Women Entrepreneurship in Pandemic: Reinvention and Consolidation of Impulso Chileno Winner

9 •  julio  •  2020

The Impulso Chileno entrepreneurship contest has awarded a total of 120 entrepreneurs from all regions of the country in its 2018 and 2019 versions. Karina Riquelme, María Teresa Poblete and Jessica Ossandón tell how their businesses have faced the coronavirus health crisis.

Tissé, a dermocosmetic venture that helps healthcare personnel. Región Metropolitana

Karina Riquelme is a nurse and mother of two daughters. As one of them suffers from a skin condition, in 2018 she decided to create natural dermocosmetic products and apply her project “Tisse” to the Impulso Chileno contest, an initiative for entrepreneurs, promoted by the Luksic family. Karina won among the first places and obtained $10 million for her venture and 6 months of mentoring with the MBA of the Catholic University.

The pandemic has inspired this entrepreneur once again. “In the context of the health crisis in our country, we set ourselves the challenge of helping those who are part of the front line in health, making a hand cream that moisturizes and relieves the effects on the skin of frequent hand washing, the use of alcohol gel and gloves permanently,” explains Karina.

With conviction and hard work, Karina has been able to reinvent herself and continue with her project, so today she is working on creating a dermatological biotechnology laboratory to deepen research that will allow the rescue of active ingredients from the north of Chile that alleviate skin conditions.

The consolidation of Fonopartner. Región de O’Higgins. 

María Teresa Poblete is a speech therapist and one of her children suffers from a communication disorder. She says that the complicated transfers and high costs of therapy motivated her and her partner, María José Karadima, to give life to “Fonopartner”.

They decided to apply to the second version of Impulso Chileno and were awarded $10 million pesos and academic support, which allowed them to create this platform for speech therapists to work remotely with their patients with a professional quality service.

The arrival of the coronavirus and health measures, such as the obligatory social distancing, has favored and strongly consolidated this telemedicine venture. “Covid-19 served to validate and give credibility to those of us who were working in teletherapy. The pandemic forced people to learn new Tics, perform teleconsultations and many of our colleagues now ask us how to do it”, says María Teresa.

The winner is proud of how her efforts have paid off and that gives her the impetus to keep dreaming: she intends to expand the “Fonopartner” service to include occupational therapists and psychologists.

An opportunity for Custom Furniture Manufacturing. Región de Atacama

Jessica Ossandón’s project was born out of a chance circumstance when she could not find a shelf in the market that would fit the measurements she needed for her home. For this reason, she ventured into making her own furniture and little by little she began to do well.

With the dream of strengthening her business, she applied to the second version of Impulso Chileno, where she won $5 million pesos and academic support from the Catholic University’s School of Management.

Most entrepreneurs have been affected by the crisis but fortunately this has not been Jessica’s case: “This is because people spend so much time in their homes that they realize they need furniture to store all their things and they want to organize it”.

With the prize, this winner was able to implement a workshop and set up an office to work in, which has allowed her to move forward steadily to strengthen her business.