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Chile Entrepreneurs Growing With the Help of IT

Gary Locke, the US Secretary of Commerce, recently visited Chile to participate in the third Americas Competitiveness Forum. We had the honor and the privilege to spend a dedicated session with Secretary Locke to discuss the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute and how this initiative is helping to foster entrepreneurship throughout Chile.

The Institute already has much to feel proud about -- to date, it has improved the business and information technology (IT) skills of 220 entrepreneurs from Santiago, Puente Alto and Valparaíso in Chile.

In the next 12 months, 850 more entrepreneurs from small- and medium-sized businesses are scheduled to undertake training at the Institute.

The Institute was launched in Chile in November 2008 in partnership with the Minister of Economy and is one of several educational programs that Cisco is hosting in Chile, Latin America and other emerging markets countries.

Small- and medium-sized companies and their entrepreneurial leaders are critical to stimulating sustainable employment, exports and innovation. These factors contribute to the success of the overall economy.

Access to IT solutions, education and broadband network connectivity result in a better quality of life and create sustainable growth opportunities, by assisting businesses to save costs, maintain productivity and reach new markets --  both in Chile and abroad.  However, despite the indisputable advantages of IT and broadband technology, more than 60 percent of businesses are not using these two enablers to their advantage, according to a study from the Internet Business Solution Group from Cisco.

The Institute objective is to equip business owners with the appropriate skills they require to run successful businesses, including how to use the Internet to optimize business processes, and using a web portal and collaboration technology to improve communication.

Maria Ximena Hernandez’s small cake decorating business has benefited from her newfound IT skills, courtesy of a course she completed at the Institute.

She said the following to Secretary Locke during the session: “Before I joined the Institute, I only knew how to use email, but the training has encouraged me to use technology and incorporate it into business processes. Since the training, I have created a website for my business and started using business applications.”

There are a number of other examples, including Marisa Carvajal, who owns a loom craft company.

Marisa lacked basic computer skills, but now can operate a computer, send email and browse the web. She acknowledges that her experience at the Institute has helped to grow her small business.

US Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke speaking with the Cisco team at the Sheraton Hotel in Santiago, Chile

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17 Comments.


  1. This is VERY GOOD. I can only imagine the INCREDIBLY POSITIVE impact of 850 more entrepreneurs from small- and medium-sized businesses in the coming months and years, after wards! AWESOME!

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  2. I look for Latin America to continue expanding economically, strengthened by Brazil. With Brazil doing so well, this should help the surrounding countries also do well. This will bring many opportunities in the IT sector as well as in others, ideally it will allow for the growth of IT to reach businesses and consumers to a meaningful extent.

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  3. I think that the institute’s objective will really make a difference in the overall success of the country as more and more businesses get this training. You are right about the need for more businesses to increase their ability to use technology. We all need to take action or get left behind.

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  4. Great post! I like it very much. Some great information to be absorbed in this post. The way of writing is very good. Thanks for sharing.Keep posting.

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  5. I think that the institute’s objective will really make a difference in the overall success of the country as more and more businesses get this training.

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  6. Hi..Thanks for sharing the article.. Its an interesting topic to discuss.. I think it really good and have a great impact on the growth of IT sector and Country as well..

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  7. I’ve always thought the success of Brazil would be emulated by the surrounding countries, even with all the political turmoil that plagues the neighboring nations. As long as they can create a business friendly government welcomes entrepreneurship into the country then they will prosper. But the problems arise when the locals think that foreigners are there to exploit them.

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  8. Interesting… but I would have to see the actual results/impact on a big business before I could look forward to it being anything major, though it seems it would be extremely beneficial.

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  9. The effort shown to increase the number of entrepreneurs to be trained by the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute is really an appreciable one. This will have a considerable impact on the overall development of Chile as well as other abroad countries.

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  10. now a days IT is growing..really useful articles…

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  11. I think that the institute’s objective will really make a difference in the overall success of the country as more and more businesses get this training.

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  12. really useful Articles..thanks from GermanyFrank

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  13. IT have been a great help to 3 world countries.Another expample can also be found in Nigerian enterprenures.Nice Post!

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  14. many opportunities in the IT sector as well as in others, ideally it will allow for the growth of IT to reach businesses and consumers to a meaningful extent.

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  15. Very good information here. I’ve subscribed to this blog now.

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  16. Great to see Cisco is encouraging and supporting entrepreneurs.Best of luck to them and their future ventures.

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