The inauguration by President Michelle Bachelet of the latest business development centre in the suburb of Ñuñoa in Santiago brings to 51 such centres opened by the Chilean government since 2014.
So far the country's micro enterprise support agency Sercotec has helped 15,000 small businesses through the centres (Centros de Desarrollo de Negocios).
About 40% of these have seen been able to increase sales or add more jobs or access finance, said Bachelet (pictured above)
In addition between July last year and June this year those firms assisted by the centres generated about $21 billion currently.
This translates to each firm assisted having produced 1.9 pesos in sales for every peso of support they received. In addition 36% of the value of public investment was returned in the form of value-added tax.
The centres have also assisted 1,347 businesses to start and get $8.200 million ($12.6m) pesos of finance.
The network is made up of privately-run centres selected through a public tender process.
They include 25 centres based at universities, 20 run by corporates and foundations and six by private entities.
Chile began rolling out the centres in 2014, after an agreement between Bachelet and the US president Barack Obama. The US is helping Chile to set up a network of centres similar to the US’s more than 1,100 Small Business Development Centres (SBDCs).
Speaking at the inauguration of the latest centre on August 2 Bachelet said her government has increased the amount of resources dedicated to funding and supporting small and micro businesses by 75% since 2013.
A 2015 survey by the Chile's Ministry of Economy reveals that the country has over 1.86 million entrepreneurs of which 1.18 million run micro enterprises. These micro enterprises employ few people – three quarters employ no more than one person.
Support therefore might help. The hope is that the support can assist these firms to scale up, access finding and markets and compete more easily with larger firms.
Timm is a South African who writes on small business. Click here to sign up for the monthly Small Business Insight newsletter.
Stephen Timm is a