Sansanos foster entrepreneurship and innovation through social projects

Thanks to the Fund’s institutional development awarded in 2012 by two students of business engineering, entrepreneurs in the town of Melipeuco, IX Region, they will receive counseling and support in the formulation of projects based on criteria of sustainability and social responsibility. Francisco Madrid and Juan Arancibia, last year students of engineering commercial of the Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa María, Campus Santiago, are the main managers of the project that aims to deliver and apply the tools of engineering business for research, implementation and validation of a model of development with a social and environmentally sustainable approach in communities that have high rates of poverty, vulnerability and social risk.

entrepreneurship and innovation

“The project starts as an idea to delve into other areas of business that are not associated with the pursuit of economic profitability as a final objective, but also incorporate in its performance in social and environmental goals. After having worked a while in some companies, one feels a little tired of the typical business model, which begin to find out about other topics, as are inclusive projects, microfinance, social equity and other alternative financial mechanisms, focusing on people who generally do not have access or are excluded from the traditional system to carry out their investment projects”said one of the members of the initiative.

To begin with the field work, the first objective was to investigate specific development opportunities with the inhabitants of the town of Melipeuco. To do this, during the first stage of research business opportunities were identified and were working networks with reason to distinguish the social actors with greater motivation within the commune, contributing with techniques to encourage and guide their ideas.

“We started in January to work with the IDF, in the first stage of the project, comprising basically study needs and opportunities (research carried out in the area). This is the first point, it is the basis of the project,”said the Executive Director, Francisco Madrid.

In this first stage, meetings were held with local authorities, such as the Mayor of the commune, regional councillors, Seremi of environment, among others, in order to present the initiative to the community and link it with networks of regional development.

During the month of March was terminated the investigative stage, through a meeting between local entrepreneurs and local authorities. As explained by the Director of the project, “the idea of this meeting was to serve as an instance to have a feedback from entrepreneurs about the evolution of the project, and in particular to facilitate the registration of them in the cycle of consultations that we are going to be done, determining areas in which will play, as well as to define their participation in other fields of the project”.

A total of 35 entrepreneurs local and representatives of associations, participated in this meeting; seven of them, representatives of community associations, such as the Director of the Group of rural women, the President of the Association of small farmers and the leader of an important mapuche community.

“We will advise, partnering with people, with entrepreneurs motivated to do things in the future.” “Basically, we are dedicated to search and rescue these social entrepreneurs and local entrepreneurs who see business opportunities to its around and requiring assistance in certain areas to have better projections of development”, noted student of business engineering.

The transfer of knowledge and the promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship through sustainable projects is one of the main goals set by these sansanos, who, as they themselves say, intend to install in the University community interest in the development of social projects and sustainable development. “We want to ensure that social entrepreneurship is generally installed as a topic of conversation, to consider it as an alternative to work. It’s entertaining, exciting and very rewarding, it gives you the opportunity to meet other realities. It’s a real alternative to personal and professional development,”they said.

Through support from the Directorate of Student Affairs, the unit of Control of projects the DGIP and foot >, it was possible that the USM is awarded a total of 10 FDI projects by 2013 (student line), which corresponds to a total of $43.623.000, this project to receive a sum of $5,000,000.

“Student Affairs support in projects like this, reinforces the commitment of the institution to the comprehensive development of the students. We have seen that in particular this project, has had a high interest in the Araucanía regional, especially when they involved areas of high social impact where work is insufficient for the demands that these areas require, and is just there, when the contribution made by the USM students achieved an important contribution,”emphasized responsible for promotion and student participationPablo Carrasco.