You don’t need money to start a business.
You need balls.
It’s true, for the right idea, the money seems to appear.
I arrived in Ecuador a little over a year and a half ago… a few thousand in debt from years of travel abroad.
Upon arrival I rented a hole-of-a-room in Quito with a shared bath for $60/month.
So how’d I get the money for my first venture, an intermediate-priced hostal in Guayaquil?
I used the good credit I had established to that point in my life to apply for several low-interest credit cards. About 6 of them. I then paid a friend to their PayPal account to turn the money on the cards to cash. It cost 2.2% in fees but cash advances had much higher interest rates than purchases.
Then I got a personal unsecured line of credit from my bank in the US for $15k. If you’ve been a bank customer for a while just ask and you’ll probably get one too.
And I picked up a partner. Not just anyone, but an Ecuadorian friend of mine who also happened to be a hotelier.
And off I went.
Then I sold that business after a little over a year, and started a new hotel near the airport in Quito.
To buy the furniture, I pre-sold my product before I was open… in the form of coupons for future stays at a discounted rate.
So well in fact my long time payment processor closed my account without prior notice cause they didn’t understand the spike in sales. Big pain.
Then I bought most of my expensive furniture in the same places, giving me leverage to negotiate discounts and payment plans.
I looked into business loans for foreigners in Ecuador.
But the options were slim to none for a new arrival. The big banks require you spend a certain amount of time in the country AND that you have your residency before they will even touch you.
Ultimately, I did find one institution that would lend a foreigner money for a business start up… my Ecuadorian credit union… Coopera Ltda. The Coopera typically loans money to small businesses and if you have at least a few months of deposit history with them they don’t care much that you are a foreigner, they’ll lend you money.
Plus, I mean lets face it, your buck goes a lot farther down here in Ecuador. In the US at my age I would probably be fetching coffee for somebody spending my days in a cubicle surfing sites while planning my next vacation to Latin America.
So there you have it. You can’t use money as an excuse anymore! The security you feel as an employee is only an illusion. Don’t climb the corporate ladder to an $80k a year job or whatever… start multiple income streams that co-exist without you even being there.
And Ecuador is a great place for that!
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