Mexico, a country rich with culture and pride, has produced many entrepreneurs over the years. While corruption has kept Mexico from realizing its full economic potential, it has also helped breed visionary entrepreneurs who know the value of hard work and perseverance.

These successful Mexican entrepreneurs have been striving to make their country a rival to Silicon Valley in the United States, through the creation of massive companies and by promoting social good. The following are the most successful Mexican entrepreneurs.

Key Takeaways

  • While the U.S. is known for entrepreneurship, innovation, and big business, our neighbor to the south has also produced some business magnates.
  • Mexican entrepreneurs and businessmen have established themselves as key players in the Latin American economy, with much success.
  • Carlos Slim, head of Telmex, is often ranked as one of the world's richest men.

1. Moís Cherem Arana

Moís Cherem Arana and his two partners are filling the educational and information technology gaps in Mexico by bringing technology-based learning to underprivileged communities. In 2007, Arana founded Enova, an independent organization focused on e-learning. The company designs, builds, and operates educational centers strategically located in densely populated, low-income areas in Mexico.

These centers aim to provide children and adults with access to digital learning, coupled with support from on-site facilitators. In 2009, the company raised 50 million pesos through government, charity and corporate sources, and in 2013, Arana was named Social Entrepreneur of the Year at the World Economic Forum.

2. Enrique Gomez-Junco

Enrique Gomez-Junco is the founder of Optima Energia, one of only a few energy-saving companies in the country. Based in Santa Catarina, Optima Energia helps domestic businesses save as much as 40% on their energy bills and water costs by designing and implementing unique technical solutions that increase energy efficiency. To help domestic businesses further, Optima Energia does not require an upfront payment but instead receives financing from development banks to fund its projects.

Once an energy solution is implemented by Optima Energia, clients then pay the company a portion of their energy savings over a 10-year period. In 2012, Capital Finance International declared Optima Energia the winner of its Best Sustainable Energy award. Since its inception, the company has saved its clients 14 million cubic meters of potable water, 217 million kilowatts of electricity and 38 million liters of liquefied gas, an overall savings of more than $18 million.

3. Marcos Eshkenazi

Marcos Eshkenazi, a serial entrepreneur, has started over 15 companies. As of 2015, Eshkenazi is the founder and CEO of Frogtek, a for-profit social venture that helps small shopkeepers across Latin America achieve success through key tools that allow them to maximize their potentials.

The company's main tool is its flagship product, Tiendatek. Tiendatek is a point-of-sale software solution that lets users manage and control inventories while generating real-time analysis. Frogtek operates in Colombia and Mexico and is included in Kiva's list of nontraditional partners allowing business people to receive financing all over the world.

4. Andrés Rodriguez and Juan Carlos Vera

Andrés Rodriguez and Juan Carlos Vera, long-time friends and colleagues, started the company BlueMessaging, a cloud and intelligent platform solutions business. The aim of these two entrepreneurs is to solve the pain points of digital miscommunication.

BlueMessaging was founded in 2010 and achieved early success, with a growing client base consisting of companies such as Mexico's largest mortgage lender. Through the service, the two entrepreneurs help companies reduce the cost per client and connect with consumers by automating communication through multiple channels. These channels include SMS, computers and social networks.

5. José Rodríguez

José Rodríguez, with the help of his two partners, founded Modebo, a company that builds energy-monitoring devices that predict temperature behavior and energy consumption. The company aims to use complex algorithms and engineering architecture to solve real-world problems such as climate change.

In 2012, Modebo was one of the five finalists in the IBM Smart Camp in Mexico and won the 2012 Startup World pitch competition held in Mexico City for the best startup technology.

6. Carlos Slim

Mexican entrepreneur Carlos Slim Helú is a self-made man, the son of Catholic Lebanese immigrants to Mexico. Today, he is the chair and CEO of telecom giants Telmex and América Móvil. He has amassed a net worth upwards of $80 billion and often runs neck and neck with Bill Gates as the wealthiest man in the world.  

Slim confesses to preferring "the simple life,” and his lifestyle may seem less extravagant than other billionaires. Still, Slim has been a savvy investor and businessman making sure that his fortune continues to grow.