RAE: Revista de Administração de Empresas (May 2020)

No politics, no society: Questioning the justification of entrepreneurship in Chilean public policies

  • Oriana Bernasconi ,
  • Juan Felipe Espinosa-Cristia

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 60, no. 2
pp. 131 – 143


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Studies show that the state plays a positive role in shaping conditions for entrepreneurship and promoting economic growth through entrepreneurial activity. However, the question of how state intervention in entrepreneurship is justified in neoliberal regimes has received scant attention, although it can legitimize public policies. We examine the entrepreneurial slant of the Production and Commerce Development Corporation of Chile (CORFO), which implements regulations and grants financial support to startups. Analyzing interviews with CORFO’s state officials, public statements, and official documentation, we review the advent of state-led entrepreneurial policy and explore the post-dictatorial government’s principles justifying current state policy. This policy relies on double de-politicization: i) divesting entrepreneurship from political affiliation and ii) propagating a meritocratic rhetoric of social and individual development, oblivious of structural inequalities. We argue that this is functional for this regime as long as it guarantees state intervention in entrepreneurship as a policy of common good.