I grew up in Santiago de Chile, South America. I received a very low quality education except for the last two years of my K-12 when my parents sent me to a private school. Less than five percent of my former classmates went to accredited universities after finished high school. I had the luck of receiving a better education at the end of my high school pathway.
I am a psychologist, a professional career that last six years with an expected monthly average income of $1000 U.S. dollars after four years of graduation (Meller, 2007). In 1998, I run for president of the student government association of my university. From that position, I received an invitation to participate in a 3 days workshop. There, I discovered Fernando Flores’ approach about entrepreneurship. Since then, I have been fascinated by the question how people become entrepreneurs.
I graduated from psychology in 2001, the same year I received an invitation to work in the industrial engineering department of the University of Chile. Between 2002 and 2005 I taught entrepreneurship at the University of Chile. My class’ focus was to develop, among my students, the desire to become an entrepreneur. In the University of Chile, I met professors such as Dr. Humberto Maturana, Carlos Vignolo, Dr. Sergio Spoerer, and Eduardo Rojas. Dr. Spoerer, Dr Flores, and Mr. Rojas were part of thousands of Chileans exiled during Pinochet’s dictatorship. In 2004, I also met American professors such as Alan Carsrud and Tina Seelig, who encouraged me to pursue graduate studies in entrepreneurship in the US.
Since the 90s, Chile has experienced an important economic growth. To maintain the country’s competitiveness, the government has implemented policies supporting entrepreneurship and technology innovation. In 2005, with the sponsorship of the University of Chile, I received an scholarship from the government to pursue a doctoral degree. In 2005, I arrived to Miami for a master degree in the school of business and in 2006 I began my doctorate. Both at Florida International University. During 2009 I made a pause in my studies to become the national coordinator of entrepreneurship policies at the Chilean ministry of economy. In july 2010, I was hired as a full time professor at the chilean Universidad del Desarrollo (UDD). UDD is ranked number one in entrepreneurship in Latin America by America Economía Magazine.
I expect to contribute to develop a national system able to produce the quality and quantity of entrepreneurs that Chile needs to succeed the globalization era. I am the first professional of my whole family. None of my relatives went to college before I did. My mom had a restaurant between 1999 and 2008, my dad a small truck company since the 1981, and my brother successfully started a company from scratch in 2003. Today, the family businesses employ almost 100 people.
I believe globalization can bring huge opportunities for people who hold entrepreneurial spirit. My commitment is to apply my experience to go beyond the constraints of the rationalistic tradition to improve entrepreneurship education effectiveness.
Carlos Albornoz, Santiago Decemeber 2010.