Local businesses in Antofagasta and Tarapacá innovate by implementing e-commerce
As of today, more than 25 local enterprises have e-commerce systems in place, digital portals equipped with shopping carts, payment gateways and domestic and international shipping.
This was made possible thanks to Activa Digital, a program promoted by SQM and executed by Apanio and the Simón de Cirene Foundation, to provide technological skills and tools to more than 25 enterprises in the Tarapacá and Antofagasta regions.
“It’s a great opportunity to reach more locations with my products. I make handicrafts with a regional identity and a strong social commitment because we work with 100% natural materials and strive to showcase our region through our enterprise. This program included a lot of guidance, since handling a computer at my age was a challenge, but I am capable and now I upload my products, my photos and it is very exciting to have this support and continue building our businesses,” said María Antonieta Madariaga, a beneficiary of Activa Digital.
The initiative, part of the company’s commitment to strengthening the entrepreneurial ecosystem in northern Chile, recognized its graduates at a closing networking event, which included a presentation by Michelle Schnitzer, founder of BondUp, a social network for people over 55, and three important activities: a presentation on each beneficiary’s e-commerce platform, photo shoots for star products and a professional recording of their pitch, key inputs for future applications or to enhance their social media and digital portals.
Carolina Guzmán, SQM’s External Communications Manager for Nitrates and Iodine, highlighted the tools provided, adding that “Activa Digital seeks to promote local businesses using digital channels to break down local and regional borders. It also complements a series of programs that our company has promoted in Antofagasta and Tarapacá to support local businesses and micro-enterprises.”
During the day-long event, attendees also enjoyed a digital fair put on by activadigital.feriasdigitales.cl, a portal that brings together all program participants’ sites where users can browse and purchase their products.
Regarding the selection and execution process, Tomás Guiloff, CEO of Apanio, said that “anyone could apply and a group of entrepreneurs was selected from among the applicants. This group was then trained using webinars and theoretical classes and provided with personalized advice on building their e-commerce platforms.”
During 2024, SQM will continue to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem in northern Chile through various initiatives to finance, strengthen and support more small and medium-sized companies as they get off the ground.