Martín Andrade | Social Entrepreneur

As a student, Martín Andrade became aware that in many low-income areas public spaces were poorly maintained. He knew that if nothing were done to improve these public spaces, future generations born into such an environment would be more susceptible to drugs, alcohol and crime. Martín studied architecture and specialized in urban issues, and he was driven to change the situation. He believed strongly in the mission to improve green spaces and saw it as a way to sow the seeds of a better future for low-income Chilean families. In addition to serving as the director of Fundacion Mi Parque, Martín is establishing an online platform (TalkChile) to deliver English teaching services to low-income individuals.

Martin-Andrade_P1My Highlights | In my life I am proud of the fact that I co-founded a Foundation called “Mi Parque” (My Park), an NGO dedicated to improve the lives of poor families by increasing access to green spaces. As the Executive Director, I was in charge in the co-ordination of the different areas in the Foundation (Projects, Management, Social and Marketing). Nowadays, the foundation is creating more than 180 projects throughout Chile, it has raised more than 12 million dollars, congregated more than 19,735 volunteers, and has benefited more than 310,000 people. Because of this success, in 2012, I was awarded the “Social entrepreneur of the year” award, a Prize awarded by “Sábado” Magazine and the Schwab Foundation through a jury consisting of business leaders and people linked to the media and social awareness. Receiving that award it was an incredible emotion to me and I feel so grateful with all the people that supported the initiative and helped us to be in the place that we are now.

A Key Talent | Perseverance is more important than intelligence: I conceived myself as a persevering guy. I work hard and I try to put all my energies when I want to do something. When somebody has a critical point of view about what I am doing, I try to take that opinion just as a point of view, so it doesn’t stop my desire to reach my goals.

Believe in your own questions and answers: For me one important thing to be successful in your projects is that, before you start to involve yourself in developing an idea, you have to make you the correct questions and also create your own answers. In each subject that you want to work on there are many books, papers, essays, references, videos, etc with different proposals and solutions. All that information should the frame that you should need to know to have a better panorama on what you’re searching for, but is more important to have your personal thoughts and points of view, before you put your energies in something.

Martin-Andrade_P2Start now with what you have at the moment: Most of the time, when we want to do something that is difficult to make it, we are concerned about what are our lacks to reach some goal, but we don’t think often about what we can do now to begin our dreams. In our world, there are millions of great ideas that are still inside people’s brains waiting for donations, helps, the correct moment, somebody point of view, etc. Instead of waiting on that moment that may never result, there are simple thing that we can do that will make us much closer in our final goals. When we start with our Foundation “My Park” we spend a lot of days waiting for people to make donations to build our first park. After postponing the inauguration 3 times because of the lack of incomes, we decided to use our contacts and create a donation campaign for trees, paint and other constructive materials. Thanks of that campaign, with no money, but with all the materials, we build our first project and we start to build our dream.

The Best Advice I’ve Received | Your potentials have a straight relation with your weaknesses. So don´t worry about your weaknesses, better be concerned about how to improve your potentials.

Martin-Andrade_P3I Am Inspired By | Who really inspires me are all the persevering people that I see whenever I wake up very early. Is incredible for me to see many people that travel big distances everyday trying to get to their jobs in order to bring a better life to their families. That effort really thrilled me every time and inspire me to put more effort in my dreams and goals.

The Legacy I Would Like To Leave | With my job and my everyday actions I want to contribute to create more confidence among people. I believe that the confidence is crucial and the first step that we have to do if we really want to progress as a society. This is not something that only one person can do, we all have a role in that.