Note: It might seem funny, but I’ve never written a standalone post about doing business in Chile. If you’re interested in going deeper, please check out the Chile category on the blog, as there’s 8 years of content about what it’s like, delving deep on banking, real estate, startups, investing and more.
Chile is a long, thin country at the tip of Latin America that is widely considered one of the best countries in the region to do business. Across several indicators in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report, Chile beats out the regional competition. In 2018, Chile ranked 55th in the world on the World Bank’s Doing Business report, coming in just after Mexico, which ranked 49th. However, in recent years, Chile’s business-friendly reputation has slid from 34th to 55th which has been subject to some controversy.
Still, Chile is undoubtedly one of the most influential economies in the region, despite its small size. Chile’s population reaches just 17 million people, but the country is extremely centralized. The capital, Santiago, is home to 7 million people, or one-third of the total population. By comparison, São Paulo, the biggest city in Brazil, has over 21 million inhabitants – more than the entire country of Chile.
Chile’s overall GDP was US$247B in 2016, 28% of which is made up of exports. Chile is the world’s largest exporter of copper, and it also exports lithium, fish, and wine. While Chile’s overall GDP appears small beside giants like Brazil (US$1.8T) and Mexico (US$1.1T), its population is more than ten times smaller. When measured per capita, Chile’s GDP is the second-highest in the region after Uruguay.
Chile is an economic powerhouse at the tip of South America. Rapid technology infrastructure development paired with a business-friendly political climate and high levels of Internet penetration have helped Chile’s e-commerce market stand out among its larger counterparts.
With a population of ~18 million, Chile is a small market compared to behemoths like Brazil and Mexico. However, Chile’s e-commerce sector is stronger than its local counterparts; Chile has a disproportionate 9% share of Latin America’s e-commerce market, despite holding only 2% of the region’s population. The Chilean e-commerce market is already worth more than US$3.7B and targeted to grow at 35% in 2018, reaching US$5B by the end of the year.
In part, this enormous growth comes as a result of international platforms, such as Amazon and AliExpress, which have drastically reduced delivery times and made e-commerce more accessible. Last year, national shipment company Correos de Chile partnered with AliExpress to reduce delivery times from a maximum of 60 days down to a window of 16 to 38 days. (more…)
Sometimes the best ideas happen while sharing a meal. In the case of GroupRaise, it’s not just ideas that get shared, but a percentage of the profits as well. GroupRaise is a fundraising organization that partners with restaurants across 50 states to offer time slots where local organizations and international charities can book fundraisers in a few clicks. But most people don’t realize that GroupRaise is one of the most cost effective ways of getting new clients into the restaurant and getting them to come back again. Of 100 people who go to a GroupRaise, 40 are new clients, 82 spend more than average and 96 come back in the future!
On this episode of Crossing Borders, Sean Park, one of the GroupRaise co-founders, joined me at the Magma Partners office in Chile to talk about how he helped start the tastiest way to change the world. This is a great conversation I think you will enjoy!
In this episode, I reconnected with my friend Brenna Loury, one of the original founding team members of Start-Up Chile, and the current head of marketing and PR at Doist to talk about her experience of learning a new job in a new country, the challenges and rewards of working across borders, and how she helped bootstrap a tech startup that now has more than 13,000,000 users worldwide.
Brenna shares how her company now manages more than 50 employees in 20 countries, all of them working 100% remotely. She offers tips on how to best position your company to start working remotely, mistakes startups should avoid when pitching ideas or raising funds and a formula for hiring top-notch employees. The conversation is packed with useful information and inspiring stories you don’t want to miss!