In Mexico, 85 fintechs are seeking permission to operate

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09/27/19 – Reuters

By Stefanie Eschenbacher

Mexican banking regulator CNBV said on Thursday it received applications from 85 companies to formally operate in the country under its new fin-tech law as the government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador pushes for more financial inclusion.

The government has been looking to both banks and fin-techs as it aims to reduce cash in circulation to cut down on money laundering and corruption, and to draw more people into the formal economy.

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Turning waste into bioplastics, Mexico strikes green gold

09/12/2018 – Reuters 

photo-1529972984645-5e5fec186e90Tequila, avocado and corn are proving their worth beyond Mexican fiesta staples as key components for a fast-growing bioplastics market, with companies transforming waste from processing food crops into products such as bags, plates and even car parts.

Bioplastics make up less than 5 percent of the millions of tonnes of plastic produced each year around the world.

But as governments and consumers fret about the damage plastic is doing to the world’s oceans, scientists are experimenting by converting materials from cactus to shrimp shells and human waste into alternative greener plastics

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How Mexico City Became A Hotbed For Startups

11/30/16 Forbes

mexico_city_at_night_2005On the corner of corner of Moneda and Licenciado Primo Verdad streets in Mexico City sits the first printing press in the Americas, established in 1539. Not far from that historic site of innovation is the Zona Rosa, one of many neighborhoods in the city center known for its trendy restaurants and bars – and increasingly – a lively startup community.

That’s near where WeWork is located, a shared workspace that many young entrepreneurs call home. Based in the Bay Area with offices all over the world, the Mexico City outpost looked like any Silicon Valley shared workspace with its casually hip young crowd, micro-roasted coffee and micro-brewed beer on tap — and even a few dogs.

It also turned out to be the perfect locale for a recent innovation event hosted by SAP and Endeavor, where a panel of young startup leaders discussed how their companies are using technology to digitally disrupt everything in Mexico; from the mid-range furniture market to domestic cleaning services.

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Young people thrive in a new Mexico, even as the shadows of violence linger

08/29/2016 The Star

Mexican Flag XXLMEXICO CITY—Tattooed hipsters on bikes. Same-sex couples walking hand-in-hand. Cafés with almond milk coffee and gluten-free bread. Artisanal mescal — three dozen different kinds.

This is not the Mexico most Canadians know. But in the chic eateries and cultural centres of the gentrifying La Roma neighbourhood in Mexico City, another side of the country is in full bloom.

“The city has such an intoxicating mix of culture, emotion, food, design and architecture that has really exploded in the last two or three years,” says Susie Neil, standing outside Toscano café, where she is producing a tequila commercial for a Canadian client.

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Life as an Entrepreneur in a Violent Mexico

08/15/16 MIT Technology Review

Alejandro Avila, the 30-year-old Mexican cofounder of Espiral, a mobile wallet service that he describes as “Square meets Stripe,” is on the edge of something big. Mexicans carry more than 100 million mobile phones and only 15 percent use credit cards, making financial tech a lucrative nascent market.

Yet Avila—whose family left Mexico in the 1990s only to return a decade later—faces a dangerous caveat to success.

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Nuestra Comunidad: Mexico-born entrepreneur mixes business with family

07/29/2016 AJC

familiaAn intense aroma of mango emanates from the factory of Paleterías La Huerta. With hundreds of containers and smells reminding him of his childhood, Fidencio Pantoja has built a family business around homemade popsicles packed with fresh fruit and Latin American inspired flavors. Located in the northern Georgia town of Ellijay, the company distributes more than 5,000 popsicles and other frozen treats all over the country on a daily basis.

Mexico-native Pantoja, his wife, María López, and sister-in-law, Esperanza Martínez, are part of the painstaking task of manually extracting the pulp of each fruit used in the popsicle making process. Working with family is the part he says he treasures most.

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Mexico Sitting on Untapped Entrepreneurial Talent

07/20/2016 Gallup

emprender.pngWASHINGTON, D.C. — Entrepreneurial talent — an individual’s innate potential to successfully create businesses and jobs — can be found in every postal code in Mexico. But many of these individuals are not being identified and developed.

Just over one in four adults living in Mexico are employed full time for an employer, which is about average for Latin America, but it highlights a disappointing gap between the current state of Mexico’s economy and its potential. The lack of “good jobs” could stem from the sizable informal economy, uncompetitive wages and sparse access to training, development and higher education.

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MUSEIC hears from border entrepreneurs

— Stories of successful business innovators in the cross-border region helped set the stage for Friday’s meeting in Tijuana of the Mexico-United States Entrepreneurship and Innovation Council, or MUSEIC.

The San Diego-Tijuana region “is a clear demonstration of how young people are becoming more creative than previous generations as they stress economic, cultural and social integration over themes of migration, walls and xenophobic speeches,” Tijuana Mayor Jorge Astiazarán said during the start of the day-long event.

The gathering at Tijuana’s Business Innovation and Technology Center marked the fifth MUSEIC meeting since the group was created in 2013 under the auspices of the High Level Economic Dialogue between the United States and Mexico.

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Economic Prosperity – Trade and Competitiveness

06/29/2016 Primer Minister Justin Trudeau

north america worldToday, the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, the President of the United States, Barack Obama, and the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, discussed ways to advance trade and competitiveness, because an efficient North American economy is vital for creating good-paying, middle class jobs for our citizens.

Canada, the United States, and Mexico are natural partners in North America – one of the most successful economic regions in the world. We will build upon this strong trilateral economic relationship, and further facilitate trade among our three countries, and improve the networks that allow us to produce products and services together.

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EVENT TOMORROW | Innovation in Colonias on the Texas-Mexico Border: Building on Border Assets

man_w_social_media_0WHEN: TOMORROW, Tuesday, October 27, 9:00-11:00am

WHERE: 5th Floor Conference Room, Woodrow Wilson Center

Click here to RSVP.

The Wilson Center’s Urban Sustainability Laboratory and Mexico Institute, along with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, are pleased to invite you to the event, Innovation in Colonias on the Texas-Mexico Border: Building on Border Assets.” While public discussion often focuses on the challenges facing low-income communities living on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, the region’s assets can be leveraged to advance local economic development. A panel of experts will discuss opportunities to promote  development, entrepreneurship and job creation for the colonia populations living along the border. Panelists will discuss how policies for affordable housing, infrastructure, education, workforce development, entrepreneurship, and health can be integrated with efforts to build an inclusive economy and strong community networks and cooperation. On-the-ground innovation in the border region and in the colonias offers important new models for development in underserved communities.

A recent report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, “Las Colonias in the 21st Century: Progress Along the Texas-Mexico Border”, provides context for the discussion. Texas colonias, home to an estimated 500,000 people, represent one of the largest concentrations of poverty in the U.S. This report offers a comprehensive profile of Texas border colonias, assessing the opportunities, successes, and challenges facing these communities.

Click here to RSVP.