Alejandra is President of the Entrepreneurs Association in Chile and founder of the incredible Ideas Factory, a collection of both physical and virtual spaces across the country which are home to many of Chile’s top aspiring entrepreneurs and startups. She is extremely proud of the startup ecosystem in Chile and wants to continue to develop, innovate and create. ‘I really believe that each of us has a job to do in the country we are born in and I really want to make a difference here.’
Her family originates from Beit Jala in Palestine and she attributes her own entrepreneurship to her maternal Great Grandmother who worked day and night in her little store in a poor area of Santiago to support her family after her husband passed away at a young age. Her own mother had a more traditional view when it came to Alejandra’s future, seeing marriage as the most stable and viable option for a young woman. However her father, who is also an entrepreneur encouraged her to study and to learn English, which she did, pursuing a degree in design.
In University Alejandra was inspired by the designers around her and started a small furniture design company. ‘In the beginning I didn’t see myself as an entrepreneur and most of my family were skeptical about me turning what they considered a hobby into a business. But my father was always a great believer. Now it is 12 years later and we’re still here!’
‘The first years are so complicated, you will have bad days, lonely days - that’s why it is so important to have a good partner and choose something you really love. People will tell you it is risky, but everything is risky these days, and if I have to work 20 hours per day, I would rather do it for myself.’
Alejandra also wants to do something for young Palestinian entrepreneurs. ‘It would be great if we can bring Palestinian entrepreneurs to Chile and host them in the Ideas Factory. Nothing will change with pity for Palestine - we need to look at creative solutions, we have a big opportunity to solve world problems.’