On March 2015, the first SparkLab in Latin America will open its doors to local micro-entrepreneurs and young talents of Huechuraba district in Santiago, a unique area of the city that unites one of Chile’s largest concentrations of corporate headquarters (national and international companies) and home to one of the most vulnerable and underserved neighborhoods in Chile’s capital.
SparkLab Chile aims to become a progressive “Center for Innovation, Technology for Employment, and Entrepreneurship”, financially supported by theMinistry of Social Development. SparkLab Chile is one of the initiatives selected by the Ministry under “Chile de Todos y Todas” program. The project will be managed and implemented by CDI Chile, an international NGO with more than 20 years of experience in bringing technology to the most remote and vulnerable areas in the LATAM region.
Today, SparkLab Chile is building a series of strategic partnerships with many local organizations including the Huechuraba´s Labor Department, the City Council, and the training and small enterprise programs to strengthen Huechuraba’s employment opportunities for the local youth and the unemployed. In late March, Telecentre Foundation (TCF) will lead the necessary training for local partners, providing access and support to technology package and content included in the SparkLab model, in addition to linkages with best practices and the leadership team of SparkLab Barcelona and Cairo.
SparkLab Chile will have the close support of Fundación País Digital, a well known ICT for Development organization in charge of the assessment and promotion of the SparkLab Chile initiative. Local Chilean stakeholders will work closely with TCF and Generalitat de Catalonia, creators of the SparkLab model.
Huechuraba’s SparkLab’s main objective is to develop a co-working and training facility that nurtures and empowers innovation and collaboration, allowing multi-stakeholder participation (community, local government and businesses) to foster new and advanced applications of ICT resources to improve the skills and employability of the youth, women and adults at the Huechuraba district and, in this way, create a new layer of local entrepreneurs and small local businesses.