UNO August 2013

Transnational businesses thrive on entrepreneurial literature



The symbiogenesis theory, which attempts to describe the emergence of biodiversity, is attractive for several reasons; one being the fact that it puts cooperation between several organisms as the cornerstone of the evolutionary process, unlike the “law of the jungle”. By analogy, the top management of companies with interests in the markets of Spanish and Portuguese-speaking markets should learn from this “biological cooperation” that encourages the entrepreneur when starting a project anywhere around the world.

Let’s review it step by step. When analyzing the literature, the best tool seems to be a good analysis of the situation to understand the market, the policies and rules applicable and the context in which the services or product will be developed. In a scenario where China is speeding its political transformation, Cuba is normalizing its political relations, Germany calls for a European change of course and Argentina shares the same regional view as Brazil, the coming years will be marked by creativity, but also conflicts. In this sense, a situation analysis carried out by experts is the first certain step for any company.

A situation analysis carried out by experts is the first certain step for any company


The second is developing a business plan. At the institutional level it would be having a roadmap, i.e., a document identifying, describing and analyzing a detected opportunity, examining its technical and political feasibility and developing the required strategies to turn the opportunity into an actual business. This step is key for the planning of the “map to conquer”. Behind closed doors, the draft process of this document allows their drivers to think about their original idea, to shape it and structure it in accordance to the economic, political and legal coherence. The main errors incurred during this stage are linked to a poor measurement (endogenous and exogenous metric), underestimation of the crisis potentialities and overvaluation of the initial idea.


An entrepreneur, after having a clear vision of the context and designing a business plan, goes in search of mentors and Angle Investors. This is done through already existing networks. Within the scope of our study, this would be the relations’ capillarity. That is the aid, alliances and negotiations that all social actors provide to develop the established roadmap. Financial institutions offer credit and loans while diplomats or relations facilitators offer opportunities and simplify complicated situations through the art of dialogue and good manners.

Then the constitution of the company itself will take place. In the institutional relations sphere this would be the type of alliance we want to establish and the brand positioning necessary for that purpose.

Entrepreneurial culture is the best mechanism to generate prosperity


transnacionales-fullNow, these codes are, generally, initial guides for the entrepreneur before starting a new path with its challenges and rewards. But the most important point is the concept of shared value. Sustainability must be present from the start to make the project sound and solid and, with time, provide a development environment where everyone wins.


The entrepreneur clearly understands the need to promote and contribute to this ecosystem. This solidarity is key within the value system that supports and encourages entrepreneurship as a movement. Given his personal experience and the help the entrepreneur has received, he understands the responsibility he has in order to promote the aforementioned “biological cooperation” to generate a positive impact in relation to the development of people in a given environment (knowledge, employment, innovation, distributed wealth, contribution and taxes).

Entrepreneurial culture, defined by the elements that form the ecosystem, is the best mechanism to generate prosperity which, in the end, leads back to what today is known as “social license”. In other words, it is the support of stakeholders or interested parties for the implementation of a project.

The social license is, generally, a state awarded by the public to develop the drafted project. This license is dynamic, as the opinion of people usually changes over time. In other words, the perceptions of stakeholders are one of the most complex elements required to obtain the social license. The project must be firstly considered legitimate by the communities and, once this has been achieved, both the company and the project and its officials must build credibility and trust.

In summary, in a complex global context, the vision of the entrepreneur where shared value is closely related to sustainability, the social license and the “biological cooperation” prevails, instead of the imposition of the “survival of the fittest” as even Darwin himself believed.

Juan Manuel Collado
Board Member of the Fundación Endeavor and Co-Founder and Director of the Grupo Tapebicuá

Board Member of the Fundación Endeavor, whose object is promoting entrepreneurial culture throughout the globe and Co-Founder and Director of the Grupo Tapebicuá, a forest-industry group which operates in Argentina. He graduated in Economics at the University of Buenos Aires, has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Administration from the University of San Andrés and has completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Senior Management at IAE, Business School. @_Juan_Collado

We want to collaborate with you

Do you have a challenge?

Would you like to join our team?

Do you want us to speak at your next event?