Mirjam Wolfrum Researching Hispanic America - Navigating a Diverse Information Landscape
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By Mirjam Wolfrum

Abstract

Latin American business information specialist Mirjam Wolfrum provides sources, background knowledge and tips for conducting research on companies, economic data and industries in Hispanic Latin America.

Item

When conducting research in Latin America you need to know the main information providers and the countries' principles regarding access to information. You will learn which kind of information you will be able to obtain from English resources and when you should consider involving a local partner or a Spanish-speaking information expert.


Many Countries - A Lot of Directories

Regulations and administrative procedures vary as to which company types and sizes have to register and in which directory.

Some countries have one centralised company directory, such as Mexico, where all companies are supposed to register in one single database (more information below) and countries like Columbia where several registries for different industries or legal entities exist.

In order to make sure you do not miss anything out, you might consider involving a Spanish-speaking information expert who is familiar with the specific country.


Company Information

Accessibility of company information depends on the size and type of the firm. Large companies usually provide information in English. Financial information on companies listed at the stock market is easily obtainable as well.

For obtaining general company information, the national Chambers of Commerce and Industry can be helpful contacts.

Researching SMEs is more difficult as information is available only in Spanish. SME in Spanish is referred to as "MiPyMes" or "PyMes" which stands for "Microempresa, Pequeña Empresa y Mediana Empresa". Small and medium sized companies generate 90% of employment in the Latin American region. They also constitute 80% of entrepreneurship in Latin America.

SMEs generate 45% to 55% of the gross domestic product, depending on which country. While there is a website (PYMES Latinas) aiming to gather information on all Latin American SMEs, the best source of information is the national SME registries. 


Find Out More

If you are interested in Spanish-speaking Latin American business information, resources for country, economic and company data, the article "Insider Knowledge - Researching Hispanic America" will provide you with important facts about the business and information structures, cultural differences and pitfalls, and with key information sources to start successfully researching the region.

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