Best Startup Hubs