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2 Utahns find it pays to open business in Chile

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Have you ever thought about starting your own business but didn't have the money to do so? The government of Chile is offering entrepreneurs $40,000 if they spend six months in Chile working to get that business started.

Two Utahns were among the first 25 people selected for the pilot phase of the program.

Corey Wride and Kurt Avarell have been in Santiago, Chile for the past three months. Wride is working on a startup to help people learn English using popular movies, and Avarell created a software program that connects tax professionals with consumers.

Both of them feel the program was invaluable in getting their businesses off the ground. They also receive access to social and capital networks in the country.

Avarell says the money has helped him build a prototype for his program and show that it worked so he could then start going after investors and funding. After he leaves Chile, he plans to open a call center in the South American country.

The Chilean government is working toward a goal of making Chile the innovation and entrepreneurial hub of Latin America. This helps entrepreneurs build connections in that country that can ripple throughout its economy.

The government is now opening the program to another 100 applicants. So far most of the businesses have fit into the tech genre, though it is not a requirement.

Applicants do not need to speak Spanish. The government is looking for entrepreneurs who work in a global mindset. Applications are due by March 15. For more information, click here.

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