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A couple of notes on the ’entrepreneurs’ in Chile

Some day I’m going to use this blog to put together a list of myths about our poor country, but for now it will suffice to discuss the things that are said about the sense of entrepreneurship in Chile.

The first thing is that the phenomenon is oversized. One tends to think of with respect to all the nations of the SMES (or micro enterprises) as entrepreneurs. And I think that is not the issue nor a good description. Because what leads people in Chile to stop being ’employees’ and buscárselas is not a sense of entrepreneurship. It is not a search for ‘create things’ and all that is said about it.

I think it is something much more simple: The chilean working independent or in their own business by a desire not to have a boss. Something that can be accompanied by attitudes very traditional (a high valuation for money ‘every day’ more than to wait for a salary; or a low valuation on increased earnings). As I passed by in a study in Pomaire, the main advantage of working for one’s own account is that if one does not want to work a good day, it does not. A desire for autonomy, not a ‘spirit of improvement’ is what is behind the issue. To have No one who can give orders (and in that, I must say that the chileans are very ‘classic’: the repudiation of the old greeks to wage labor has the same basis of not receiving orders from another person).

The second point has to do with the fact that it is thought that the indigent in Chile you need to do is to teach them how to be good ’entrepreneurs’. So you have to train them. Now, after participating in a study of life stories with these people, what is more clear is that his problem is not one of ‘training’ or attitudes. If something have spare capacity to think and run a business.

The problems of their business is not behavioral, but structural: The destitute, simply, they are more likely to suffer disasters and the disasters are more terrible: They get sick more (for themselves or their families), their houses suffer major damage etc, And to not have the accumulated resources (own or of relatives and/or friends) of the middle-classes, each problem involves a fall substantive, it is a problem of much greater magnitude. Crisis in a middle-class person involving an adjustment but nothing more serious, in the case of the destitute, they are a threat much more serious. I have come to think that being middle class is, in the end, have the expectation that no crisis is so severe.

In other words, the problems of the ’entrepreneurs’ homeless does not solve looking at the problem from the viewpoint of the venture. It is a matter that comes from the structure of the situations and opportunities that afflict them. Now that the structure has importance should not surprise you, I hope, to a sociologist.