Boosting Growth for Chilean Small Businesses
April 02, 2015
A new program is helping entrepreneurs in Chile improve their management skills and rapidly increase their sales.
Erika Hernández, a mother of two young children, had a business idea to address one of the leading causes of skin damage. She launched PiriPiri, a business in Santiago, Chile, specializing in children’s clothing with built-in ultraviolet protection. As with many small businesses, PiriPiri had its ups and down. It faced fluctuating seasonal sales, and in the busy times Erika struggled to increase her production capacity fast enough to meet demand.
Last year, Erika applied to Impulsa Tu Empresa (ITE), a new TechnoServe business accelerator program supported by the MetLife Foundation. As a small business with high growth potential, PiriPiri was selected as one of 180 enterprises in the Santiago Metropolitan Region to participate in 2014. TechnoServe business advisors worked with Erika to build her business management skills and tackle production challenges. As a result, Erika outsourced some of her production to local workshops, opened additional distribution points and developed a new product line for adults. In less than five months, PiriPiri saw sales increase by more than 150 percent.
Impulsa Tu Empresa is transforming the way that the entrepreneurs like Erika run their businesses, which are often the sole source of income for their families. The program has helped beneficiaries increase sales by an average of 50 percent within the first six months of joining. Participants are also improving their financial management by opening bank accounts and implementing other best practices.
Supporting small businesses, which account for 65 percent of jobs in Santiago, is critical for the development of the local economy. Through Impulsa Tu Emprea, TechnoServe aims to reach 280 entrepreneurs in Santiago and Valparaiso in 2015.
Related Blog Posts
After battling leaf rust on his coffee farm in Honduras, Oscar Ramirez won 2017's Cup of Excellence competition and broke records for Honduras's coffee sector after applying best practices he learned from TechnoServe's MAS program.
In honor of Coffee Day, we are celebrating the stories of farmers like Blanca Rosa, who helped her community to overcome leaf rust and to create more profitable and sustainable coffee livelihoods.
Women play a central, though often "invisible," role in Colombian coffee production. Here's how The Coca-Cola Foundation and TechnoServe are partnering to improve the access of 11,000 women to the services and training they need to run their coffee farms as a business.