Cuba Entrepreneurial Exchange


Cuba Small Business InitiativeThe Cuba Entrepreneurial Exchange is a project of the Cuba Study Group's Small Business Initiative and aims to connect entrepreneurs with their counterparts in the United States. The program pairs Cuban entrepreneurs with their counterparts in Miami to encourage collaboration and develop skills through internships, conferences and exchanges. It aims to reduce barriers between Cuban and locally based entrepreneurs and educate Miami entrepreneurs about the realities of private entrepreneurship in Cuba, highlighting both challenges and opportunities. 

2014 Exchange

In August 2014, the Cuba Study Group hosted its first Entrepreneurial Exchange, which brought five female Cuban entrepreneurs to Miami. The weeklong exchange placed the women in relevant local businesses, leading to the development of new skills and relationships. In addition, the entrepreneurs met with representatives from a series of local nonprofit organizations, including Venture Hive, Endeavor and Ashoka. They also participated in public events at the annual conference of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy and the Idea Center at Miami Dade College. 

The 2014 Exchange was made possible through the support of the Atlantic Advocacy Fund Inc. 

2015 Exchanges

In 2015, the Cuba Study Group will host two Entrepreneurial Exchanges:

  • A Makers Exchange (May 2015): Cuba-based entrepreneurs who are producing and selling physical products with success in Cuba will work with Miami-based makers to exchange ideas and help discover solutions to some of the challenges faced by Cuban entrepreneurs. The group will present results at a public event in Miami.
  • A Chef Exchange (August 2015): Up to five of Cuba’s most successful private culinary entrepreneurs will team up with prominent Miami chefs to cook multi-course meals at select restaurants. Participants will also meet with journalists, academics and members of the local Cuban community to discuss the challenges and opportunities faced by Cuba's emerging independent entrepreneurs.

In both cases, entrepreneurs will partner with their Miami-based counterparts to exchange knowledge and experiences and build skills and lasting relationships. In addition, participants will meet with local NGOs, members of the business community, academics and members of the media to discuss opportunities and challanges faces by entrepreneurs in Cuba. 

These 2015 Exchanges are made possible through the generosity and support of the Knight Foundation.