While investors have long been attracted by the natural resources in Bolivia, the country has undergone a digital transformation in recent years. Investment in the technology and education sector by the government is focusing on tech manufacture, telecommunications, fin-tech and financial services, with initiatives such as low-interest loans to support SMEs and startups.
Talent Pool & Education
Initiatives across the country are nurturing a generation of young entrepreneurs. The Silicon Valley-based Founder Institute has launched a pre-seed accelerator program in Bolivia’s commercial center, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, to provide mentorship and funding, and to help formalize the country’s entrepreneurial scene. Bolivia Tech Hub, an early-stage incubator in the capital La Paz and the first to operate as a co-work venture, also runs educational programs for children aged 8-15.
While Spanish is the official language, Bolivians in general have a high level of English. Bolivian business professionals have minimal language barriers and very similar experiences to our North American teams.
The COVID-19 health crisis and the fall in oil price have plunged the economy into a deep recession, with a more than 8% contraction in 2020 the worst since the “first great Bolivian crisis” in 1953. Economy Minister Marcelo Montenegro told Reuters a revival of mining, gas production, construction and manufacturing was helping drive a nascent recovery, with public investment of more than $4 billion in infrastructure projects and cheap loans for small businesses.
Bolivia is a democracy with regular, credible elections. The last general election in October 2020 was held competitively and peacefully, ultimately installing a new president, Luis Arce. Bolivia’s political rights standing has increased within the last year because of the free and impartially administered election whose results were accepted by all competing parties.