Venezuela Flag

Lorenzo Mendoza

EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year Class of 2021, Venezuela

Lorenzo Mendoza, CEO of Empresas Polar

Resilience ensures Empresas Polar remains Venezuela’s most iconic food and drink brand.

Photographic portrait of Lorenzo Mendoza

Lorenzo Mendoza

Lorenzo Mendoza’s ability to adapt to changing circumstances has seen him grow food and drink producer Empresas Polar into Venezuela’s largest privately owned company, as well as its most successful brand.

Founded in Caracas 80 years ago by Lorenzo’s grandfather, Empresas Polar started off as a family brewery. Under Lorenzo’s leadership, the company has expanded its portfolio of products and now produces everything from beer and cooking oil to ice cream to precooked cornmeal. He has successfully expanded globally, and the company’s leading brands are now in more than 90 countries. It has 56,000 employees working across manufacturing and distribution facilities in the United States, Colombia, Mexico, Spain, Peru, Ecuador and Chile, as well as Venezuela.

Lorenzo’s commitment to his country is demonstrated through the Empresas Polar Foundation, which funds aid programs in food, health, education, sports and community development. Lorenzo longs to see other entrepreneurs in Venezuela succeed, so he funds entrepreneurship schools where students learn skills such as how to create a business plan and register a company. Each year, Empresas Polar and its Foundation programs benefit, directly and indirectly, around 20% of the population.