There are nearly half a million entrepreneurs in Chile, of whom nearly 600,000 are women, some of whom are now famous. Women who have chosen to be entrepreneurs in Chile most commonly belong to the population with the lowest income and are helped by institutions that grant loans to small entrepreneurs.
In Chile, the role of women can still be regarded as traditional in many areas. Yet women have embraced entrepreneurship as it allows them to reconcile work with caring for their families much better than they would be able to by working as employees. The flexibility with hours, using their skills and increased job satisfaction are benefits stated by many of the women entrepreneurs in Chile.
Chile is a good place for entrepreneurs, it was classed as the most innovative country in South America in the 2013 Global Innovation Index of the World Intellectual Property Organization and INSEAD Business School. Chile was also the most competitive economy in Latin America according to the WEF Global Competitive Index 2012-2013. Chile was also number 1 in Latin America on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index 2012 and on EIU’s Business Environment Ranking.
Chile is empowering women business owners to succeed and become famous in global markets thanks to the country’s macroeconomic stability achieved by adopting a floating exchange rate, with a large and well diversified financial system compared with other countries in the region. With a strong regulatory and supervisory framework, Chile also has the capacity for recovery in the event of crises.
Famous Chilean women entrepreneurs
On average in Chile, women entrepreneurs start their businesses at the age of 41. Here we list some of the most famous Chilean women entrepreneurs today:
Barbara Silva, BeST innovation founder, Women@TheFrontier Latin America Director
BeSTinnovation is a Corporate Accelerator that has a focus on fostering innovation by the transfer of knowledge through international connections. BeST together with local and international partners has developed initiatives that include Corporate Bootcamps to Silicon Valley, Landing programmes for international companies, business networking events in Silicon Valley and mentorship networks.
Alejandra Mustakis, iF / Medular / Kauel / Stgo Maker Space
Alejandra Mustakis is an industrial designer and entrepreneur from Chile. She is the only daughter of businessman Constantine Mustakis and has Greek and Palestinian origins. She studied at the Universidad Diego Portales and holds a degree in Business and Management from Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez and is a founding partner of several companies such as Medular, Kauel, Stgo Makerspace and iF. She is President of the Entrepreneurs Association of Chile and in 2012 she received the “Young People with Success” Award. She has also been recognised as one of the top ‘100 Women Leaders by El Mercurio in for several years from 2008.
Susana Carey, Chilean Association of Supermarkets (ASACH) CEO
As well as being chief executive of ASACH, Carey is also chairman of the board of Correos de Chile and sits in the executive committee of SOFOFA. Previously the executive director of Comunidad Mujer, Carey still works for them as a consultant. Carey was also in Seminarium Head Hunting and The Newfield Network. She is currently a board member of AxisRSE (Consultant in Corporate Social Responsibility), a board member of Fondo Esperanza (Microcredit Bank from Hogar de Cristo) and counsellor of the Commercial Engineers Foundation of Catholic University. Carey holds a Commercial Engineering degree from Catholic University of Chile.
Paula Figueroa, Chile Telefonica Marketing Director
Figueroa is Chief Marketing Officer at Telefonica Moviles Espana SA, a Director-Marketing at Telefónica Chile SA, General Manager at Telefónica Multimedia Chile Dos SA, and a Director-Marketing & Innovation at Telefónica Móviles Chile SA. She received her undergraduate degree from Universidad Diego Portales.
Alicia Hidalgo, Chile National Television (TVN) Executive Director.
Alicia Hidalgo was a commercial engineer for fourteen years at TVN, as commercial manager and general manager before her post as Executive Director. She has navigated the company through poor rankings and an economic crisis in which 22 billion dollars were lost and hundreds of workers laid off. Hidalgo has also been professor of the Faculty of Economics and Administration of the PUC, where he also headed the department of studies of the UC Capital Market.