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Buenos Aires City Government Making Bold Moves in Favor of Entrepreneurship

Jonathan Ortmans

In the midst of angst about Argentina’s political environment for businesses, Buenos Aires has made a strong commitment to review policies and programs with a vision of unleashing a new wave of entrepreneurs that will put the city back in the top places to start and grow a startup. During this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week, the City Government will be presenting the Buenos Aires City Entrepreneurship's Master Plan.

To create this plan and carry out its implementation, Mayor Mauricio Macri hired top private-sector talent to conduct these efforts. He recruited for Director of Entrepreneurship someone active in the entrepreneurship ecosystem, Mariano Mayer, who has been living and breathing the success of dot com Argentinean startups over the last decade. As a lawyer, he advised start-ups and funds, and actively participated in investment and the sale of new companies. He also teaches in several institutions dedicated to promote the entrepreneurial activity in Argentina and, as such, is in continuous touch with potential entrepreneurs and the obstacles they face.

Mayer and his team reached out to Global Entrepreneurship Week and the Startup Nations Policy Network to connect with the best research and practices in promoting entrepreneurship from government. “We want to make things right, and that means to take informed decisions, to measure the impact of the public policies, to analyze such data, and to be able to learn and eventually correct the policies based on the results of the data collection and analysis”, Mayer told us.

For that purpose, the city’s Entrepreneurship Directorate plans to establish an Observatory and work together with the Modernization Agency running the Open Data and Open Government initiatives. During Global Entrepreneurship Week, on November 20th, the city will hold a workshop aimed at having a productive discussion on how to measure impact while implementing public policies, with insights from around the world.

GEW applauds the city leaders’ decision to move beyond the “hype” and ensure its policies, programs and decisions are informed by data, research and best practices in encouraging but not “managing” the entrepreneurship ecosystem.

We look forward to continuing this dialogue with Buenos Aires, and to hearing about the city’s experience and progress at the Mayors’ panel on the opening day of the 2014 Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Moscow next March.

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