With more than 200m people, Brazil is still South America's largest market. The country also has high internet penetration and more mobile devices than human inhabitants.
But big impediments remain. Economic downturn has done nothing to diminish the notorious labyrinths of red tape Brazil’s indecipherable bureaucracy erects around even the most straightforward certifications, transactions and licensing processes. At 14.25 percent, interest rates are high for the returns your average Silicon Valley VC fund could expect to see on a given portfolio, rendering entrepreneurship needlessly risky for many investors who might otherwise be interested in backing promising businesses. Antiquated labor laws and tax codes, crumbling or non-existent roads and an overburdened university system are just some of the longstanding barriers entrepreneurs continue to face in the country.