We were part of the eighth version of the program that helps rural entrepreneurs build their small businesses and this was our impression.
20 young people from nine different nationalities traveled on June 24th to the south of Chile, specifically Contulmo, Lebu, Cañete, Arauco and Curanilahue to help entrepreneurs in the area build their small businesses. For what? In order to graduate as fellows of the Balloon Latam innovation and entrepreneurship program. And as the Karün team we witnessed this experience.
But if this introduction sounds complicated, let's start by explaining what Balloon is: this is a project that seeks to foster and develop entrepreneurship in communities through the transfer of innovation tools and methodologies by young international professionals, who pay to receive an intensive course in innovation and entrepreneurship, and then transmit this knowledge to rural entrepreneurs, which in this case was in the community of Arauco who were given the opportunity to boost their projects in a dynamic of shared creation.
Photos: @Vicente Schulz - Balloon Latam
As the Karün team, we had the opportunity to be spectators of the last 4 days of the program, before the 10 finalists presented their pitch in front of the entire community and jury of the International Balloon Arauco 2017, to whom we gave feedback as they prepared for this final presentation. We were also fortunate to share with fellows, entrepreneurs, and the Balloon team on this unique experience.
Do you want to know some of our impressions? Here they are:
Thomas Kimber - Founder
Based on this experience, why do you think the collaboration between Karün and Balloon is important?
"I believe that it is urgent to change the way we see what companies are. They should not be viewed as a vehicle of economic generation, but rather as a generator of social and environmental well-being, using economic profitability as a tool to serve that purpose. Companies today should not only worry about minimizing their impact or mitigating it, I think we have to find ways that the very existence of this is in itself a positive contribution to society and its environment. In this sense, I think it is impossible to achieve a transformation of this magnitude by working alone. It is tremendously necessary to collaborate and I believe that the work we are doing together with Balloon can be a case that serves as an example for thousands of companies in the world on how we can integrate the empowerment of rural communities with the recycling of discarded material and the value chain of a productive company of products with high added value like Karün. I hope this is the first step in a wave of partnerships in the rest of Chile and Latin America that seek to demonstrate that it is possible to change the way our economy operates."
Tomás Denecken - Operations Chile & Marketing
What do you think Karün's contribution was?
"Without a doubt, the contribution is mutual. On one hand, we find the business experience of Karün and it's multidisciplinary team, which has much to contribute based on processes, commercial look, and brand image and advice guides on the development of entrepreneurship. In order to make a tangible contribution, Karün's relationship with the entrepreneurs of the program even generates reciprocal business opportunities, since they can be suppliers of raw materials, which means an extra income and a new opportunity to make their story known".
Colomba Plass - Art Director
Based on the experience, why do you think the collaboration between Karün and Balloon is important?
"It is critical, as it will help us generate a tangible and long-term impact, which can be a worldwide example of how to do business under a circular and regenerative model."
Sophie Kimber - Brand Manager
What did it mean for you to have participated in this International Balloon Arauco?
"It was an experience that I think marked me forever. There is definitely a before and after, having lived this experience sharing with fellows and entrepreneurs of different cultures and realities helped me to see in something tangible everything that can be achieved through collaboration, empathy, and love. If we all work together towards a common goal, great things can be achieved. "
THANK YOU to all the Balloon team for everything they do, the fellows, and each one of the entrepreneurs for this amazing experience!