A GREAT PROGRESS HAS BEEN PERFORMED BY AL INVEST, THE EUROPEAN UNION PROJECT INMPLEMENTED BY EUROCHILE
The Business Foundation Eurochile celebrated upon the project closure of the European Union, AL Invest 5.0: "Partnership as a strategy to improve the productivity and competitiveness of Chilean SME’s belonging to the food and tourism sectors". It took place last December 4th, with the International seminar called "New forms of partnership to facilitate innovation and improve productivity".
During 18 months, the project sought to support the development of the productive, entrepreneurial and associative capacities of the MSME’s in Chile, taking advantage of the inter- and intra-regional integration processes of Latin America and the European Union.
There were 18 organizations such as chambers of commerce and tourism, business associations, groups, and public-private panels that benefited from the project and that belong to the regions of Coquimbo, Valparaíso, Metropolitana, O'Higgins, Bío Bío, Los Ríos and Los Lagos.
The core methodology was enforced. This methodology implies the work performed by company groups that come together to work in order to solve common problems, as well as taking advantage of future potentials opportunities.
During the project, they worked on the development of business linkage activities, direct support to MSME’s to increase their productivity and competitiveness, through training, workshops and bringing European experts. It was also focused on the institutional strengthening and skills for public-private dialogue of the participating business organizations and the revitalization of the business development market services for the SME’s
During the opening, the President of the Business Foundation of Europhile, Vicente Caruz, evaluated the international cooperation program of the European Union in Latin America, AL-Invest 5.0. In the opportunity, he based the relevance on the conglomerates.
"Today the world faces many changes every day. These changes are diverse, complex and affect our work activities. We see phenomena such as continuous and greater residential areas, demographic changes, global warming and technological development. These changes and their impacts are challenges to be faced and they require the action of society as a whole, because it functions as a system. At the same time, we have information that can help tackle those impacts. However, the government and employers must act in an associative way, because together, they can be prepared for the future. Partnership means survival", he emphasized.
Results of AL Invest Project
On the other hand, Eurochile's Executive manager, José Aravena, announced the main results of AL Invest 5.0 project, executed by this foundation.
"The project involved more than 400 companies. 300 of them were diagnosed, 70% of which are led by women. 18 business core centers were formed. 13 European experts were invited to carry out 30 training workshops and consulting. 2 public-private agreements were signed”.
"92.4% of the participating companies mentioned that the training workshops helped improve their businesses. 13.6% started new businesses. Meanwhile, 56% started conversations for future business. 22.7% invested in new technologies, "he concluded.
AL Invest 5.0 users welcomed the initiative
Demetrio Ananías, president to the Chamber of Tourism in Curanilahue and to the public-private Council for Tourism of the Province of Arauco where organizations formed respectively by 15 companies and 10 chambers of commerce and representatives of public institutions- pointed out that "I come today to speak of our reality, of how we have worked in an associative way and how AL Invest project has helped us improve this work. What stands out in our merging work is the improvement of human resource capacities. The support of Eurochile and AL Invest 5.0 has been the training, the tour and the skills performed. The project sets up a beginning of something bigger. "
Fernando Murillo of Home Urbano, a company that provides intelligent services, one of the program members and the tour to Finland in the framework of Eureka Days, last May, affirmed that "we are seeing how we associate with other companies. The program has helped us to improve the innovation and productivity of our organization. "
On the other hand, Elena Delgado, President of the Association of Professional Tourism Guides of the Central Valley, commented that "Through AL Invest project we have been part of the workshops. We are working on merging, the application of new technologies and other topics to learn how to improve our businesses. The support has been a key factor. We found an entity that wants to support us and provide knowledge to boost our companies. Most of us are service providers from different agencies, but the idea is that each one of us can develop our own enterprise. I would like to stress the fact that I have met new entrepreneurs from other areas with whom we could start merging and help each other immediately. Al Invest, on the other hand, has been a very good platform to make ties with European companies. "
Drago Domancic, Manager of the Corporation for the Strategic Development of the Province of San Antonio , which includes the chambers of commerce and tourism in Santo Domingo, Cartagena, San Antonio, El Quisco, El Tabo and Algarroba, pointed out that " AL Invest program executed by Eurochile has pushes us to strengthen the tourism sector in our province. We have developed several training and education projects trough which we have had the chance to share successful experiences with international consultants, a rewarding experience for our entrepreneurs. They have understood that by applying simple actions, it is possible to increase the tourist flow and provide a better service. The importance of technology transfer has been spread among them. We call ourselves the rout of the poets (el litoral de los poetas) and Al Invest has been a great help in shaping tourism products and on how the tourist service quality must be carried out. I emphasize that AL Invest gave a kickstart to work collaboratively. "
International Seminar "New Forms of Partnership to facilitate Innovation and improve Productivity"
The closing of the project coincided with the development of the international seminar that included the participation of Yves Gidoin, President of the Vegepolys Competitiveness Pole of France; Jorge Quintanilla, General Manager of Peumo Intercomunal Peumo, COOPEUMO; María Pacheco, president of Cooperativa Viñas Caupolicán of the Maule Region; Demetrio Ananías, president of the Public-Private Tourism Council of the Province of Arauco;Vicente Caruz and José Aravena, president and chief executive officer respectively of Eurochile Business Foundation.
María Pacheco, executive president of Cooperativa Viñas Caupolican de Curicó, which is 10 years old, said that "I have come to show our history of successes, falls, and diverse learning. Also, to expose a project that has to do with innovation, the social sense and environmental care in a market we manage: the fair market. We are currently 18 partners in the Curicó Valley. The majority of the cooperatives are women. We export 100% of our bulk wine to England. "
Jorge Quintanilla, general manager to Coopeumo Cooperative, expressed that "they invited me to tell the experience of the Cooperative dedicated to supporting small agriculture. This cooperative is 49 years old, has 380 members today, of which 55 are women. Eurochile has supported us in commercial tours, links with Europe and with what has to do with exports of dehydrated plum to England, Poland, among other countries. Partnership has been relevant to achieve our goal of improving the quality of life of our members. We support their productive work, we provide access to credit, and we develop training and advice by agricultural technicians all year round. We also sell together in an associative way, connect with international markets and elaborate projects to have access to funds from the productive development institutions such as Corfo, Sercotec, Indap, and FIA ".
Yves Gidoin, president of competitivenes Vegepolys and foreign trade advisor of France, said that "I spoke about teamwork in the collective field, because ever since 1982 I have run fruit, beans, and vegetable cooperatives, so I highlighted elements we must work on together. We intervene in an extraordinarily dynamic world and we need to work in networks. My testimony was about my experience and collaborative and innovation aspects. The benefits we get with Partnership is sharing values, assets, ideas. When we work alone we do not always have all the means and competences to carry out projects, but when these are the result of collaborative work, we can share the challenges, problems and ideas to get the solutions ".
"The testimonies of Partnership in Chile were very interesting, even more so at the level of cooperatives, of understanding well the social dimension of what this entails. Beyond carrying out projects of a commercial or technical nature, they give the possibility of providing solutions at the level of society and demonstrate a deep-rooted presence in the territory and a long-term commitment ", added the French expert.
The closing ceremony ended with a conclusion panel and with certification recognition.
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