Easy Entrepreneurship in Ecuador!
Jun 19, 2013
There are no rules when it comes moving abroad.
Escaping your home country for several months, several years or forever needn’t be reserved for retirees only.
With the continued progression of technology paired with what seems like constant economic turmoil throughout much of North America and Europe, young entrepreneurs and families are starting to become mainstays in many previously popular ‘retirement’ destinations.
Coastal Ecuador is no exception to this new migration of expats.
So what are these young folks doing when they reach Ecuador? Well, with really low property prices and overall expenses, come foreigners – both to live and to vacation. Although most people coming to Ecuador are excited about experiencing the local culture and food, there is definitely still a market for North American-style grub.
Take for example Brenda and her daughter Ashley… Brenda was able to take an early retirement from her job as a high-school English teacher, and Ashley – having just graduated from a culinary program at the local college – wanted to experience new flavors and cultures.
Why did they choose Ecuador? During a trip around South America with her husband at the time, Brenda had fallen in love with this country… the people, the scenery and the general ‘vibe’ of, more specifically, coastal Ecuador. She had planned to go back, but life got in the way and the next thing she knew she was caught up in the ‘daily grind’.
With her grown daughter in tow, the plan was to find a place to rent (with prices so low, she wanted to buy, but not until she knew it was still as beautiful as she remembered) where they could walk to the beach and become involved in a community. They found their new paradise along Ecuador’s coast between the bustling cities of Manta and Salinas. It was perfect for them, not being city-lovers, and they settled right in.
Fast-forward two years, and here we are, enjoying the evening breeze sitting at a small open-air bar watching another stunning sunset, chatting with Brenda and Ashley. Many exciting developments have happened since they first moved here two years ago… Brenda tutors local children (and some adults) in English. She doesn’t charge for her lessons, it’s her way of contributing to the community, and she loves doing it, “I wouldn’t feel right about charging when I get so much joy out of it!” That being said, gratitude is often expressed by dinner invites and fresh produce, which is more then she could ask for.
She also bought a piece of land and is having a custom home built. “When we got here two yeas ago, I felt the love I had for this area wrap around me like a warm, familiar blanket. Aside from being easier to get to, not much has changed since I was here all those years ago. Once I started looking at land and home sales, I knew this was where I would stay.”
And Ashley? “She has turned into quite the little entrepreneur!” Brenda proudly says. “Initially, she was excited about trying as many local dishes as she could, and then recreating them at home. We still eat the majority of our meals at home, most of them being local dishes with Ashley’s personal touch added. But one of her specialties back home was cupcakes, and we were in withdrawal only a month or so after moving here. We headed to Salinas for a ‘baking supply grocery-shop’, and she got right back into the baking groove she had been in prior to our move.”
Ashley’s baking turned out to be very popular within their local community, with special orders being placed almost weekly… “Other expats in the area love them!” Ashley pipes up, “and the locals are definitely getting a taste for them.”
Ashley’s cupcakes had become so popular locally that a year ago she decided to take them on the road. With festivals and celebrations being so frequent and well attended in Ecuador, Brenda and Ashley load up their truck and head to the city; usually Salinas, but sometimes Guayaquil – especially during the annual weeklong July celebration.
“We just set up on the street and sell them until they’re gone. Which typically doesn’t take long!”
This is a perfect example of how becoming an entrepreneur in Ecuador doesn’t need to be complicated, arduous or expensive (although Ashley does admit to shelling out more then she’d like for certain ingredients). A simple idea or passion can easily be turned into a source of income.
Brenda and Ashley are still enjoying their life along coastal Ecuador. Their home is almost complete with (you guessed it!) a gourmet kitchen including a double oven and extra-large fridge. Brenda has included space for a nice-sized office where she can tutor her students and they have plenty of outdoor living space for friends, family and the nightly entertainment the setting sun provides.
You may not know you have an entrepreneurial streak until you’re put in a situation or location that forces your imagination to work. If you feel like its time to ‘tune out’ and live at a more relaxed pace, Ecuador is waiting! Visit on a Discovery Weekend and let your imagination run wild…