NESsT Business Plan Workshop
NESsT continues to provide financial, capacity-building, and psychological support to 373 small producers and artisans and their social enterprises 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. Through a Social Enterprise Competition, NESsT selected six civil society organizations (CSOs) to receive continued NESsT support to further develop their social enterprise ideas. The CSOs were selected based on their management capacity, experience, and commitment to support the recovery by affected communities and the improvement of their short-term incomes.
Apiunisexta, located in San Fernando, is the largest Beekeepeers´ Association in the country that promotes the economic and social development of its members through grants to invest in stock, materials, and production tools.
Las Nieves Cooperative is an agricultural cooperative located in Paredones that produces quinoa, and promotes the economic and social development of its members through leveraging bulk quantities to obtain higher sales prices.
ONG Surmaule is a non-profit organization based in Talca that provides low income communities in the region with training and advocacy for their sustainable economic development, while being respectful of their traditions and culture.
Ludovico Rutten Foundation is a foundation based in Talca that provides educational and work opportunities to help people develop social and work skills that will assist them to get out of poverty.
CET SUR is a non-profit organization based in Tome that provides educational and economic opportunities for entrepreneurs, and conducts research that aids the development of the region and local markets, and the increased appreciation of local traditions.
Levantando Chile’s ultimate goal is for its beneficiaries to become completely self-sustaining as quickly as possible: living, working, and selling their products as they did before the earthquake and tsunami struck. Since February, NESsT has provided the following:
Financial support: NESsT provided small grants averaging US$300 to beneficiaries to help recover lost stock and raw materials, or to purchase or repair tools that were destroyed or damaged by the 2010 earthquake.
Capacity-Building support: NESsT held a series of business administration workshops to teach producers and artisans about best practices in business development. Workshop topics included identifying and controlling costs, break-even point, supply-and-demand, and accounting systems.
Additionally, NESsT hired 15 consultants to provide beneficiaries one-on-one support to help them improve their commercialization systems and build partnerships, enabling them to improve their businesses and earn better incomes for themselves and their families. Consultants build upon the business administration tools provided in the workshops held by NESsT, and ensure that these concepts are applied to strengthen these social enterprises.
Psychological support: NESsT also hired experts to provide psychological support, working to help beneficiaries deal with loss, build their confidence and entrepreneurial spirit, and to extend their support networks. The difficulties faced by producers and artisans are related to their current economic situation, or due to the unresolved loss of loved ones.