“I want to congratulate the winners of this program, they are an example of drive, perseverance and commitment. We are proud to be able to support them so that they can grow their businesses. Our objective with Despega Mujer is to accompany them so that they can continue to fulfill their dreams, projects and achieve their goals”, said Paola Luksic, president of Fundación Luksic, at the welcoming ceremony for the 20 winners of the Despega Mujer program held on Wednesday, May 5.
The entrepreneurs selected for this new Fundación Luksic program will receive $2 million pesos to finance their ventures and six months of academic support with a gender focus. Despega Mujer seeks to empower women who already have a good entrepreneurial profile to encourage them to move to a higher business segment, through comprehensive support with a gender approach.
In this first cycle of the program, Fondo Esperanza was responsible for inviting 40 women entrepreneurs benefited by the entity to participate, and during the months of March and April the selection process for the 20 winners was carried out by Corporación Simón de Cirene, Corporación Construyendo Mis Sueños and Fundación Luksic.
The winners, who have been running their businesses for more than three years, are from the districts of Antofagasta, Puerto Montt, Quinta Normal, Renca and Independencia. The average age of the entrepreneurs is 45 years old and their businesses are in different areas, such as commerce, handicrafts and textiles, among others.
Despega Mujer commitment is to provide comprehensive support, so in addition to financing, technical and academic support will be provided through a 30-hour training program and personalized mentoring for 6 months, which will be given from the first week of June by experts from Corporación Simón de Cirene.
“When they told me I cried with emotion. I cried too much. Because I think I deserve it for all the effort I have made all this time. It’s almost 20 years. I started on a corner with a cart and today I have my space for my flower shop. So I am very happy with this opportunity,” said María Teresa Palma, one of the winners of Despega Mujer.
The virtual ceremony was also attended by Lastenia Albornoz, who recounted her experience as winner of the second version of Impulso Chileno, a Fundación Luksic contest that in its three editions has awarded a total of 220 entrepreneurs from all over the country, 52% of whom are women.
“Impulso Chileno has been the most wonderful thing that has happened to me in my life. Sometimes it is much more difficult for women, but with desire and commitment you can always do it. I didn’t go to college and this opportunity has allowed me to continue growing my business called Fundas Truck,” Lastenia explained during her presentation.
She also gave a message of encouragement to the winners: “Let no one tell you that you can’t, because if you believe you can, it is possible. And really take advantage of every learning opportunity, you are in the best hands.
Constanza Arcos, coordinator of Fundación Luksic Entrepreneurship Area, emphasized the importance of this first cycle of the program. “We are confident that we will have very good results and that Despega Mujer will be able to continue growing to reach more women entrepreneurs in Chile and support them in their growth,” said Arcos.