Arauco: the “AcercaRedes” intiative

In 2012, the wood and wood products producer Arauco launched AcercaRedes, a network of three business development centers far from Chile’s main urban areas. The centers are equipped with computers, access to the internet, and other resources, and serve as a meeting point for leaders, creators and entrepreneurs. The centers offer shared physical spaces in which diverse users, from different professions, trades and skills, may develop meaningful networks. The program began with a pilot conducted in San José de la Mariquina, in Chile’s Los Ríos Region, and was expanded in 2013 to engage universities and other large and mid-size businesses. In 2014, AcercaRedes opened two centers in Curanilahue and Constitución, such that the project engaged a total of 35 professionals from a number of fields and 40 organizations present in the territories.  In 2014, AceraRedes won the North American Chamber of Commerce’s award for Good Corporate Citizenship.