By Mauricio Talbott Fajardo
Up to 80 percent of startups die before 3 years old! Isn’t it scary? Well, this is what is motivating everyone to roll up their sleeves and prepare to survive. When I was a kid, companies were 50, 60 and 100+ years old. Now, successful companies may even be out of business before reaching 15 years. Why is that? It’s because they don’t evolve; they become too big too fast, and the way the world is today, you have to keep moving, changing and reinventing yourself. However, most of all, you have to really follow up on your customers’ needs, what their problems are, and how to solve their challenges.
Being a member of the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) since 2016 encouraged me to apply for a spot in EmprendeTN, where I met 99 great entrepreneurs from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. I learned fresh ideas to mix with proven practices and solutions drawn from experience. I learned how to help businesses survive in today’s economic landscape.
For example, let’s say a rural community in Honduras is worried about youth leaving to go to bigger cities because they don’t like woodworking or traditional furniture. One great way to get the younger people involved is to have them focus on doing the “millennials’ side” of the work. For example, suggest that they work with their parents or established business owners on social media networks. This can help lead to increased sales and keep jobs local.
With these fresh approaches and all of the tools at our fingertips, you can be a successful business owner before you’re 20. I used to walk to the library to get information, where, if you were lucky enough you’d find the right book for you. The way we are empowered now by universities and global development institutions will help us change the way this hemisphere has been operating in the last 200 years. It is important for people to realize that hard work, best practices, and core values will stop corruption and heal our so-damaged nations. As we get involved in doing it right, “don’t wait for change – create it!” Let’s teach our next generation how to take advantage of our work and available knowledge by joining networks like YLAI.
Mauricio Talbott Fajardo is a university student who started working by the age of 15 in positions ranging from a technician to a regional IT manager for Hanes Brand Inc. For the last 14 years, he has run his own software development company, Mauisoft, which serves more than 100 businesses.
Mauisoft is one of 10 members of La Idea Incubator Program. The program is a collaboration among the U.S. Department of State, America’s Small Business Development Center, InBIA and partners.
Through this program, companies enter the U.S. market and generate business opportunities within home countries while also strengthening U.S. trade relations with Central America. These types of opportunities enable and encourage the new generation to fulfill local needs and generate regional alliances that will bring prosperity to communities.
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