When you think of entrepreneurship, Cuba is hardly the first nation that comes to mind; maybe the last. However, the isolated island nation is actually home to a surprisingly vibrant culture of business startups. In spite of the nation's communist leadership, the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well on this Caribbean nation.
Building their own businesses is a huge challenge for sure, but these Cubans are doing it nonetheless. Their products may seem novel to us, or "hipster" as one Cuban businesswoman describes them, but for them these items are necessities.
As economist Mark Perry notes, there are more than 500,000 "cuentapropistas" in Cuba who have left their government jobs in pursuit of something better. The result of that is a complete change in their own lives, and potential change for their entire country in the future.
Generations of Cubans suffered under a repressive communist regime since the 1950s, but the Cuban people somehow survived by looking for solutions, figuring things out, being creative and becoming the “masters of the workaround.” Those skills and grit are now being unleashed in a new wave of Cuban entrepreneurship that has been freed from some of the previous communist regulations that stifled the private sector and suppressed entrepreneurship. But in a new era of rising economic freedom, the entrepreneurial spirit of the Cuban people is surging and reawakening in the “most creative startup scene on the planet”!