Business & Economy

IDB Lab recommends bringing awareness to entrepreneurs’ mental health

Bogota, Jun 14 (EFE).- Experts from the Inter-American Development Bank’s Innovation Lab (IDB Lab) called on the need to bring awareness to entrepreneurs’ mental health as a factor that affects the success of their companies.

“Many times entrepreneurs are thought of as entrepreneur-heroes who don’t get tired, who fight tirelessly, fight, get rounds (of financing) and sleep,” IDB Lab’s head of Discovery, César Buenadicha, told EFE at the second IDB Lab forum in the Colombian capital.

The laboratory launched the study “The invisible factor: well-being and mental health to strengthen the high-impact entrepreneurial ecosystem in Latin America and the Caribbean” which includes, among other recommendations, the need to raise awareness of the phenomenon of “burnout”.

Also known as “burnout syndrome”, this phenomenon, as the document explains, has as symptoms states of anxiety, fatigue, depression, and generalized exhaustion, among others.

Mental health in the sector “has been an invisible factor” because “in general, as a society, in Latin America and the Caribbean there is a taboo on the subject of mental health and, among entrepreneurs, even more so,” the IDB Lab manager, Irene Arias, pointed out,

In addition to insisting on the importance of understanding “to what extent entrepreneurs are suffering and how this is affecting their businesses,” Buenadicha urged the creation of protocols and support mechanisms for entrepreneurs that incorporate their mental health as another factor to be taken into account even in financing rounds.

Buenadicha added that many venture capital funds already have psychologists because they understand that “burnout in entrepreneurs causes them to fail,” and generates losses.

One of the “worst enemies” that feed “precarious situations,” in terms of mental health, has to do with the “false expectations” with which some come to the ecosystem on account of social media, said the co-founder and chief operating officer of OnTop, Julian Torres, in one of the panels.

“We are entering a very dangerous time in which we are entering unreal domains,” he said, adding that just as it happens in platforms like Instagram, there are also filters among entrepreneurs.

In addition, Torres recommended to those attending the meeting, which also brought together investors and corporations, to focus on “emotional alignment” in their ventures, just as he does every day at seven in the morning, minutes before starting his day.

Diana Narváez, who is part of the Latin American investment team at Flourish Ventures, admitted that entrepreneurship is also “an act of suffering” and that, therefore, it is necessary to “normalize the subject” because “all” entrepreneurs go through similar situations at some point. EFE



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