3.4 Taboos about Money can Limit Entrepreneurs’ Aspirations; Especially for Rural and Women Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurial mindsets can be thwarted by social and cultural attitudes about wealth acquisition. Samuel González Guzman, the founder of Fundación E, noted that in rural areas of Mexico, there is an underlying suspicion about rich people. Some believe they have acquired their wealth through illicit practices and thus do not trust those who have become successful. González proposes that to address this challenge and thus support the development of successful entrepreneurs, it is necessary to enter into dialogue with potential business owners that focuses on short-term, practical components of building a business. González highlighted the importance of discussing with potential entrepreneurs at the very beginning of an initiative what they want to sell, where they want to sell it, and how they will find clients. Merino noted the importance of having frank dialogue about money and its taboos with potential and current entrepreneurs. Informal comments may portray business people as selfish individuals driven solely by ambition rather than motivated by the opportunity to create something new and give back to the community. The way taboos are addressed can lead to practical and useful dialogue about factors that can hold back entrepreneurs from achieving success. For example, as Kauffman Foundation research, highlighted in Section 3.1, shows, entrepreneurs will contribute more to a local economy than they will take away.