In recent years it has been seen how the Dominican government and local and international private entities have begun to take an interest in the entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Dominican Republic. This they have done with measures such as: The Entrepreneurship Law, within which the National Entrepreneurship Network whose mission is specified: “To promote a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation as a way of thinking and acting in life, ensuring the competitiveness, leadership, training and sustainability of the new companies that are created in the country . ”
According to Nelson Toca Simó, Minister of Industry, Commerce and MSMEs : “The Dominican government has shown that micro, small and medium-sized companies, and entrepreneurs constitute a key commitment to promote economic development in parallel to the generation of decent employment opportunities, which later become the engine of economic development. ” In the report of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean of 2018, in the Dominican Republic the importance of MSMEs is observed because it constitutes 98% of the business fabric, with a share in GDP of 38.6% and a generation of more than 2,500,000 jobs. On the other hand,
more than 60% of the region’s formal employment depends on these companies. In particular, 2 out of every 3 jobs are in an SME.
Ministry of Industry, Commerce and MSMEs
Thanks to the different initiatives, in 2018 the MICM has managed to have a presence in the 32 provinces of the country with the implementation of 39 initiatives in order to promote the competitiveness of MSMEs and entrepreneurship, with a direct impact on more than 128,881 MSMEs and more than 503 inter-institutional collaboration processes.
The MICM Digital Economy Department implemented in 2018 six large projects that impacted more than 50,000 MSMEs and entrepreneurs in order to increase the use and access to Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), as well as a large increase in youth interest in entrepreneurship and technologies with the ICT Women’s Community, Pycarribbean, Global Game Jam, Open Saturday and SWAP.
The MICM Entrepreneurship Department has impacted 442 entrepreneurs and mentors with programs such as the National Platform for Entrepreneur Mentors, the CONFIE Fund, the National Entrepreneurship Network and the Hueco Caribe.
The National Entrepreneurship Network is a platform made up of more than 56 companies and 9,700 entrepreneurs with the aim of promoting the culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, as well as connecting and articulating the different actors that promote entrepreneurship in the Dominican Republic, including the Hult Prize at UNAPEC.
Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology
The MESCYT, which is responsible for carrying out initiatives focused on university entrepreneurship, develops the university competence of business models that seek to encourage an entrepreneurial and innovative culture in the country.
Alejandrina Germán in the presentation of the 11th University Competition of Business Models said: “In the last three years the MESCYT has awarded more than 300 international postgraduate scholarships to young people in topics related to innovation, business models and entrepreneurship. From 2012 to date, 71 entrepreneurial projects from 20 universities have won, with a seed capital amount of RD $ 12 million 900 thousand pesos. For this year 2019, that fund is one million 560 thousand pesos to support the four winning projects and the university entrepreneurship center that comes first in the competition”
In the Dominican Republic, in the last 4 years, there has been an exponential growth in the interest of young people in the local entrepreneurship ecosystem, in order to contribute in one way or another to the innovative economy that has been working in recent years. Thanks to this, the Hult Prize reaches the country and quickly becomes a Regional headquarters, and thus the Hult Prize enters the National Entrepreneurship Network through the Hult Prize at UNAPEC, who receive the support of programs such as the Hueco Caribe, the Centro de Entrepreneurship of UNAPEC, Chez Space and entrepreneurs in different specialties.
Chez Space as a co-working space has been one of the great promoters of entrepreneurship in the private sector, with the collaboration of different projects such as Startup Grind Santo Domingo, Social Media Talk, Hult Prize at UNAPEC, among others.
Chez Space has focused on youth entrepreneurship development by partnering with university institutions such as UNAPEC and INTEC through the Entrepreneurship Center of each; Hueco Caribe was also a key entity in the development of the Hueco Caribe program, offering them their workspaces.
Venture Studio has directly impacted more than 1,500 participants in different programs, such as: Startup Weekend Santo Domingo, Entrepreneurial Communities Development Program, together with MICM, among others; as well as 13 companies within the startups and SMEs acceleration program, which in one way or another have made their own impact on the Dominican entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Thanks to all these initiatives, the Dominican Republic has been converted into an entrepreneurial economy in which private and public entities have joined forces to place youth ahead of the innovations and development of Dominican MSMEs. This allows the exponential growth of foreign investments, which places the Dominican Republic as a reference country for Entrepreneurship in the Caribbean and Central America.