With the objective of “boosting the entrepreneurial spirit in the country”, the VIII Dominican Republic Entrepreneurs Fair began this Friday, an event where 50 young entrepreneurs have the opportunity to expose their “innovative ideas” to the world and win up to 500,000 pesos in cash.
The fair was inaugurated this Friday on the occasion of the National Day of Entrepreneurs, a date established by Law 88-13 which celebrates the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of Dominicans.
The enthusiastic young people who participate may be chosen as one of the three winners of the Pepín Corripio Award, with which they will receive an economic support of RD$500,000 from Grupo Corripio, as well as economic, legal and advertising advice to promote their businesses.
In his inaugural speech, the Minister of Tourism, David Collado, called for a round of applause for the long-lived businessman José Luis Corripio Estrada, “Pepín Corripio”, who was recognized as a promoter of entrepreneurship in the country and has served as the guardian of the awards named in his honor.
His eldest son, Manuel Corripio, represented him in the activity and received the recognition on his behalf. With a smile, he expressed that his father “does deserve it” because “he is, has been and will be an entrepreneur”.
“Entrepreneurship is not a matter of age, it is a matter of character and disposition. It is a matter of temperament”, emphasized Manuel Corripio.
On the other hand, Collado emphasized the participation of “Pepín” Corripio in the fair, pointing out that “every year he sits down with the young entrepreneurs to advise them, he dedicates more than 3 and 4 hours to them when the agreement was for 1 hour”.
The businessman said that the fair began in 2002 “with the dream of promoting the entrepreneurial spirit in the Dominican Republic. We did not want it to be so difficult for young people”.
He indicated that the fair was born out of the need for new entrepreneurs to obtain capital to expand their ideas and get “hands on” with their businesses.
“Unfortunately, banking regulations make it difficult for young people to access credit. It is easier to get a vehicle at a fair than a 300,000 peso loan,” said Collado.
Similarly, Frank Rainieri, founder of the Punta Cana Group, who also received recognition for his contribution to the business sector, emphasized that today there is a need for a “great generation” of entrepreneurs in the country.
“We see today young people who have taken on the idea and the commitment to go where others have not dared to go,” he said.
For Rainieri, vision, perseverance and hard work have been “key” to his success in the sector.
Upon receiving the recognition from the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Mipymes (MEPyD), Ito Bisonó, he pointed out that in the 21st century entrepreneurs must also take into account social and environmental responsibility. “Now we have to be part of the solution to the problems of our countries,” he said.
“Todo fresco”, “Fusion”, “Puro sol”, “Cocotai”, “September 21” and “LesnatHair” are some of the businesses that meet this year at the fair that takes place in the halls of the third level of Agora Mall.
There, the curious approach and ask about their products, ideas and projections. Some stop to buy and taste food.
The activity was also attended by the President of the Republic, Luis Abinader; the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Mipymes, Ito Bisonó; Milton Ray Guevara, president of the Constitutional Court and Eduardo Sanz Lovaton, General Director of Customs.
Pedro Brache, president of the National Council of Private Enterprise (Conep); Celso Marranzini, representative of the Association of Industrialists of the Dominican Republic (AIRD); Christopher Paniagua, executive president of Banco Popular Dominicano and Ligia Bonetti, executive president of Grupo SID also attended the event.