With the $8B canal expansion come 8 billion new opportunities
As an entrepreneur and business startup-a-holic, I often wistfully ask myself, “Why couldn’t I have $20M to incubate all my zany biz ideas?” Of course, if I DID have a rich uncle or some other benefactor, I’d probably just be another one of those brooding, serial-skiing brats who hasn’t lifted a pencil since the LSATs. But I digress…
In case you missed my last article about Panama Business Ideas, here are a few more for those who might wish to open a shop in Panama, but haven’t yet been struck with that creative thunderbolt.
1. Construction Equipment Rental
There is a mind blowing amount of construction going on all over Panama. So much that inflation in supply prices has become a reality. In more remote areas, it can take weeks to find a specific piece of equipment to rent or buy. So it would make perfect sense to open a business to rent, lease or even rent the talent to operate small and heavy equipment.
2. Professional English Training
The shortage of qualified English speakers across various service-related industries in Panama may be the rain on this country’s GDP growth parade. A company that can offer first rate training for professionals might even be able to garner government grants when things reach critical levels. I know of multiple operators in this area in Costa Rica who have done quite well as that country’s service economy expanded.
3. Mortgage Broker/Bank Expert
Although there’s plenty of hype about Panama’s real estate boom, as one who has bought, sold and brokered deals here, I can tell you that it’s no cake walk for foreigners. One of the biggest frustrations is in dealing with banks. Closings that involve the bank can take MONTHS. A kick butt, no prisoners Mortgage Broker who can work with the banks (can it be done?) and buyers/sellers to remove the mystery and headaches would stand to benefit nicely, assuming they figure out a surefire way to collect fees.
4. Self Storage
There are tons of foreigners waiting on their pre-construction condos to be completed. Given that developers frequently deliver keys to these units, well…a little tardy, one would stand to reason that a lot of furniture is stuck in the middle of these transactions. Where the heck to put it? I know first hand, there aren’t many of the ubiquitous roadside “You Lock It, You Keep Key” joints in Panama like up North. Seems like an easy way to convert low rent real estate into a cash cow.
5. A Real Estate Investment Fund
Plenty of folks would like to invest in Panama’s growing economy, but no everybody has the savvy, time or language skills to ensure a solid return. A U.S.-style real estate investment trust (REIT) could make that easier for foreigners to participate indirectly without all the headaches.
I hope one of these ideas might inspire more entrepreneurs to explore doing business in Panama. It’s a country rife with opportunities and a promising future.
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|Written by Casey Halloran|
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Filed under: Business on June 16th, 2008