GABRIELA VALENZUELA ARCUCH //
Centro de Desarrollo de Negocios de SERCOTEC //
July 14th 2017 //
I met Gabriela for a quick chat at her offices to understand more about her work and the work of Centro de Desarrollo de Negocios. They are a network of walk-in centers stationed in different neighbourhoods across Chile, with the objective of giving practical tools and support to people who are setting up or growing businesses in that region.
The the services of the Centre include:
_ Mentoring and technical advice.
_ General and specialised training.
_ Access to financial support.
_ Applied research of business and market.
_ Links with the local ecosystem.
They are positioned strategically in communities where there might otherwise be very little access to the infrastructure and support required for entrepreneurs. The first centre opened in October 2015, in Valparaíso, and there is now a network of 51 centres across the country.
They believe that local business growth, however small, is key to Chile’s development. And they emphasise the importance of sustainability, keeping valuable businesses alive. They work with some enterprises that have a social function, or call themselves social enterprises, but this is not their focus.
The network was commissioned by the Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism, as part of their strategic commitment to the promotion of entrepreneurship and the growth of small and medium enterprises. There is also a relationship with the US government who have a shared interest in the economic growth of Chile.