Fondo Esperanza and Sernam sign collaboration agreement

31 July 2013
Fondo Esperanza

The agreement seeks to benefit women who wish to improve their quality of life through entrepreneurship and self-employment. This alliance forms part of the recent study that identifies Chile as the country offering the best environment for Latin American women entrepreneurs.

Irene Jaque, an entrepreneur with Fondo Esperanza, says that she started her fast food business eight years ago. The business has constantly grown ever since, going from three full meals served on the first day to over one hundred today.

Irene’s story reflects the will of thousands of women all over Chile who day after day work to improve their quality of life. This is why the recently-signed agreement between Fondo Esperanza and the National Service for Women (Sernam) is a validation of the efforts made by these institutions in this area.

One of the objectives of the alliance is to share information on the programs and services of both organizations and coordinate joint actions to disseminate them both at the national and regional levels. In addition, the commitment was made to collaborate in activities promoting women’s entrepreneurship.

Juan Cristóbal Romero, general manager of Fondo Esperanza, said that his agreement concretizes the purpose of Sernam and FE, as the two institutions focus on women. “To generate alliances is fundamental to build up the offer to our women entrepreneurs together with other social agents, whether from the government or foundations,” he explained.

For her part, Loreto Seguel, Minister of the National Service for Women, said that this collaboration is important because it delivers tools and opportunities for women. “From Sernam we are going to work with Fondo Esperanza at every possible opportunity,” she added.

Chile has the best environment for women entrepreneurs

According to a recent study by the Women’s Entrepreneurial Venture Scope (WeVentureScope), of the Economist Intelligence Unit, financed and developed jointly by the Fondo Multilateral de Inversiones (FOMIN), a member of the Interamerican Development Bank Group, Chile is the country offering the best environment in the region for women entrepreneurs in Latin America in five areas: business operation risk, business environment for companies, access to financing, capacity, skills, and social services.

Chile is the country that offers the best development in the category of Operational Business Risks, a reflection of a steady macroeconomic environment and a low perceived incidence of corruption, with El Salvador and Mexico next in the ranking. Low macroeconomic risk and minimal vulnerability to corruption places Chile ahead of the list in this category, even though other countries offer a lower security risk and better macroeconomic development.

One area for improvement is women entrepreneurs’ access to training. In Chile, the participation of women in programs for business training and improvement is only 25%.