In early 2012, several members of the Cuba Study Group perceived a window of opportunity to help Cuban entrepreneurs that were taking advantage of the economic reforms introduced on the island during 2010-11. These members met with Cardinal Jaime Ortega and others in the leadership of the Cuban Catholic Church, who were receptive to the idea of sponsoring an entrepreneur training program. The same group also met with the leadership of the Fundacion ProEmpleo in Mexico, which had been supporting small businesses in that country for almost 20 years with outstanding and proven results.
With the curriculum and guidance of ProEmpleo and the support of the Church, the “Proyecto Cuba Emprende” was launched in May of 2012 at the Centro Cultural Padre Felix Varela in Havana. The Cuba Emprende Foundation (“CEF”), a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to raising private funds for the Proyecto, was established in March of 2012 with a Board of Directors comprising both CSG and non-CSG directors. The CEF operates independently of the CSG and is funded by individual donors in the United States.
As of 2020, the Proyecto had graduated 5,799 entrepreneurs through its 80 hour training program and had supported 4,069 businesses in Havana, Camagüey and Cienfuegos.
To learn more about the Cuba Emprende Foundation, click on the links below to visit its website and read its 2012-2020 Report.