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More than 200 entrepreneurs from La Araucanía benefited from the innovative Balloon Latam program

Ratifying its high attracting power, the social company Balloon Latam successfully completed the International Balloon, held in the communities of Freire and Cunco, which adds to the socio-territorial work that it has been carrying out in the region since 2013, promoting collaboration and strengthening the social capital around rural entrepreneurship.

Various entrepreneurs from the communes of Freire and Cunco, authorities, representatives of companies and foundations, came to the Freire Municipal Gymnasium to celebrate the closing of Balloon International 2024, a program promoted by Balloon Latam, Fundación MC and the Municipalities of Freire and Cunco. This milestone marks the beginning of the trajectory and growth that the territory's entrepreneurs will have during the year 2024.

The International Balloon is a social innovation program for community development in which national and international agents of change (people who, aware of their potential for individual transformation, act with the firm purpose of contributing to the improvement of a rural community). ) work hand in hand with rural entrepreneurs for 4 weeks, under a unique knowledge transfer format, which leads both parties to a unique experience of connection with the local reality and environment. 

There were more than 200 people from La Araucanía, with different business ideas, who signed up for the program. Rodrigo Muñoz, regional director of La Araucanía at Balloon Latam commented on the results achieved by this innovative program: “We are very happy to have worked with the entrepreneurs of the communes of Cunco and Freire, and at the same time, to have had the support of both municipalities. The community welcomed us with open arms and accompanied us in different sectors: Cunco urban, Los Laureles, Choroico, Rayen Lafquen, Freire urban, Quepe and Huilio, generating spaces for conversation and training with them.”

Promoting local projects that strengthen social capital, the training of leaders and the generation of networks for collaboration are elements that the La Araucanía International Balloon took for the fifth time to rural sectors of La Araucanía, mainly in communities with constant difficulties and lack of opportunities for your specialization and business development.

“They have been working here for almost a month with the different entrepreneurs of the commune. We never thought that a company was going to worry about these communities that, in general, have not been taken into account. We are interested in entrepreneurs really being able to be recognized beyond their own commune and Balloon Latam has helped put focus on this area,” commented the mayor of Freire, Luís Arias López, a key actor for the development and execution of this program.

“In this connection, development, installation of capabilities and this entire training cycle, we all seek in some way to be able to evolve, develop and in some way improve,” commented Alejandra Grebe, Executive Director of Fundación MC, a fundamental piece for the program that she valued. that at Balloon International “everyone has a common purpose, which is the same purpose that we share at the MC Foundation, which is transformation.” 


For four weeks, change agents of different nationalities from Latin America and entrepreneurs from Cunco and Freire worked hand in hand with theoretical tools and concepts that helped both parties to train as leaders and people capable of addressing challenges and developing their personal and entrepreneurial skills. . The program seeks to be a contribution, from the ideas and projects of the rural entrepreneurs themselves, to the lack of employment, gender equality, environmental challenges and even the preservation of local ancestral cultures and practices.

After this experience, 9 entrepreneurs were selected to present their business projects at the milestone celebration, of which 4 were winners, with prizes in assets from fourth to first place. Also, the graduation of 200 entrepreneurs and 13 change agents who participated in the program took place, and who had the opportunity to receive a certification from the Change Agents Seminar for Social Linkage of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (PUC).

Magaly Burgos, an artisan who won first place in the International Balloon, valued the process, accompaniment and support during the program: “First place means that we did a great job. The fellows have been great partners. They supported me and made me believe that I was worth it, that I am very good at my job. I highlight being able to make my value proposition and also the pitch, which is very important because it is where we explain everything we do: the problem, the solution, who I am, how I contribute in the social, economic and also environmental sense," he highlighted. the entrepreneur. 

During the remainder of the year, Balloon Latam will continue to develop and accompany entrepreneurs in the rural sectors of La Araucanía, going through different programs that will guide them and give them the necessary tools to formalize their businesses and ventures, and with this, continue building social capital from the communities and from the understanding of their territorial context.