US Entrepreneurs Graduating from College: China or Brazil?
Hello, my friends and I are graduating from college this June! We are mostly entrepreneurs and interested in big business opportunities. We want to be where the action is (high growth rates/developing economies), and the same question keeps coming up: China or Brazil?
Any advice would be very appreciated.
As a background: I'm from the US. I already have experience doing business with China and have traveled there on biz. I have not done business in Brazil. I don't speak Mandarin or Portuguese (but I'm proficient in Spanish and can understand broken English from non-native speakers remarkably well).
Well Michael, I made a similar choice as you did when I graduated in 2011. I chose Brazil not only for the economic reasons but for a range of other reasons that I saw as positives vs other countries such as China, India, etc.
Long-term, both countries will have a lot of opportunity for entrepreneurs. Recently, Brazil's economic results haven't been too attractive but either way you can't go wrong if you're looking for high growth.
For me, the question soon became where would I find the best quality of life between high-growth emerging markets.
Brazil won by a long shot. I already new Spanish so Portuguese was easy to pick up. I've never studied Mandarin but I assume that Portuguese is easier for a native English speaker to pick up than Mandarin. Brazil's culture is different from the U.S. but not as different as China's. Brazil is a democracy, has amazing weather, beautiful and friendly people, and not the mention the World Cup and Summer Games shortly to come.
Then there are also the little pluses like a shorter flight from Sao Paulo to NYC compared to China, a small varying 1-3 hour time difference, and the ability to visit friends in neighboring countries.
I would guarantee that either way you'll be able to find the potential opportunity you're looking for. I encourage you, however, to look beyond the economic surface into what else you want from the experience. Weigh all the advantages and drawbacks of each place and then commit to your decision. Hopefully my perspective and experience can be of some value to you and your choice.