For my semester project in Cuba I will be studying and researching Small Private Businesses in Havana, Cuba. Private businesses are relatively new in the Republic of Cuba because for many years all legitimate businesses in Cuba from hotels to restaurants to hot dog stands were owned and run by the state. The ability to legally own and run a private business has only just recently been allowed and I hope to see how people are transitioning and profiting from the business practices being reintroduced into the Cuban economy.
For decades the people have been relying on the state to provide jobs and now that they have the opportunity to start their own businesses and create their own jobs I am curious to see what sort of mercantile spirit the people of Cuba have. So far I have been impressed with the number of private businesses I’ve seen, but I want to learn more about the difficulties and successes of running and working for a private business. I will be speaking with local employees of both state run and private businesses to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of private business in Cuba as well as speaking with local citizens, professors and any government officials I can get in touch with.