Rodrigo Calcagni

Ashoka Fellow
Villarica, Chile
Fellow Since 1995


This profile was prepared when Rodrigo Calcagni was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1995.
The New Idea
Rodrigo Calcagni is building "Communities of Development" to stimulate and fortify Chile's microenterprise sector. The nuclei of those novel communities are Community Development Centers–intermediate organizations that provide training and other forms of assistance for the host of financial, legal, technical and managerial challenges that the creation and expansion of microscale productive units involve. Unlike most intermediary organizations, however, the Centers also encourage collaboration and joint initiatives among the enterprises that they assist. And in another marked departure from the usual approach, the Centers are linked together in a national network that facilitates access to needed information and contacts and encourages the sharing of experience and know-how.
Through the organization that serves as the network's hub, Rodrigo is also vigorously promoting the microenterprise sector's development through media campaigns, appeals for financial support from large businesses and other sources, and lobbying efforts to secure new legislation that will stimulate the sector's growth and protect the rights of its workers.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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