9 Ecuador Expat Success Stories

Ecuador is loaded with business opportunities, and it goes well beyond exporting flowers (yawn)! Let me explain…

The key is not to come down looking for a job. In Ecuador, it’s far easier and more profitable to create your own!

If you’ve ever dreamed of owning your own business, but it wasn’t feasible due to excessive licenses, hefty taxes or high costs of labor…Ecuador is for you.

No doubt about it, entrepreneurs go wild in Ecuador where the locals love spending on new things from abroad.

Not to mention, the zoning laws aren’t nearly as strict as in the US, making it fairly easy to put up what you want where you want it. Plus, unlike many Asian countries, foreigners can create and own businesses outright without any local “majority partner”.

Here are 9 examples of innovative businesses both myself and a few of my expat friends have dabbled with:

9. Day Trader: For me, stock trading on the internet is just an addictive hobby, but for my friend, it’s life. He’s able to live off what he trades online via sites like etrade.com. Nowadays, your options are plentiful; you can trade currencies (FOREX), commodities, mutual funds, or individual stocks…from anywhere that has an Internet connection.

8. Work Remotely (Lawyer from CA): One day, my friend was sitting in his office in California thinking, “why am I here when I could be somewhere warmer, cheaper and surrounded by beautiful Latinas…I could work from anywhere that has an Internet connection, all I do all day is talk on the phone and sit in front of my computer anyways…” So he left. Now he’s enjoying himself in Ecuador. I’m sure many of you with established client bases could work remotely from Ecuador without missing a beat using VoIP internet phone software to call US or European phones cheaply like Vonage, Magic Jack or Skype…

7. Exchange agency: Traveling freely is one thing I think most Americans take for granted. Think about it, every time an Ecuadorian wants to go to the States, they have to apply for a visa, whereas us, we just hop on a plane with our passport and can enter most countries. That gives us a distinct advantage in businesses that require constant back and forth, like this one. Basically, my friend arranges summer work study placements for local Ecuadorian (and other Latin) students and gets paid a fee per placement. Most of these agents work with a partner in the US that helps in placing the students Stateside, you in Ecuador would be the recruiter.

6. Programmer:
This friend of mine quickly discovered that for a programmer in Ecuador, it is more profitable to work with international companies via the internet than for local businesses. Life’s good, he makes his own hours, gets sent the projects via email, talks with his employers via Skype free, and gets paid via PayPal. (You can set up your own PayPal account today free in about 5 minutes at PayPal.com. PayPal is like an online bank account used by millions which allows you to receive online payments from anyone with a credit card or who have PayPal.) He hunts for new jobs at sites like Scriptlance.com and eLance.com. And many other jobs could also be done in this online manner.


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