According to the latest Longitudinal Survey of Companies (ELE), 97% of companies in Chile are MSMEs, and according to figures from the Ministry of Economy and Hermann Consultores (2019), SMEs generate more than 53% of employment, a fundamental pillar for the economy of our country. Considering these figures, there is no doubt how important it is to support entrepreneurs at every stage of their development.
At the Luksic Foundation, we have promoted programs – Impulso Chileno, Despega Mujer and Impulso Inicial – that aim to support traditional entrepreneurs, who start out of opportunity or necessity.
Evidence has shown us that this group of entrepreneurs faces great challenges: they have significant deficits in training, little incorporation of technology and lack of access to financing, which translates into a loss of competitiveness and participation in sales. Aware of this, through Impulso Inicial we seek to give precisely that “initial impulse” that thousands of businesses need to increase their production level, through tools, small machinery or other types of concrete support.
On the other hand, through Impulso Chileno and Despega Mujer we provide participants with comprehensive support consisting of accompaniment, training and financing. Training is an essential element. Through this item, entrepreneurs learn to identify their value proposition, who their customers are and build a development model for them; understand the fundamental elements for their marketing and sales strategies, review the legal and financial aspects of their business, and also see how to insert themselves into the digital world, a key issue today. All this, with the aim of finding a business model that allows them to position themselves properly and become more competitive in the market.
At the end of these programs, entrepreneurs such as Alba Santana, owner of “Aliwenko”, Gerardo Ciuffardi of “Cevichotes” and Karina Riquelme, founder of “Tissé”, to name a few, have made their businesses take off in an admirable way. They have shown us that they had all the potential and that it was enough that someone believed in them and gave them an integral impulse. But they need us to continue accompanying them and investing in them.
We know that there are different organizations, programs and entities working for the same goal: to support Chile’s entrepreneurs. After the pandemic, traditional entrepreneurs need more than ever the support of all those who can give them a boost. Let’s continue united for this goal! In this month, where the World and National Entrepreneurship Day is celebrated, we want to emphasize the importance of continuing to work collaboratively for and with MSMEs, enhancing their development and giving them tools to take off.
Director of the Entrepreneurship Area of the Luksic Foundation.