Since Pope Francis launched the invitation to the Economy of Francesco’s Event, each one of the actors of the Economy of Communion (EoC) in Cuba has felt very identified. The annual EoC event was already planned at that time but with this invitation, we value redesigning it and creating a particular and different event.
Shortly afterwards, three regional workshops were organized to train Cuban EoC entrepreneurs and take advantage of the space to promote the call made by the Pope towards the Economy of Francesco. This was the first space where participation was called and we felt very motivated. We also received with great pleasure the news that four young Cubans had been selected to participate in EoF, which is an honor and commitment to represent Cuba and the EoC actors.
After days of work and organization -and not a few obstacles-, the Third Meeting of Entrepreneurs for a Solidarity Economy was held in January 2020. More than 80 entrepreneurs attended with participation from Italy, Croatia, Mexico, Panama and Brazil.
Three days where the Economy of Francesco was present and discussions were held on various topics: experiences of social entrepreneurs, technology and information technology in business, values in human relations, legal framework and business management.
For health reasons, by postponing the EoF, the coordination of the Hub Cuba de EdC saw the possibility of continuing to build the road to Assisi together. For this reason, last July a contest was launched for Cuban entrepreneurs to express their experiences of communion on the occasion of the Anniversary of the EoC and towards EoF.
Several very moving experiences were received and they tell of the work in communion at different times where people grow and promote solidarity and reciprocity on a daily basis. The experience of the VIDA Project was the winner and the mention was awarded to GESTAR.
Now, we are working on organizing a DAR CON networking space. With the purpose of promoting the DAR culture and establishing exchange relationships between the different enterprises, close in the distance.
GESTAR. Our experience
Even in the current economic crisis, the impact of the Covid and the aggressive measures of the Trump administration against Cuba, one of the aspects that has made it possible to adapt to change in the work team at GESTAR (a group that provides economic and legal advice to Cuban entrepreneurs who wish to start a business) has been to understand that putting the person at the centre is not enough, each of the members of the work team must be empowered, seeking to make them participants in business decisions, both internally and externally.
Business and corporate management must focus on the principles and purpose for which it was created. This is a fundamental pillar that identifies us, being different in the market, sometimes we feel strange, but with the conviction that it is the right way.
Establishing coherence between what is thought, said and done defines your actions and characterizes the members of the undertaking. Actions speak louder than words, therefore, we act based on the virtue of doing GOOD for all stakeholders. For example, the organization of festive activities for students with disabilities, support for entrepreneurs with family problems, care for members of the work team in the event of a family or personal contingency, the provision of subsidies during the quarantine period due to Covid19 , the management of shared supplies purchases and others.
At the same time, having a proactive, results-focused and customer-focused attitude is critical. It has allowed us to adapt to the difficult and complex situation: visualizing solutions where others see problems, creativity and flexibility for teamwork in person at the office and from a distance from each home, being present shoulder to shoulder for our clients, establishing alliances with government actors who work on the country’s economic recovery strategy, promoting effective and assertive communication for each of the audiences, and above all, enjoying what we do with a lot of LOVE, professional, commitment, dedication and passion.
My inner call
“With ALL and for the good of ALL”; wrote our Apostle José Martí. It is a maxim that I always carry with me. These are times when it is necessary to sow hope, share joys, knowledge and experience, do good, treat ourselves as people based on respect.
It is a great challenge to remain serene and firm in such a turbulent world, but I am part of those who believe that a better world is possible, that I can contribute and I am contributing my bit so that society is a place where there is harmony and prosperity.
Much remains to be done, building an economy that does not generate waste is fundamental and that human relations are based on LOVE, fraternity and solidarity, I think it is transcendental.