When I used to work at McKinsey almost 20 years we once did a pro-bono project for the Florida Council of 100 (a non-profit organization comprised of executives of large companies based in Florida), and we realized that contrary to popular perception, most jobs are created by medium and small sized companies.
I was reminded of this when I read an independent study from the University of Pennsylvania on Kickstarter’s impact on the overall community. It turns out that since its launch on April 2009, Kickstarter (for those unfamiliar with this company, it’s the leading crowd sourcing site to finance creative projects) has delivered very impressive results:
• 8,800 new companies
• 29,600 full-time new job + 283,000 temporary jobs
• Kickstarter-funded companies had $5.3B in revenue
These are very significant figures (Google which is one of the most valuable companies in the world has about 58,000 employees), and proves how large an impact start-ups can have in job creation. Interestingly, in the USA the law that allowed equity crowd financing was called the Jobs Act (Oct 2015).
Fortunately, in the past couple of years several governments in Latin America have realized the importance of start-ups in fueling both innovation and job creation. Chile has its Start-Up Chile fund, Colombia has Innpulsa, Buenos Aires has Start-Up Buenos Aires, just to mention a few of these government sponsored programs.
And Latin America also has its own “Kickstarter”. Idea.me, Latam’s largest crowd sourcing site, is now operational in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, México, Uruguay, and Miami. Lower ecommerce penetration and cultural differences such as a general mistrust of strangers and lower “social responsibility” consciousness has hindered Idea.me’s growth.
However, with an experienced and committed new backer, Alejo Nitti (co-founder of Tom’s shoes) and a new management team, we hope that Idea.me can create a similar impact in Latin America as Kickstarter has in the USA.
Visit www.idea.me and support a creative project of your choice (disclaimer: Cisneros is a small investor in Idea.me).