Levantando Chile Fund

Sep 11, 2012

Hello from the field!

NESsT continues to provide financial, capacity-building, and psychological support to 373 small producers and artisans in the O´Higgins, Maule and Bio-Bio regions of Chile to help rebuild the lives, livelihoods, and communities most affected by the 2010 earthquake and tsunami.

NESsT is proud to announce that after 14 months, this part of the project is nearing its final stages, as our assistance to these 373 producers will come to an end by mid-October.

Since June, NESsT has been carrying out different actions that provide new knowledge, skills and support to the social enterprises in our portfolio. Some of our latest important developments with our beneficiaries include:

  • NESsT and ONG Surmaule, our local partner in the City of Talca, have officially closed the project´s intervention. To celebrate the successful implementation of the project in providing financial, commercial and psychological support to 373 small producers and artisans from the O´Higgins, Maule and Bio-Bio Regions, we invited our beneficiaries, local authorities and the general public to come and see what we did together. NESsT and Surmaule accounted for resources and showed the results of the project, while a theater company that was born within this project performed a play that showed the hope and the problems faced by the beneficiaries from Talca´s Central Market which was destroyed by the earthquake. The event was a success! Below you can see a small clip shown in the regional news in Chile´s TVN station:




  • Despite the formal closing ceremony, the project in Talca will continue until mid-October.  NESsT hired an expert consultant, to develop a marketing strategy for the Central Market of Talca which seeks to increase visits and sales. The market, a historic landmark, was destroyed by the quake.  The people who worked in it, NESsT’s  81 beneficiaries, were forced to leave and work from a parking lot nearby. The consultant has developed a fantastic strategy, new branding material and logos for the market Alongside NESsT’s work, the consultant’s expertise has resulted in a series of initiatives and events that have provided visibility to the market to increase sales and rebuild this historical and cultural landmark.


  • In Pichilemu and surrounding areas, NESsT hired an expert business consultant with a proven commitment to helping small entrepreneurs and producers in the O´Higgins region to grow their livelihoods. The consultant worked on a one-on-one basis with 40 beneficiaries to develop and implement strong business plans. He also helped them apply for seed capital within the economic assistance system of the Ministry of Finance in Chile. So far, eight business ideas have been pre-selected and are expected to keep advancing in the process. His work is crucial in helping our beneficiaries understand their options and seek financial support for their business ideas.  



  • In Coronel, Lota and San Pedro de la Paz, three towns in the BioBio Region, NESsT and Sepade, another of our local partner organizations, have begun small training sessions for six of our beneficiaries.  Training involves different aspects related to their respective businesses. For instance, NESsT is helping some beneficiaries acquire their driver´s license to be able to deliver their products and finance a complete AutoCAD course for others.


  • In San Fernando, NESsT and Apiunisexta, our partner there, hired an expert consultant to help our beneficiaries diversify their honey-based product offer, thus increasing their value and revenues. The consultant provided a series of high-quality trainings to beekeepers from the region teaching them about the benefits and techniques behind developing value-added products from the honey they produce. His trainings included lessons on how to produce products like shampoo, soaps and processed honey-based products.   


Social Enterprise Competition:

As our Social Enterprise Competition continues as social enterprise ideas continue to gain strength NESsT is currently evaluating feasibility studies of the four remaining competitors, which will reviewed by expert members of our Business Advisory Network (BAN).  In November, NESsT will hold a business plan workshop and organizations will have to complete their business plans for their social enterprise ideas. Three out of the four remaining competitors below, will be awarded an invitation to join the NESsT Portfolio, where they will receive financial and technical assistance for up to five years.   

Apiunisexta: A store specialized in providing high-quality products for beekeeping activities. It will sell diversified products, such as health products, food for bee colonies, machinery and equipment for beekeepers in the O´Higgins Region, all for prices that benefit the sector.ONG Surmaule: An educational services firm, which will offer specialized services to improve pedagogical and technical skills of teachers at all levels inside educational institutions. It seeks to improve the administration of educational institutions, as well as improve school environments and test results.  

Ludovico Rutten Foundation:  A business that will train high-quality welders, providing them with a certification that enables them to better perform their work and ensuring the quality of their work. The social enterprise will provide this service locally at very affordable prices.

Manzana Verde:  Their social enterprise idea consists of building a school for adults that were not able to complete their elementary or high school education. At this school, they can level their education while also pursuing a technical degree in agroecology.



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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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Project Leader

Barb Alvarado

Providencia, Santiago Chile

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