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Saturday, 28 September 2013

Family business: Cuban-Americans help to train Cuban entrepreneurs

I just came across something that I think ought to be more widely known, especially by those who do not believe that the economic changes under way in Cuba are not genuine. It is the existence of an initiative by Cuban-American businesspeople to help train young Cuban entrepreneurs in Cuba.

CubaEmprende, offers courses with the ultimate goal of enabling the emerging Cuban private sector and promoting an entrepreneurial culture in the island.

With the apparent blessing of the Cuban auhtorities, the courses are held in the Father Felix Varela Cultural Center, located in the historic centre of Old Havana . On the Cuban side the project is led by Jorge Mandilego and  its teachers have been specially trained by Cuban -American entrepreneurs . They are responsible for giving lectures , workshops and consulting to entrepreneurs interested in starting or improving a private business.

A young entrepreneur who recently completed the course, told the website Nuevodebatecuba that it was very instructive and included classes in marketing, business advertising, business psychology, sales techniques, organization and development, bank loans, and corporate social responsibility, such as improving customer service, among others issues.  

The course provides students/entrepreneurs with the necessary tools to carry their private business and address the conflicts generated under Cuban law , which still provide a framework very limited private sector development.

The achievement of the project has greatly contributed significant financial support , training and transfer of experiences of several Cuban-American businessmen like John Espinoza and John Mcintire Salazar , who has been the main collaborator and mentor.Also noteworthy is the contribution of Proempleo Mexican foundation , particularly Coordination Network Federal District by its director Zonana Smeke Yemi.

To a lesser extent also been interested in the project U.S. academic institutions , with the purpose of studying the socio economic and private sector development emerging . Also have had the support and recommendations of U.S. businessmen as Ricardo Herrero and John Hickey .
CubaEmprende is a necessary step in the reconciliation of Cuba with an important sector of exiles who are interested in investing in the country. It also shows that Cuban Americans can and should be involved in the process of change that is taking place on the island .


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