Kiska: If We Want Youth to Opt for Business, We Must Create Conditions

Kiska in Chile (photo by TASR)

Santiago, August 2 (TASR correspondent) – Slovakia and Chile have the same problem in terms of young people’s access to business, said Slovak President Andrej Kiska following his visit to a development centre for start-ups called ‘Start-Up Chile’ on the first day of his official visit to the South American country on Monday (August 1).

“After finishing their studies, our young people often don’t think about starting a business but about how to get a good job. It’s a big challenge for us politicians and people involved in business to support the willingness and appetite among youth to take risks and to take their lives into their own hands,” said Kiska.

If young people opt for business, they should get support for launching their activities, stated Kiska, highlighting Start-Up Chile as a successful project from which Slovakia could learn a great deal.

“In our country we speak a lot about support for innovations, start-ups, the business environment. With no big budget of 10 million US dollars (€8.96 million), Start-Up Chile in the five years of its existence has become absolutely the most successful start-up project in South America, and it’s in the world’s top ten. It’s a project that deserves attention,” stressed Kiska.

Young Slovak businessman Marian Balko, who is participating in the programme in Chile’s capital Santiago, said that it’s been a priceless experience. “The biggest bonus of the programme is definitely that people from the whole world come here, from various cultures, countries, with various languages. Ideas are combined here, new teams are created, and successful projects and collaborations set up,” said Balko, adding that he’d recommend an experience like this to anyone.

The Start-Up Chile project was launched in 2010. Since then, it’s supported over 1,300 start-ups and 3,500 businesspeople from more than 70 countries. Its system has been copied by six other countries so far.